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Isaac's Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in Hist...
by Erik Larson

Language

English

Pages

338

Publication Date

October 19, 2011

Product Description
Customer Reviews
At the dawn of the twentieth century, a great confidence suffused America. Isaac Cline was one of the era's new men, a scientist who believed he knew all there was to know about the motion of clouds and the behavior of storms. The idea that a hurricane could damage the city of Galveston, Texas, where he was based, was to him preposterous, "an absurd delusion." It was 1900, a year when America felt bigger and stronger than ever before. Nothing in nature could hobble the gleaming city of Galveston, then a magical place that seemed destined to become the New York of the Gulf.<br /><br />That August, a strange, prolonged heat wave gripped the nation and killed scores of people in New York and Chicago. Odd things seemed to happen everywhere: A plague of crickets engulfed Waco. The Bering Glacier began to shrink. Rain fell on Galveston with greater intensity than anyone could remember. Far away, in Africa, immense thunderstorms blossomed over the city of Dakar, and great currents of wind converged. A wave of atmospheric turbulence slipped from the coast of western Africa. Most such waves faded quickly. This one did not.<br /><br />In Cuba, America's overconfidence was made all too obvious by the Weather Bureau's obsession with controlling hurricane forecasts, even though Cuba's indigenous weathermen had pioneered hurricane science. As the bureau's forecasters assured the nation that all was calm in the Caribbean, Cuba's own weathermen fretted about ominous signs in the sky. A curious stillness gripped Antigua. Only a few unlucky sea captains discovered that the storm had achieved an intensity no man alive had ever experienced.<br /><br />In Galveston, reassured by Cline's belief that no hurricane could seriously damage the city, there was celebration. Children played in the rising water. Hundreds of people gathered at the beach to marvel at the fantastically tall waves and gorgeous pink sky, until the surf began ripping the city's beloved beachfront apart. Within the next few hours Galveston would endure a hurricane that to this day remains the nation's deadliest natural disaster. In Galveston alone at least 6,000 people, possibly as many as 10,000, would lose their lives, a number far greater than the combined death toll of the Johnstown Flood and 1906 San Francisco Earthquake.<br /><br />And Isaac Cline would experience his own unbearable loss.<br /><br />Meticulously researched and vividly written, <b>Isaac's Storm</b> is based on Cline's own letters, telegrams, and reports, the testimony of scores of survivors, and our latest understanding of the hows and whys of great storms. Ultimately, however, it is the story of what can happen when human arrogance meets nature's last great uncontrollable force. As such, <b>Isaac's Storm</b> carries a warning for our time.
The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming
by David Wallace-Wells

Language

English

Pages

304

Publication Date

February 19, 2019

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b>#1 <i>NEW YORK TIMES</i> BESTSELLER • “<i>The Uninhabitable Earth</i> hits you like a comet, with an overflow of insanely lyrical prose about our pending Armageddon.”—Andrew Solomon, author of <i>The Noonday Demon</i></b><br /><br />It is worse, much worse, than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible. In California, wildfires now rage year-round, destroying thousands of homes. Across the US, “500-year” storms pummel communities month after month, and floods displace tens of millions annually. <br /><br />This is only a preview of the changes to come. And they are coming fast. Without a revolution in how billions of humans conduct their lives, parts of the Earth could become close to uninhabitable, and other parts horrifically inhospitable, as soon as the end of this century.<br /><br /> In his travelogue of our near future, David Wallace-Wells brings into stark relief the climate troubles that await—food shortages, refugee emergencies, and other crises that will reshape the globe. But the world will be remade by warming in more profound ways as well, transforming our politics, our culture, our relationship to technology, and our sense of history. It will be all-encompassing, shaping and distorting nearly every aspect of human life as it is lived today.<br /><br />Like <i>An Inconvenient Truth</i> and <i>Silent Spring</i> before it, <i>The Uninhabitable Earth</i> is both a meditation on the devastation we have brought upon ourselves and an impassioned call to action. For just as the world was brought to the brink of catastrophe within the span of a lifetime, the responsibility to avoid it now belongs to a single generation.<br /><br /><b>Praise for <i>The Uninhabitable Earth</i></b><br /><br /><i>“The Uninhabitable Earth</i> is the most terrifying book I have ever read. Its subject is climate change, and its method is scientific, but its mode is Old Testament. The book is a meticulously documented, white-knuckled tour through the cascading catastrophes that will soon engulf our warming planet.”<b>—Farhad Manjoo, The New York Times</b><i><b><br /></b></i><br />“Riveting. . . . Some readers will find Mr. Wallace-Wells’s outline of possible futures alarmist. He is indeed alarmed. You should be, too.”<b>—<i>The Economist</i></b>
Cry of the Kalahari
by , Delia Owens

