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61.

THE SILENT EPIDEMIC

Alan H. Lockwood
Hardcover

Price: $24.95

In The Silent Epidemic, physician Alan Lockwood describes and documents the adverse health effects of burning coal. Lockwood's comprehensive treatment examines every aspect of coal, from its complex c…

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In The Silent Epidemic, physician Alan Lockwood describes and documents the adverse health effects of burning coal. Lockwood's comprehensive treatment examines every aspect of coal, from its complex chemical makeup to details of mining, transporting, burning and disposal (each of which generates significant health concerns). He describes coal pollution's effects on the respiratory, cardiovascular and nervous systems, and how these problems will only worsen; explains the impact of global warming on coal-related health problems; and discusses possible policy approaches to combat coal pollution.


62.

SMALL, GRITTY, AND GREEN

Catherine Tumber
Paperback

Price: $14.95

America's once-vibrant small-to-midsize cities-Syracuse, N.Y.; Worcester, Mass.; Akron, Ohio; Flint, Mich.; Rockford, Ill.; and others-increasingly resemble urban wastelands. Gutted by deindustrializa…

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America's once-vibrant small-to-midsize cities-Syracuse, N.Y.; Worcester, Mass.; Akron, Ohio; Flint, Mich.; Rockford, Ill.; and others-increasingly resemble urban wastelands. Gutted by deindustrialization, outsourcing and middle-class flight, disproportionately devastated by metro freeway systems that laid waste to the urban fabric and displaced the working poor, and struggling with pockets of poverty reminiscent of postcolonial squalor, small industrial cities have become invisible to a public distracted by the Wall Street (big city) versus Main Street (small town) matchup. These cities would seem to be part of America's past, not its future. And yet, journalist and historian Catherine Tumber argues in this provocative book, America's gritty Rust Belt cities could play a central role in a greener, low-carbon, relocalized future.

As we wean ourselves from fossil fuels and realize the environmental costs of suburban sprawl, we will see that small cities offer many assets for sustainable living not shared by their big city or small town counterparts: population density (and the capacity for more); fertile, nearby farmland available for local agriculture, windmills and solar farms; and manufacturing infrastructure and workforce skill that can be repurposed for the production of renewable-energy technology.

Tumber, who has spent much of her life in Rust Belt cities, traveled to 25 cities in the Northeast and Midwest-from Buffalo, N.Y., to Peoria, Ill., to Detroit to Rochester, N.Y.-interviewing planners, city officials and activists, and weaving their stories into this exploration of small-scale urbanism. Smaller cities can be a critical part of a sustainable future and a productive green economy. Small, Gritty, and Green will help us develop the moral and political imagination we need to realize this.


63.

POWERING THE FUTURE

Robert B. Laughlin
Paperback

Price: $16.99

In Powering the Future, Nobel laureate Robert B. Laughlin transports us two centuries into the future, when we've ceased to use carbon from the ground-either because humans have banned carbon burning …

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In Powering the Future, Nobel laureate Robert B. Laughlin transports us two centuries into the future, when we've ceased to use carbon from the ground-either because humans have banned carbon burning or because fuel has simply run out. Boldly, Laughlin predicts no earth-shattering transformations will have taken place. Six generations from now, there will still be soccer moms, shopping malls, and business trips. Firesides will still be snug and warm.

How will we do it? Not by discovering a magic bullet to slay our energy problems, but through a slew of fascinating technologies, drawing on wind, water and fire. Powering the Future is an objective yet optimistic tour through alternative fuel sources, set in a world where we've burned every last drop of petroleum and every last shovelful of coal.


64.

RENEWABLE

Jeremy Shere
Hardcover

Price: $25.99

Science writer Jeremy Shere shows us in Renewable: The World-Changing Power of Alternative Energy that energy is anything but magical. Producing it in fossil fuel form is a dirty, expensive-but also …

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Science writer Jeremy Shere shows us in Renewable: The World-Changing Power of Alternative Energy that energy is anything but magical. Producing it in fossil fuel form is a dirty, expensive-but also hugely profitable- enterprise, with enormous but largely hidden costs to the entire planet. The cold, hard fact is that at some point we will have wrung the planet dry of easily accessible sources of fossil fuel. And when that time comes, humankind will have no choice but to turn-or, more accurately, return-to cleaner, renewable energy sources. What will those sources be? How far have we come to realizing the technologies that will make these sources available?

