News about environmental studies resources or events provided by the MSU Libraries. For more information visit the Environmental Studies Resources web page or contact Jon Harrison at email@example.com
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Aquanomics : water markets and the environment
edited by B. Delworth Gardner, Randy T. Simmons.
New Brunswick [N.J.] : Transaction Publishers, c2012. 413pp.
Main Library Stacks HD1691 .A68 2012
Water is becoming increasingly scarce. If recent usage trends continue, shortages are inevitable. Aquanomics discusses some of the instruments and policies that may be implemented to postpone, or even avoid, the onset of “water crises.” These policies include establishing secure andtransferable private water rights and extending these rights to uses that traditionally have not been allowed, includingaltering in-stream flows and ecosystem functions. The editors argue that such policies will help maximize water quantity and quality as water becomes scarcer and more valuable. Aquanomics contains many examples of how this is being accomplished, particularly in the formation of water markets and market-like exchanges of water rights....Many observers see calamity ahead unless water supplies are harnessed and effectively conserved, and unless water quality can be improved. It is also clear that declining water quality is a serious problem in much of the world, as increasing human activities induce high levels of water degradation. Those who voice these concerns, argue the contributors to this volume, fail to consider the forces for improvement inherent in market political-economic systems that can address water issues. The contributors see water quality in economically advanced countries as improving, and they believe this establishes the validity of market-based approaches.
Carbon capture .
New York : Springer, c2012. 323pp.
SD387.C37 W55 2012 Online
This book approaches the energy science sub-field carbon capture with an interdisciplinary discussion based upon fundamental chemical concepts ranging from thermodynamics, combustion, kinetics, mass transfer, material properties, and the relationship between the chemistry and process of carbon capture technologies. Energy science itself is a broad field that spans many disciplines -- policy, mathematics, physical chemistry, chemical engineering, geology, materials science and mineralogy -- and the author has selected the material, as well as end-of-chapter problems and policy discussions, that provide the necessary tools to interested students.
The city and the coming climate : climate change in the places we live.
Brian Stone, Jr.
New York : Cambridge University Press, 2012. 187pp.
Main Library Stacks QC903 .S86 2012
"In the first decade of this century, for the first time in history, the majority of the planet's population resided in cities. We are an urban planet. If ongoing changes in climate are to have an impact on the human species, most of these impacts will play out in cities. This fact was brought into full relief in the summer of 2003, when more than 70,000 residents of Europe perished in one of the most prolonged and intense heat waves in human history. The final death toll would exceed that associated with any Western European or American conflict since World War II, or any other natural disaster to have ever struck a region of the developed world, and the vast majority of these deaths occurred in cities. Studies in the aftermath of the heat wave would show that not only had global warming increased the likelihood of such an extreme event, but that the intensity of the heat had been greatly enhanced by the physical design of the cities themselves, exposing residents of cities to a much greater risk of illness or death than others. This book is the first to explore the dramatic amplification of global warming underway in cities and the range of actions that can be taken to slow the pace of warming. A core thesis of the book is that the principal strategy advocated by the global science community to mitigate climate change - the reduction of greenhouse gases - will not prove sufficient to measurably slow the rapid pace of warming in cities"
Concentrating Solar Power in Developing Countries : Regulatory and Financial Incentives for Scaling Up
Natalia Kulichenko; Jens Wirth
July 2012. 178pp.
World Bank eLibrary
At present, different concentrating solar thermal technologies (CST) have reached varying degrees of commercial availability. This emerging nature of CST means that there are market and technical impediments to accelerating its acceptance, including cost competitiveness, an understanding of technology capability and limitations, intermittency, and benefits of electricity storage. Many developed and some developing countries are currently working to address these barriers in order to scale up CST-based power generation. Given the considerable growth of CST development in several World Bank Group partner countries, there is a need to assess the recent experience of developed countries in designing and implementing regulatory frameworks and draw lesson that could facilitate the deployment of CST technologies in developing countries. Merely replicating developed countries’ schemes in the context of a developing country may not generate the desired outcomes. Against this background, this report (a) analyzes and draws lessons from the efforts of some developed countries and adapts them to the characteristics of developing economies; (b) assesses the cost reduction potential and economic and financial affordability of various CST technologies in emerging markets; (c) evaluates the potential for cost reduction and associated economic benefits derived from local manufacturing; and (d) suggests ways to tailor bidding models and practices, bid selection criteria, and structures for power purchase agreements (PPAs) for CST projects in developing market conditions.