Language

English

Pages

384

Publication Date

April 22, 2014

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<DIV><P><B>“A remarkable story beautifully told…Among such classics as Goodall’s <I>In the Shadow of Man </I>and Fossey’s <I>Gorillas in the Mist</I>.”—<I>Chicago Tribune</I></B><BR /><BR /> Carrying little more than a change of clothes and a pair of binoculars, two young Americans, Mark and Delia Owens, caught a plane to Africa, bought a thirdhand Land Rover, and drove deep into the Kalahari Desert. There they lived for seven years, in an unexplored area with no roads, no people, and no source of water for thousands of square miles. In this vast wilderness the Owenses began their zoology research, working along animals that had never before been exposed to humans.<BR /><BR /> An international bestseller, Cry of the Kalahari is the story of the Owenses’s life with lions, brown hyenas, jackals, giraffes, and the many other creatures they came to know. It is also a gripping account of how they survived the dangers of living in one of the last and largest pristine areas on Earth.</P></DIV>
The Ends of the World: Volcanic Apocalypses, Lethal Oceans, and O...
by Peter Brannen

Language

English

Pages

330

Publication Date

June 13, 2017

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<p><strong><em>New York Times </em>Editors' Choice 2017</strong></p><p><strong><em>Forbes </em>Top 10 Best Environment, Climate, and Conservation Book of 2017</strong></p><p><strong>As new groundbreaking research suggests that climate change played a major role in the most extreme catastrophes in the planet's history, award-winning science journalist Peter Brannen takes us on a wild ride through the planet's five mass extinctions and, in the process, offers us a glimpse of our increasingly dangerous future</strong> </p><p>Our world has ended five times: it has been broiled, frozen, poison-gassed, smothered, and pelted by asteroids. In <em>The Ends of the World</em>, Peter Brannen dives into deep time, exploring Earth’s past dead ends, and in the process, offers us a glimpse of our possible future.</p><p>Many scientists now believe that the climate shifts of the twenty-first century have analogs in these five extinctions. Using the visible clues these devastations have left behind in the fossil record, <em>The Ends of the World</em> takes us inside “scenes of the crime,” from South Africa to the New York Palisades, to tell the story of each extinction. Brannen examines the fossil record—which is rife with creatures like dragonflies the size of sea gulls and guillotine-mouthed fish—and introduces us to the researchers on the front lines who, using the forensic tools of modern science, are piecing together what really happened at the crime scenes of the Earth’s biggest whodunits.</p><p>Part road trip, part history, and part cautionary tale, <em>The Ends of the World</em> takes us on a tour of the ways that our planet has clawed itself back from the grave, and casts our future in a completely new light.</p>
Underland: A Deep Time Journey
by Robert Macfarlane