To find the answers to these questions, Shere began his journey with a tour of a traditional coal-fueled power plant in his home state of Indiana. He then continued on, traveling from coast to coast as he spoke to scientists, scholars and innovators. He immersed himself in the green energy world: visiting a solar farm at Denver's airport, attending the Wind Power Expo and a wind farm tour in Texas, investigating turbines deep in New York City's East River, and much more.

Arranged in five parts-Green Gas, Sun, Wind, Earth, and Water-Renewable tells the stories of the most interesting and promising types of renewable energy: namely, biofuel, solar, wind, geothermal and hydropower. But unlike many books about alternative energy, Renewable is not obsessed with megawatts and tips for building home solar panels. Instead, Shere digs into the rich, surprisingly long histories of these technologies, bringing to life the pioneering scientists, inventors and visionaries who blazed the way for solar, wind, hydro and other forms of renewable power. He unearths the curious involvement of great thinkers like Henry Ford, Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla.

We are at an important crossroads in the history of renewable technologies. The possibilities are endless and enticing, and it has become increasingly clear that renewable energy is the way of the future. In Renewable, Jeremy Shere's natural curiosity and serious research come together in an entertaining and informative guide to where renewable energy has been, where it is today, and where it's heading.


65.

GREEN IS GOOD

Brian F. Keane
Paperback

Price: $14.95

Renewable energy is good for your wallet. Those who see that opportunity are already seizing it … all the way to the bank. Green Is Good is a no-nonsense guide to how you, the average American, can ea…

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Renewable energy is good for your wallet. Those who see that opportunity are already seizing it … all the way to the bank. Green Is Good is a no-nonsense guide to how you, the average American, can easily incorporate clean energy and energy efficiency into your daily life … and in the process save money, make money, and help wean your community off fossil fuels. Renewable energy guru Brian F. Keane walks you through the cost-benefit trade-offs that come with the exciting new technologies and introduces you to the revolutionary clean-energy products on the horizon, making the ins and outs of renewable energy easily accessible. He shows what you can do on every level to seize the opportunity and profit from it. A renewable energy future isn't just good for the environment; it's good for the economy, and Green Is Good will show you how-before it's too late.


66.

WIND ENERGY BASICS (2ND EDITION)

Paul Gipe
Paperback

Price: $29.95

This is one of the best basic guides to planning, purchasing, siting and installing small wind systems, including an analysis of the most affordable small wind generators for home use.

Reco…

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This is one of the best basic guides to planning, purchasing, siting and installing small wind systems, including an analysis of the most affordable small wind generators for home use.

Recommended Product for Wiser Living: Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, Mother Earth News is recommending books to its readers. For 40 years, Mother Earth News has been North America’s “Original Guide to Living Wisely,” creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.


67.

WOOD HEAT

Andrew Jones
Paperback

Price: $19.95

Wood Heat is a comprehensive and practical homeowner's guide to using wood as a reliable source of heat with the latest woodstoves and traditional fireplaces. The book explores the efficiency of wood …

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Wood Heat is a comprehensive and practical homeowner's guide to using wood as a reliable source of heat with the latest woodstoves and traditional fireplaces. The book explores the efficiency of wood compared to other fuels, the environmental impacts of various fuel types as well as sustainability issues that have led to so many adopting a woodburning lifestyle.

Heating with wood does more than keep a house warm. Though it can be a hands-on expression of self-reliance, it does bring us closer to the land by using fuel that is renewable and sustainably harvested, and renews our wonder in the cycle of the seasons. And the biggest benefit is that wood heat saves money in the long run.

There are four ways that wood can be used to heat a home or cottage: woodstoves (the most popular), fireplace inserts, pellet stoves and masonry heaters. Wood Heat explains the pros and cons of each.