Crabgrass crucible : suburban nature and the rise of environmentalism in twentieth-century America.
Christopher C. Sellers.
Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, c2012. 374pp.
Main Library Stacks GE197 .S4 2012
Although suburb-building created major environmental problems, Christopher Sellers demonstrates that the environmental movement originated within suburbs--not just in response to unchecked urban sprawl. Drawn to the countryside as early as the late 19th century, new suburbanites turned to taming the wildness of their surroundings. They cultivated a fondness for the natural world around them, and in the decades that followed, they became sensitized to potential threats. Sellers shows how the philosophy, science, and emotions that catalyzed the environmental movement sprang directly from suburbanites' lives and their ideas about nature, as well as the unique ecology of the neighborhoods in which they dwelt....Sellers focuses on the spreading edges of New York and Los Angeles over the middle of the twentieth century to create an intimate portrait of what it was like to live amid suburban nature. As suburbanites learned about their land, became aware of pollution, and saw the forests shrinking around them, the vulnerability of both their bodies and their homes became apparent. Worries crossed lines of class and race and necessitated new ways of thinking and acting, Sellers argues, concluding that suburb-dwellers, through the knowledge and politics they forged, deserve much of the credit for inventing modern environmentalism.
Enforcement at the EPA : high stakes and hard choices
Joel A. Mintz.
Austin : University of Texas Press, 2012. Rev. ed., 313pp.
Main Library Stacks GE180 .M56 2012
The only published work that treats the historical evolution of EPA enforcement, this book provides a candid inside glimpse of a crucial aspect of the work of an important federal agency. Based on 190 personal interviews with present and former enforcement officials at EPA, the U.S. Department of Justice, and key congressional staff members—along with extensive research among EPA documents and secondary sources—the book vividly recounts the often tumultuous history of EPA’s enforcement program. It also analyzes some important questions regarding EPA’s institutional relationships and the Agency’s working environment. This revised and updated edition adds substantial new chapters examining EPA enforcement during the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. Its treatment of issues of civil service decline and the applicability of captive agency theory is also new and original.
Environmental literacy in science and society : from knowledge to decisionsedited by B. Delworth Gardner, Roland W. Scholz ; some chapters are coauthored by Claudia R. Binder.
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2011. 631pp.
Main Library Stacks GE70 .S35 2011
"In an era where humans affect virtually all of the earth's processes, questions arise about whether we have sufficient knowledge of human-environment interactions. How can we sustain the Earth's ecosystems to prevent collapses and what roles should practitioners and scientists play in this process? These are the issues central to the concept of environmental literacy. This unique book provides a comprehensive review and analysis of environmental literacy within the context of environmental science and sustainable development. Approaching the topic from multiple perspectives, it explores the development of human understanding of the environment and human-environment interactions in the fields of biology, psychology, sociology, economics and industrial ecology. The discussion emphasises the importance of knowledge integration and transdisciplinary processes as key strategies for understanding complex human-environment systems (HES). In addition, the author defines the HES framework as a template for investigating sustainably coupled human-environment systems in the 21st century"
Feeling the heat : the politics of climate policy in rapidly industrializing countries edited by B. edited by Ian Bailey, Hugh Compston.
Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire ; New York : Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. 246pp.
Main Library Stacks QC903 .F44 2012
To avoid uncontrolled climate change, greenhouse gas emissions will have to be brought under control by major emitters outside the affluent West. The authors investigate the political obstacles in BRIC countries and what their governments could do to strengthen climate policies without incurring serious political damage.
Global economic and environmental aspects of biofuels
editor, David Pimentel.