Language

English

Pages

496

Publication Date

June 04, 2019

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<p><strong>National Bestseller<br /><br /><br /><br />From the best-selling, award-winning author of <em>Landmarks</em> and <em>The Old Ways</em>, a haunting voyage into the planet’s past and future.</strong></p><br /><p>Hailed as "the great nature writer of this generation" (<em>Wall Street Journal</em>), Robert Macfarlane is the celebrated author of books about the intersections of the human and the natural realms. In <em>Underland</em>, he delivers his masterpiece: an epic exploration of the Earth’s underworlds as they exist in myth, literature, memory, and the land itself.</p><br /><p>In this highly anticipated sequel to his international bestseller <em>The Old Ways</em>, Macfarlane takes us on an extraordinary journey into our relationship with darkness, burial, and what lies beneath the surface of both place and mind. Traveling through “deep time”—the dizzying expanses of geologic time that stretch away from the present—he moves from the birth of the universe to a post-human future, from the prehistoric art of Norwegian sea caves to the blue depths of the Greenland ice cap, from Bronze Age funeral chambers to the catacomb labyrinth below Paris, and from the underground fungal networks through which trees communicate to a deep-sunk “hiding place” where nuclear waste will be stored for 100,000 years to come. Woven through Macfarlane’s own travels are the unforgettable stories of descents into the underland made across history by explorers, artists, cavers, divers, mourners, dreamers, and murderers, all of whom have been drawn for different reasons to seek what Cormac McCarthy calls “the awful darkness within the world.”</p><br /><p>Global in its geography and written with great lyricism and power, <em>Underland</em> speaks powerfully to our present moment. Taking a deep-time view of our planet, Macfarlane here asks a vital and unsettling question: “Are we being good ancestors to the future Earth?” <em>Underland</em> marks a new turn in Macfarlane’s long-term mapping of the relations of landscape and the human heart. From its remarkable opening pages to its deeply moving conclusion, it is a journey into wonder, loss, fear, and hope. At once ancient and urgent, this is a book that will change the way you see the world.</p>
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History
by Elizabeth Kolbert

Language

English

Pages

336

Publication Date

February 11, 2014

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<p><b>ONE OF THE <i>NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW'S</i> 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR</b></p><p><b>A major book about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes</b> <br />Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In <i>The Sixth Extinction</i>, two-time winner of the National Magazine Award and <i>New Yorker</i> writer Elizabeth Kolbert draws on the work of scores of researchers in half a dozen disciplines, accompanying many of them into the field: geologists who study deep ocean cores, botanists who follow the tree line as it climbs up the Andes, marine biologists who dive off the Great Barrier Reef. She introduces us to a dozen species, some already gone, others facing extinction, including the Panamian golden frog, staghorn coral, the great auk, and the Sumatran rhino. Through these stories, Kolbert provides a moving account of the disappearances occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up through the present day. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy; as Kolbert observes, it compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.</p>
Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age
by Duncan J. Watts

Language

English

Pages

376

Publication Date

February 17, 2004

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<p><strong>The pioneering young scientist whose work on the structure of small worlds has triggered an avalanche of interest in networks.</strong></p><br /><p>In this remarkable book, Duncan Watts, one of the principal architects of network theory, sets out to explain the innovative research that he and other scientists are spearheading to create a blueprint of our connected planet. Whether they bind computers, economies, or terrorist organizations, networks are everywhere in the real world, yet only recently have scientists attempted to explain their mysterious workings.</p><br /><p>From epidemics of disease to outbreaks of market madness, from people searching for information to firms surviving crisis and change, from the structure of personal relationships to the technological and social choices of entire societies, Watts weaves together a network of discoveries across an array of disciplines to tell the story of an explosive new field of knowledge, the people who are building it, and his own peculiar path in forging this new science.</p>
The Weather Machine: A Journey Inside the Forecast
by Andrew Blum

