Impeccable writing and practical, relevant, planet-friendly alternatives to reducing water consumption in cooking and...

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EAT LESS WATER

THE SOLUTION TO WORLDWIDE WATER SHORTAGES IS IN OUR KITCHENS

A fascinating cornucopia of methods to reduce water use through organic propagation and preparation.

In exploring efforts toward reducing global consumption of the Earth’s most precious commodity, writer, blogger, and public policy researcher Ramirez has developed a bountiful, delectable road map of farming innovation and conservationist food preparation. The Earth is two-thirds water, mostly saline, and by 2030, it’s estimated that half the world will experience freshwater scarcity. Preservation is a key conservation concern, writes the author, who regularly attends Earth Day events and promotes water-saving items like shower timers. After focusing on water-waste prevention in bathrooms, Ramirez, recognizing that “seven out of every ten gallons of water is used for food production,” redirected her efforts to the kitchen, where much more could be saved. In a text bolstered by documentation and suffused with a true creative passion for resource preservation, the author presents a series of chapters on the interaction and integration of water with a variety of foods, liquids, production processes, and “on-the-edge farming.” Ramirez fully immerses herself in her subject with eye-opening field trips to resourceful water-sustainable croplands across America. Among them, a California dry biodynamic wheat farm thriving through the advent of cover cropping, a trailblazing rice farm, an aquaponic ranch in the Texas Plain, a “green” egg farming operation, and a Hawaiian organic shade-grown coffee plantation. Concerned conservationists, environmental and agricultural activists, and everyday farmers and consumers alike will be enticed by Ramirez’s passionately delivered and convincing combination of charming narrative, strategic resource preservation techniques, and pages of recipes ideas from crustless cheesecake to spinach quiche and chicken tortilla soup. “Be part of a change that will make a difference in creeks, rivers, groundwater, and oceans across the planet,” she encourages. “Start tonight at your kitchen table.”

Impeccable writing and practical, relevant, planet-friendly alternatives to reducing water consumption in cooking and agricultural production.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-59709-039-1

Page Count: 264

Publisher: Red Hen Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 30, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2019

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A tiny book, not much bigger than a pamphlet, with huge potential impact.

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NO ONE IS TOO SMALL TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

A collection of articulate, forceful speeches made from September 2018 to September 2019 by the Swedish climate activist who was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Speaking in such venues as the European and British Parliaments, the French National Assembly, the Austrian World Summit, and the U.N. General Assembly, Thunberg has always been refreshingly—and necessarily—blunt in her demands for action from world leaders who refuse to address climate change. With clarity and unbridled passion, she presents her message that climate change is an emergency that must be addressed immediately, and she fills her speeches with punchy sound bites delivered in her characteristic pull-no-punches style: “I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act.” In speech after speech, to persuade her listeners, she cites uncomfortable, even alarming statistics about global temperature rise and carbon dioxide emissions. Although this inevitably makes the text rather repetitive, the repetition itself has an impact, driving home her point so that no one can fail to understand its importance. Thunberg varies her style for different audiences. Sometimes it is the rousing “our house is on fire” approach; other times she speaks more quietly about herself and her hopes and her dreams. When addressing the U.S. Congress, she knowingly calls to mind the words and deeds of Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy. The last speech in the book ends on a note that is both challenging and upbeat: “We are the change and change is coming.” The edition published in Britain earlier this year contained 11 speeches; this updated edition has 16, all worth reading.

A tiny book, not much bigger than a pamphlet, with huge potential impact.

Pub Date: Nov. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-14-313356-8

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Penguin

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2019

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An authoritative, engaging study of plant life, accessible to younger readers as well as adults.

THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY OF PLANTS

A neurobiologist reveals the interconnectedness of the natural world through stories of plant migration.

In this slim but well-packed book, Mancuso (Plant Science/Univ. of Florence; The Revolutionary Genius of Plants: A New Understanding of Plant Intelligence and Behavior, 2018, etc.) presents an illuminating and surprisingly lively study of plant life. He smoothly balances expansive historical exploration with recent scientific research through stories of how various plant species are capable of migrating to locations throughout the world by means of air, water, and even via animals. They often continue to thrive in spite of dire obstacles and environments. One example is the response of plants following the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Three decades later, the abandoned “Exclusion Zone” is now entirely covered by an enormous assortment of thriving plants. Mancuso also tracks the journeys of several species that might be regarded as invasive. “Why…do we insist on labeling as ‘invasive’ all those plants that, with great success, have managed to occupy new territories?” asks the author. “On a closer look, the invasive plants of today are the native flora of the future, just as the invasive species of the past are a fundamental part of our ecosystem today.” Throughout, Mancuso persuasively articulates why an understanding and appreciation of how nature is interconnected is vital to the future of our planet. “In nature everything is connected,” he writes. “This simple law that humans don’t seem to understand has a corollary: the extinction of a species, besides being a calamity in and of itself, has unforeseeable consequences for the system to which the species belongs.” The book is not without flaws. The loosely imagined watercolor renderings are vague and fail to effectively complement Mancuso’s richly descriptive prose or satisfy readers’ curiosity. Even without actual photos and maps, it would have been beneficial to readers to include more finely detailed plant and map renderings.

An authoritative, engaging study of plant life, accessible to younger readers as well as adults.

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-63542-991-6

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Other Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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