Boca Raton : CRC Press, c2012. 435pp.
HD9502.5.B542 G56 2012 Online
Pimentel (ecology and agricultural science, Cornell U.) brings together 14 chapters that examine biofuels as a solution to the global energy problem. Scientists working in agricultural research, environmental science, development sociology, and engineering in the US, Europe, and Brazil consider ethanol, biodiesel, and other biological materials as substitutes for oil, natural gas, and coal, and the issue of biofuels causing malnutrition. They discuss why large-scale production of liquid biofuel is impractical for a growing world population and demand for liquid fuels, whether it is a viable option based on the characteristics of the local environment (geomorphology, climate, natural heritage, and availability of marginal land use), and the use of switch grass for ethanol. Other topics examined include the limitations of biofuels in the UK; the carbon footprint of biofuel from corn and sugarcane; the impact on water use and food supply; improving the efficiency of converting corn grain and cellulosic biomass into ethanol and the production of biodiesel using algae; the use of jatropha and crop residues; and the relationship between land, water, and fossil energy resources in food versus biofuel and livestock production and environmental impacts, as well as ethical issues.
The Goldilocks planet : the four billion year story of Earth's climate.
Jan Zalasiewicz & Mark Williams.
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2012. 303pp.
Main Library Stacks QC884 .Z35 2012
Climate change is a major topic of concern today and will be so for the foreseeable future, as predicted changes in global temperatures, rainfall, and sea level continue to take place. But as Jan Zalasiewicz and Mark Williams reveal in The Goldilocks Planet, the climatic changes we are experiencing today hardly compare to the changes the Earth has seen over the last 4.5 billion years....Indeed, the vast history that the authors relate here is dramatic and often abrupt--with massive changes in global and regional climate, from bitterly cold to sweltering hot, from arid to humid. They introduce us to the Cryogenian period, the days of Snowball Earth seven hundred million years ago, when ice spread to cover the world, then melted abruptly amid such dramatic climatic turbulence that hurricanes raged across the Earth. We read about the Carboniferous, with tropical jungles at the equator (where Pennsylvania is now) and the Cretaceous Period, when the polar regions saw not ice but dense conifer forests of cypress and redwood, with gingkos and ferns. The authors also show how this history can be read from clues preserved in the Earth's strata. The evidence is abundant, though always incomplete--and often baffling, puzzling, infuriating, tantalizing, seemingly contradictory. Geologists, though, are becoming ever more ingenious at deciphering this evidence, and the story of the Earth's climate is now being reconstructed in ever-greater detail--maybe even providing us with clues to the future of contemporary climate change....And through all of this, the authors conclude, the Earth has remained perfectly habitable--in stark contrast to its planetary neighbors. Not too hot, not too cold; not too dry, not too wet--"the Goldilocks planet."
Global Environmental Issues.
Wiley Blackwell, c2012. 345pp.
Wiley Blackwell Library Online
Global Environmental Issues, second edition builds on the popularity of the first edition, viewing global environmental problems as complex issues with a network of causes, influenced by a range of actors with differing priorities. The book recognises that science underpins much of what happens in society and therefore it is important to be able to interpret the environmental and social consequences of scientific developments. In addition to discussing the main biophysical causes, the book illustrates how socio-economic and political factors determine why and how people use land, resources and technology, and how this in turn affects natural resource management....This edition includes new chapters on the politics of science, International environmental regulation and treaties, environmental issues in a globalised world and natural resource management. (1) Includes case studies from around the world to provide a real life context for the issues tackled in each chapter (2) Considers both the results of human actions and natural environmental change in order to provide balanced, in-depth debate (3) Includes coverage of contemporary 'hot topics' such as biodiversity, globalization and sustainable development (4) Chapters authored by experts in the field (5) Includes new chapters on The politics of science, International environmental regulation and treaties , Environmental issues in a globalised world and Natural Resource Management (6) Expanded sections include negotiating multilateral environmental agreements, GM crops, biofuels and marine and freshwater resources.
Green illusions : the dirty secrets of clean energy and the future of environmentalism
Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, c2012. 437pp.