Language

English

Pages

203

Publication Date

June 25, 2019

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<p><strong>From the acclaimed author of <em>Tubes</em>, a lively and surprising tour of the infrastructure behind the weather forecast, the people who built it, and what it reveals about our climate and our planet</strong></p><p>The weather is the foundation of our daily lives. It’s a staple of small talk, the app on our smartphones, and often the first thing we check each morning. Yet behind these quotidian interactions is one of the most expansive machines human beings have ever constructed—a triumph of science, technology and global cooperation. But what <em>is </em>this ‘weather machine’ and who created it? </p><p>In <em>The Weather Machine</em>, Andrew Blum takes readers on a fascinating journey through an everyday miracle. In a quest to understand how the forecast works, he visits old weather stations and watches new satellites blast off. He follows the dogged efforts of scientists to create a supercomputer model of the atmosphere and traces the surprising history of the algorithms that power their work. He discovers that we have quietly entered a golden age of meteorology—our tools allow us to predict weather more accurately than ever, and yet we haven’t learned to trust them, nor can we guarantee the fragile international alliances that allow our modern weather machine to exist.</p><p>Written with the sharp wit and infectious curiosity Andrew Blum is known for, <em>The Weather Machine</em> pulls back the curtain on a universal part of our everyday lives, illuminating our relationships with technology, the planet, and the global community. </p>
Rain: A Natural and Cultural History
by Cynthia Barnett

Language

English

Pages

368

Publication Date

April 21, 2015

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<i>Rain is elemental, mysterious, precious, destructive.</i><br /><b>  </b><br /> It is the subject of countless poems and paintings; the top of the weather report; the source of the world's water. Yet this is the first book to tell the story of rain.<br /><br /> Cynthia Barnett's <i>Rain </i>begins four billion years ago with the torrents that filled the oceans, and builds to the storms of climate change. It weaves together science—the true shape of a raindrop, the mysteries of frog and fish rains—with the human story of our ambition to control rain, from ancient rain dances to the 2,203 miles of levees that attempt to straitjacket the Mississippi River.<i> </i>It offers a glimpse of our "founding forecaster," Thomas Jefferson, who measured every drizzle long before modern meteorology. Two centuries later, rainy skies would help inspire Morrissey’s mopes and Kurt Cobain’s grunge. <i>Rain </i>is also a travelogue, taking readers to Scotland to tell the surprising story of the mackintosh raincoat, and to India, where villagers extract the scent of rain from the monsoon-drenched earth and turn it into perfume.<br /><br /> Now, after thousands of years spent praying for rain or worshiping it; burning witches at the stake to stop rain or sacrificing small children to bring it; mocking rain with irrigated agriculture and cities built in floodplains; even trying to blast rain out of the sky with mortars meant for war, humanity has finally managed to change the rain. Only not in ways we intended. As climate change upends rainfall patterns and unleashes increasingly severe storms and drought, Barnett shows rain to be a unifying force in a fractured world. Too much and not nearly enough, rain is a conversation we share, and this is a book for everyone who has ever experienced it.
How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy
by Jenny Odell

Language

English

Pages

241

Publication Date

April 23, 2019

Product Description
Customer Reviews
<b>A galvanizing critique of the forces vying for our attention—and our personal information—that redefines what we think of as productivity, reconnects us with the environment, and reveals all that we’ve been too distracted to see about ourselves and our world</b><br /><br />Nothing is harder to do these days than nothing. But in a world where our value is determined by our 24/7 data productivity . . . doing nothing may be our most important form of resistance. <br /><br />So argues artist and critic Jenny Odell in this field guide to doing nothing (at least as capitalism defines it). Odell sees our attention as the most precious—and overdrawn—resource we have. Once we can start paying a new kind of attention, she writes, we can undertake bolder forms of political action, reimagine humankind’s role in the environment, and arrive at more meaningful understandings of happiness and progress. <br /><br />Far from the simple anti-technology screed, or the back-to-nature meditation we read so often, <i>How to do Nothing</i> is an action plan for thinking outside of capitalist narratives of efficiency and techno-determinism. Provocative, timely, and utterly persuasive, this book is a four-course meal in the age of Soylent.

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