Canon Fodder

Ten 21st-century instant classics for the savvy environmentalist's bookshelf

1. Natural Capitalism: Creating the Next Industrial Revolution, by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, and L. Hunter Lovins (Back Bay Books, 1999). Its simple message—we can save the planet and make money at the same time—laid the blueprint for the 21st-century sustainability movement.
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2. Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things,by William McDonoughand Michael Braungart (North Point Press, 2002). A revolutionary call to produce, use, and reuseproducts in ways that mimic nature's own cycles of regeneration. Intelligent design indeed.
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3. The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, by Michael Pollan (Penguin Press, 2006). Our meal choices matter—as you'll agree after this page-turning trip through America's food chain.
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4. The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth, by Tim Flannery (Atlantic Monthly, 2005). Nobody spells out the science of global warming better.
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5. Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, by Jared Diamond (Viking, 2005). The lessons are clear in this epic look at the downfalls of past civilizations.
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6. The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World, by Bjørn Lomborg (Cambridge University Press, 2001). Agree with it or not, millions were influenced by this controversial claim that the planet is healthier than we think.
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7. Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change, by Elizabeth Kolbert (Bloomsbury, 2006). Dispatches from the front lines of global warming, from the Arctic Circle to Washington, D.C.
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8. The Future of Life, by E.O. Wilson (Knopf, 2002). The most eloquent, convincing argument yet that preserving our fragile world is a moral responsibility.
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9. Crimes Against Nature: How George W. Bush and His Corporate Pals Are Plundering the Country and Hijacking Our Democracy, by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (HarperCollins, 2004). America's fiercest environmental litigator takes the gloves off.
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10. An Inconvenient Truth, by Al Gore (Rodale, 2006). You've seen the movie. Now read the book.
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