Nor Any Drop to Drink?: Why the Great Lakes Face a Murky Future

Read the full piece in the New York Times Book Review.

And so it came as a revelation to me to read Dan Egan’s deeply researched and sharply written “The Death and Life of the Great Lakes.” Dipping into this book was like opening the secret diary of a mercurial and mysterious parent. I learned that the reason the lake had become so clear was that it had been invaded by a dastardly pair of bivalves — the zebra and quagga mussels — which had hitched a ride on a shipping barge from either the Black or Caspian Seas and then quietly but ceaselessly colonized the lake. They set about cleaning up the water with hyperactive single-mindedness, eventually sucking up 90 percent of the lake’s phytoplankton. The water is now three times clearer than it was in the 1980s. But “this is not the sign of a healthy lake,” Egan warns. “It’s the sign of a lake having the life sucked out of it.” Since the Great Lakes are essentially “one giant, slow-motion river,” the mussels have since spread to every one of the Great Lakes, proliferating “like cancer cells in a bloodstream.”

‘Where The Water Goes’ Is Effortlessly Engaging — And Also Scary

Read the full review from NPR.

Water availability is a primary environmental concern of our age. It was a determining factor in development of the American West, from the forced displacement of Native American nations to the establishment of the Colorado River Compact across seven states and Mexico. That “Law of the River” has shaped the policy and practicalities of the West, and Where the Water Goes traces all 1,400 miles of it, trying to understand how fragile a web we’ve woven.

2016 Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature

More information

“New environmental literature” refers to literary works that focus on the environment, animal protection, ecology, and wildlife.

The organizers are looking for work that redefines notions of environmentalism and sustainability, particularly when it comes to animal protection. They are not seeking books about hunting, fishing, or eating animals—unless they are analogous to a good anti-war novel being all about war. Under these basic guidelines, however, they’re open to reading a wide range of fiction and nonfiction with environmental and animal themes.

The winner will receive:

    • A cash award of $1,000


  • A four-week residency at PLAYA


The contest is open to published or unpublished full-length prose manuscripts, including novels, memoirs, short story collections, and essay collections.

Manuscripts should be approximately 40,000 to 90,000 words (i.e., please do not send novellas or individual essays or stories; please also note the contest is not open to poetry or children’s books).

Published books eligible for the prize must have been published within the past five (5) years; books published in the year 2010 or earlier are not eligible.

Manuscripts must be received between September 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016.

The Afterlife of Cheap Clothes

Read the excerpt from Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion in Slate. Reduce your consumption and find the book at a library near you.

Where do your Target bargains go when you get tired of them? The Salvation Army. Rag bins. And Africa.

A very late book review: John D. MacDonald’s Condominium

Read the full review in Treehugger.

While writing about the Porsche Design Tower tower nearing completion in Sunny Isle Beach, a post about real estate and climate in Florida, I remembered a great old book about real estate and climate in Florida, Condominium, by John D MacDonald, published in 1977.

Here’s your sustainability summer reading list

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

Summer is here, hopefully bringing more opportunities to catch up on leisure reading. While you may eat, drink and breathe news and feature articles, a deep dive into a good book can bring deeper knowledge and satisfaction.

Whether postcapitalism, billion-dollar brands, the circular economy or grand strategies pique your interest, there are plenty of great new titles this summer.

Below, find seven new books that should be on every corporate sustainability professional’s radar. (You’ll also find our latest excerpts of books here, which GreenBiz runs on Saturdays.)

The Lorax and Literature’s Moral Obligation

Read the full story in The Atlantic.

Despite critics’ dismissal of activist-minded fiction, the author Lydia Millet believes that Dr. Seuss’s classic children’s book is powerful because of its message, not in spite of it.