The book provides all of the information and advice needed to convert to a wood-heated life. How-to topics (with step-by-step directions) include:

  • The comparative advantages of heating with wood
  • Buying, cutting, splitting, stacking, storing and moving firewood
  • Building the perfect woodpile
  • Varieties of wood and their burning characteristics
  • The latest technology for burning wood efficiently and cleanly
  • Energy content of wood varieties per air-dried cord (BTUs)
  • Catalytic and non-catalytic stoves
  • Cooking with a woodstove
  • How to make a good fire
  • Essential hearth and fireplace tools
  • Sizing woodburning appliances
  • A chimney maintenance checklist

Currently, more than 10 million U.S. households use wood as their main heating fuel or to supplement other forms of heating. Unstable, increasing fuel costs and the desire of many people to move toward self-sufficiency will only increase the numbers of those choosing to burn wood for heat. Wood Heat is the ideal guide for all.


68.

REAL GOODS SOLAR LIVING SOURCE BOOK

John Schaeffer
Paperback

Price: $39.95

What book would you want if you were stranded on a desert island? Widely regarded as the bible of off-grid living, the Solar Living Sourcebook might be your best choice. With more than 600,000 copies …

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What book would you want if you were stranded on a desert island? Widely regarded as the bible of off-grid living, the Solar Living Sourcebook might be your best choice. With more than 600,000 copies in print worldwide, it is the most comprehensive resource available for anyone interested in lessening their environmental footprint and increasing their energy independence.

This 14th edition of the sourcebook is the ultimate guide to renewable energy, sustainable living, natural and green building, off-grid living and alternative transportation, written by experts with decades of experience and a passion for sharing their knowledge. This fully revised and updated edition includes brand new sections on permaculture and urban homesteading, and completely rewritten chapters on solar technology, sustainable transportation and relocalization. It also boasts greatly expanded material on:

  • Natural building
  • Permaculture and biodynamics
  • Electric and biofuel-powered vehicles
  • Passive solar
  • Solar water heating
  • Grid-tied photovoltaic systems

You’ll also find maps, wiring diagrams, formulas, charts, electrical code, solar sizing worksheets and much more.

Whether you're a layperson or a professional, novice or longtime aficionado, the Sourcebook puts the latest research and information at your fingertips … everything you need to know to make sustainable living a reality.


69.

BACKYARD BIODIESEL

Lyle Estill & Bob Armantrout
Paperback

Price: $24.95

Small-scale home biodiesel production holds a singular attraction for the do-it-yourself enthusiast. While perhaps it can't save the world, this unique renewable fuel is economical, fun to make, bette…

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Small-scale home biodiesel production holds a singular attraction for the do-it-yourself enthusiast. While perhaps it can't save the world, this unique renewable fuel is economical, fun to make, better for the environment, and will help you reduce your dependence on Big Oil. And getting started is easier than you think.

Backyard Biodiesel is written by two recognized experts in the field of small-scale biofuels. This comprehensive hands-on, practical, DIY guide includes:

  • The basics of small-scale brewing – recipes, strategies and technologies
  • Advanced backyard analytics and troubleshooting
  • Safety considerations and regulatory issues
  • Topping up the tank – how to put your biodiesel to work for you
Making your own fuel is not only possible, it is rewarding. Designed to be accessible to everyone from readers with no prior technical expertise to alternative energy buffs, Backyard Biodiesel is a must-read for any aspiring brewer, packed with everything you need to get up and running quickly and safely.


70.

GEO POWER

Donal Blaise Lloyd
Paperback

Price: $19.95

Discover why ground-source heat pumps are the best choice for heating and cooling new or existing homes in any climate and how this reliable, silent, nonpolluting way of extracting free energy from the Earth saves money year after year. Then go a step further and learn the simple science behind this proven technology.

Read all about:

  • Geothermal options: open vs. closed loops, either horizontal or vertical, for water-to-air or water-to-water HVAC systems.
  • Basic principles of heat pumps and how super-efficiencies are achieved.
  • Important money questions: costs, tax credits, payback time, increased home values.
  • Earth Smart Home profiles from around the country.
  • Performance standards, ratings and warranties.
  • Careers: joining the industry.
  • Extensive appendix.
This book is perfect for homeowners, home-building partners and anyone training for a career in the geothermal industry.

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