Main Library Stacks TJ807.9.U6 Z44 2012
We don’t have an energy crisis. We have a consumption crisis. And this book, which takes aim at cherished assumptions regarding energy, offers refreshingly straight talk about what’s wrong with the way we think and talk about the problem. Though we generally believe we can solve environmental problems with more energy—more solar cells, wind turbines, and biofuels—alternative technologies come with their own side effects and limitations. How, for instance, do solar cells cause harm? Why can’t engineers solve wind power’s biggest obstacle? Why won’t contraception solve the problem of overpopulation lying at the heart of our concerns about energy, and what will?...This practical, environmentally informed, and lucid book persuasively argues for a change of perspective. If consumption is the problem, as Ozzie Zehner suggests, then we need to shift our focus from suspect alternative energies to improving social and political fundamentals: walkable communities, improved consumption, enlightened governance, and, most notably, women’s rights. The dozens of first steps he offers are surprisingly straightforward. For instance, he introduces a simple sticker that promises a greater impact than all of the nation’s solar cells. He uncovers why carbon taxes won’t solve our energy challenges (and presents two taxes that could). Finally, he explores how future environmentalists will focus on similarly fresh alternatives that are affordable, clean, and can actually improve our well-being.
Green washed : why we can't buy our way to a green planet
Brooklyn : Ig Pub., c2012. 215pp.
Main Library Stacks GE196 .P54 2012
The message that our environment is in peril has filtered from environmental groups to the American consciousness to our shopping carts. Every day, millions of Americans dutifully replace conventional produce with organic, swap Mr. Clean for Seventh Generation, and replace their bottled water with water bottles. Many of us have come to believe that the path to environmental sustainability is paved by shopping green. Although this green consumer movement certainly has many Americans consuming differently, it raises an important and rarely asked question?is this consumption really any better for the planet?...By examining the major economic sectors of our society, including infrastructure (green housing), consumer goods (green clothing), food (the rise of organic), and energy (including solar power and the popularity of the hybrid car), Green Washed: Why We Can't Buy Our Way to a Green Planet explains that, though greener alternatives are important, we cannot simply buy our way to sustainability. Rather, if it is the volume of our consumption that matters, can we as a society dependent on constantly consuming ever be content with buying less?...A new and unique take on green consumption, Green Washed shows how buying better is only the first step toward true sustainability.
Harvest the wind : America's journey to jobs, energy independence, and climate stability.
Boston, Mass. : Beacon Press, c2012. 244pp.
Main Library Stacks TK1541 .W36 2012
Winds sweeping through the Great Plains once robbed the Farm Belt of its future, stripping away overworked topsoil and creating the dreaded Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Today, those winds are bringing new hope to the declining rural communities of the central United States. Nowhere is wind’s promise more palpable than in Cloud County, Kansas, where the soaring turbines of the Meridian Way Wind Farm are boosting incomes and bringing green jobs to a community that has, for decades, watched its children drift away....In Harvest the Wind, Philip Warburg brings readers face-to-face with the people behind the green economy–powered resurgence in Cloud County and communities like it across the United States. This corner of Kansas is the first stop on an odyssey that introduces readers to farmers, factory workers, biologists, and high-tech entrepreneurs—all players in a transformative industry that is taking hold across America and around the globe....In this illuminating book, Warburg reveals both the remarkable growth of a breakthrough technology and the formidable challenges it faces. He visits epicenters of anti-wind opposition as well as communities that have embraced wind farms as neighbors. He guides readers through an Iowa turbine assembly plant that is struggling to compete in a global marketplace dominated by European and Chinese manufacturers. And he looks at the thousands of miles that wind-generated power will need to travel to reach American consumers....Harvest the Wind is an earthly antidote to loftier treatises on global warming and green energy. By showing us how practical solutions are being implemented at the local level, Warburg offers an inspirational look at how we can all pursue a saner and more sustainable energy future—while at the same time investing in the nation’s infrastructure and jumpstarting its economy.
