Top 2016 Environmentalism Books

These are my top five environmentalism books published in 2016. This list mostly concerns sustainability and how we can all be involved in some way with environmentalism; there is a separate list for climate change books. YMMV, and they are not ranked in any way. Included is the text blurb; personal review available on request!

Want more book recommendations? Check out the other top 2016 book lists: Zoology; Invertebrates; Arthropods; Vertebrates; Humans and Primates; Phylogenetics; Evolution; Ecology; Geology; Historical Geology; Palaeontology; Botany; Climate Change; History; Philosophy.


  • This lushly-photographed reference is an important moment in horticulture that will be embraced by anyone looking for a better, smarter way to garden. Larry Weaner is an icon in the world of ecological landscape design, and now his revolutionary approach is available to all gardeners. Garden Revolution shows how an ecological approach to planting can lead to beautiful gardens that buck much of conventional gardening’s counter-productive, time-consuming practices. Instead of picking the wrong plant and then constantly tilling, weeding, irrigating, and fertilizing, Weaner advocates for choosing plants that are adapted to the soil and climate of a specific site and letting them naturally evolve over time. Allowing the plants to find their own niches, to spread their seed around until they find the microclimate and spot that suits them best, creates a landscape that is vibrant, dynamic, and gorgeous year after year.


  • This book is about phylogenetic diversity as an approach to reduce biodiversity losses in this period of mass extinction. Chapters in the first section deal with questions such as the way we value phylogenetic diversity among other criteria for biodiversity conservation; the choice of measures; the loss of phylogenetic diversity with extinction; the importance of organisms that are deeply branched in the tree of life, and the role of relict species. The second section is composed by contributions exploring methodological aspects, such as how to deal with abundance, sampling effort, or conflicting trees in analysis of phylogenetic diversity. The last section is devoted to applications, showing how phylogenetic diversity can be integrated in systematic conservation planning, in EDGE and HEDGE evaluations. This wide coverage makes the book a reference for academics, policy makers and stakeholders dealing with biodiversity conservation.


  • Optimistic that we can change this ominous forecast if we act now, Barnosky provides clear-cut strategies to guide the planet away from global catastrophe. In many instances the necessary technology and know-how already exist and are being applied to crucial issues around human-caused climate change, feeding the world s growing population, and exploiting natural resources. Deeply informed yet accessibly written, Dodging Extinction is nothing short of a guidebook for saving the planet.


  • Cities That Think like Planets advances strategies for planning a future that may look very different from the present, as rapid urbanization could tip the Earth toward abrupt and nonlinear change. Alberti’s analyses of the various hybrid ecosystems, such as self-organization, heterogeneity, modularity, multiple equilibria, feedback, and transformation, may help humans participate in guiding the Earth away from inadvertent collapse and toward a new era of planetary co-evolution and resilience.


  • The author examines ten intersecting areas of activity (mass extinction, resource depletion, WMD, climate change, universal toxicity, food crises, population and urban expansion, pandemic disease, dangerous new technologies and self-delusion) which pose manifest risks to civilization and, potentially, to our species’ long-term future. This isn’t a book just about problems. It is also about solutions. Every chapter concludes with clear conclusions and consensus advice on what needs to be done at global level ―but it also empowers individuals with what they can do for themselves to make a difference. Unlike other books, it offers integrated solutions across the areas of greatest risk. It explains why Homo sapiens is no longer an appropriate name for our species, and what should be done about it.


    Want more book recommendations? Check out the other top 2016 book lists: Zoology; Invertebrates; Arthropods; Vertebrates; Humans and Primates; Phylogenetics; Evolution; Ecology; Geology; Historical Geology; Palaeontology; Botany; Climate Change; History; Philosophy.

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