Japan's nuclear crisis : the routes to responsibility
Houndmills, Basingstoke ; New York, NY : Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. 248pp.
Main Library Stacks JQ1631 .C37 2012
Investigation of the disaster will pose questions regarding why Daiichi was constructed in an earthquake-prone zone and was still operating despite problems that had been plaguing the reactors since 1989 such as cracks in infrastructure and leaks in radioactivity. This book analyses and explores the impact of Japans 2011 nuclear crisis.
Merchants of despair : radical environmentalists, criminal pseudo-scientists, and the fatal cult of antihumanism
New York : New Atlantis Books/Encounter Books, 2012. 318pp.
Main Library Stacks GN492 .Z84 2012
There was a time when humanity looked in the mirror and saw something precious, worth protecting and fighting for—indeed, worth liberating. But now, we are beset on all sides by propaganda promoting a radically different viewpoint. According to this idea, human beings are a cancer upon the Earth, a horde of vermin whose aspirations and appetites are endangering the natural order. This is the core of antihumanism....Merchants of Despair traces the pedigree of this ideology and exposes its pernicious consequences in startling and horrifying detail. The book names the chief prophets and promoters of antihumanism over the last two centuries, from Thomas Malthus through Paul Ehrlich and Al Gore. It exposes the worst crimes perpetrated by the antihumanist movement, including eugenics campaigns in the United States and genocidal anti-development and population-control programs around the world....Combining riveting tales from history with powerful policy arguments, Merchants of Despair provides scientific refutations to all of antihumanism’s major pseudo-scientific claims, including its modern tirades against nuclear power, pesticides, population growth, biotech foods, resource depletion, and industrial development.
The Poverty and Welfare Impacts of Climate Change: Quantifying the Effects, Identifying the Adaptation Strategies
August 2012. 184pp.
World Bank eLibrary
Over the past century, the world has seen a sustained decline in the proportion of people living in poverty, but climate change could challenge poverty reduction efforts. On the Poverty and Welfare Impacts of Climate Change: Quantifying the Effects, Identifying the Adaptation Strategies surveys the relevant research on how climate change may affect global poverty rates and presents country-specific studies with implications for low-income rural populations as well as governments’ risk management programs. An evidence review examines three main strands of the literature. Unsurprisingly, the impacts of climate change are shown to be generally regressive—falling more heavily on the poor than on the rich. However, most estimates have tended to ignore the effect of aggregate economic growth on poverty and household welfare. With continued growth, the evidence suggests that the poverty impact will be relatively modest and will not reverse the major decline in poverty expected over the next 40 years. Sector-specific studies—focusing on how climate change may affect agricultural yields—are generally poor predictors of national-level poverty impacts because of heterogeneity in the ability of households to adapt. That heterogeneity features prominently in studies of how weather shocks affect rural households in Indonesia and Mexico. Erratic deviations from long-term weather patterns affect growing cycles and thereby rural households’ consumption (per capita expenditure) and health indicators. In Indonesia, the affected households appeared able to protect food expenditures at the expense of nonfood expenditures, and their access to credit and community public-works projects had the strongest moderating effects. In Mexico, weather shocks affected both food and nonfood consumption in ways that varied by both region and timing. The affected households’ ability to smooth consumption depended on factors including proximity to bus stations. In some regions, weather shocks also had measurable stunting effects on the stature of children between 12 and 47 months of age, perhaps from changes in household income, increases in communicable diseases, or both. Overall, more region-specific analyses within more finely tuned climate categories will help researchers to better estimate the effects of climate change on poverty and the effectiveness of government-level strategies to address those effects. This book will be of interest to academics, and decision makers in government and nongovernmental organizations, seeking to design climate-smart poverty alleviation and safety net programs based on evidence.
Private empire [sound recording] : ExxonMobil and American power.
New York, N.Y. : Penguin Audio, p2012. 20 sound discs (ca. 25 hr.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
MSU Business Audio Books HD9569.E95 C65 2012 Audiodisc discs 1-20
In Private Empire Steve Coll investigates the largest and most powerful private corporation in the United States, revealing the true extent of its power. ExxonMobil’s annual revenues are larger than the economic activity in the great majority of countries. In many of the countries where it conducts business, ExxonMobil’s sway over politics and security is greater than that of the United States embassy. In Washington, ExxonMobil spends more money lobbying Congress and the White House than almost any other corporation. Yet despite its outsized influence, it is a black box...Private Empire pulls back the curtain, tracking the corporation’s recent history and its central role on the world stage, beginning with the Exxon Valdez accident in 1989 and leading to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The action spans the globe, moving from Moscow, to impoverished African capitals, Indonesia, and elsewhere in heart-stopping scenes that feature kidnapping cases, civil wars, and high-stakes struggles at the Kremlin. At home, Coll goes inside ExxonMobil’s K Street office and corporation headquarters in Irving, Texas, where top executives in the “God Pod” (as employees call it) oversee an extraordinary corporate culture of discipline and secrecy....The narrative is driven by larger than life characters, including corporate legend Lee “Iron Ass” Raymond, ExxonMobil’s chief executive until 2005. A close friend of Dick Cheney’s, Raymond was both the most successful and effective oil executive of his era and an unabashed skeptic about climate change and government regulation.. This position proved difficult to maintain in the face of new science and political change and Raymond’s successor, current ExxonMobil chief executive Rex Tillerson, broke with Raymond’s programs in an effort to reset ExxonMobil’s public image. The larger cast includes countless world leaders, plutocrats, dictators, guerrillas, and corporate scientists who are part of ExxonMobil’s colossal story....The first hard-hitting examination of ExxonMobil, Private Empire is the masterful result of Coll’s indefatigable reporting. He draws here on more than four hundred interviews; field reporting from the halls of Congress to the oil-laden swamps of the Niger Delta; more than one thousand pages of previously classified U.S. documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act; heretofore unexamined court records; and many other sources. A penetrating, newsbreaking study, Private Empire is a defining portrait of ExxonMobil and the place of Big Oil in American politics and foreign policy.
Renewable Energy Desalination
September 2012. 232pp.
Available from World Bank eLibrary
The book looks at water availability and water demand in various sectors till 2050, presenting a methodology to prioritize options both on the demand and on the supply side, with a special focus on renewable energy desalination. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region is one of the most water stressed regions in the world. Water scarcity has already become a challenge to development in many of the countries. Due to increasing population and Projected climate change impacts, MENA’s annual water demand gap is projected to grow five-fold by 2050, from today’s 42 Km3 to 200 km3 by 2050. Despite its extreme scarcity, water is managed poorly. Inefficiencies are common in the agriculture, municipal and industrial systems; and many utilities are financially unsustainable. As a result, countries overexploit their fossil aquifers—and use desalination by fossil fuel—to meet the water demand gap. Desalination already plays a critical role in MENA’s water supply portfolio. However, desalination is costly, energy intensive and has environmental impacts. On current trends, the projection is that, by 2050, Saudi Arabia and many other countries in the Region will consume for desalination most of the oil that they produce. Overexploitation of fossil aquifers is not sustainable. Neither is the use of fossil fuel for desalination to meet the growing water gap sustainable. This book outlines the challenges in terms of water (and also in terms of energy) that countries in the Region face and analyzes the scope of available options to address the growing water gap. The book estimates MENA’s water gap today and into the future—until 2050; and presents a methodology to prioritize options to bridge the water gap, using the ‘marginal cost of water’ approach. The book also assesses the viability of renewable energy desalination as an important option to close the Region’s water gap. The book compares the economic cost of desalination using fossil fuel and renewable energy sources, in particular the Concentrated Solar Power (CSP). The book also provides recommendations as to how CSP based desalination could ensure sustainable water supply for the Region.
Under the surface : fracking, fortunes, and the fate of the Marcellus Shale.
Ithaca [N.Y.] : Cornell University Press, 2012. 272pp.
Main Library Stacks HD9581.2.S53 W55 2012
Describes the history, process, and effect of the search and extraction of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale along the New York and Pennsylvania border.
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