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Recommended Reading for Earth Day

Recommended Reading for Earth Day

April 22nd, 2022

To celebrate Earth Day, Purdue University Press is featuring books on weather, climate, environmental issues, and the energy crisis. Read through the list below, or check out our books on Gardening, Botany, and Horticulture.


Spearheading Environmental Change: The Legacy of Indiana Congressman Floyd J. Fithian

Largely remembered for his participation in the Democratic reform wave that took over Congress in 1975 post-Watergate (the so-called Class of ’74) and as an advocate for Hoosier farmers, Fithian has been overlooked for his role as a force to be reckoned with on the House floor when it came to the nation’s environmental challenges. Fithian was a highly ethical, pragmatic reformer bent on preserving his country’s natural resources. Spearheading Environmental Change gives covers Fithian’s positions on ecologically sensitive issues such as pesticides, noise pollution, fossil fuels, and nuclear power and Fithian the credit he deserves as an environmental warrior on the national stage.


Reginald Sutcliffe and the Invention of Modern Weather Systems Science

Despite being perhaps the foremost British meteorologist of the twentieth century, Reginald Sutcliffe has been understudied and underappreciated. His impact continues to this day every time you check the weather forecast. This book makes the case that three important advances guided the development of modern dynamic meteorology, which led directly to the astounding progress in weather forecasting—and that Sutcliffe was the pioneer in all three of these foundational developments: the application of the quasi-geostrophic simplification to the equations governing atmospheric behavior, adoption of pressure as the vertical coordinate in analysis, and development of a diagnostic equation for vertical air motions. Shining a light on Sutcliffe’s life and work will, hopefully, inspire a renewed appreciation for the human dimension in scientific progress and the rich legacy bequeathed to societies wise enough to fully embrace investments in education and basic research. As climate change continues to grow more dire, modern extensions of Sutcliffe’s innovations increasingly offer some of the best tools we have for peering into the long-term future of our environment.

Ethics of the Global Environment

This book is about the ethical principles and concepts relating to the environment: nature, resources and the planet. Issues addressed include the intrinsic value of nonhuman species, obligations to future generations, and the aesthetic needs of humanity. Both universal responsibilities and their application are investigated while international responsibilities to the planet are considered in the context of some of the most alarming future scenarios: limited access to water, the changing global climate, population explosion, the destruction of ecosystems, and even the extinction of humanity.

Understanding the Global Energy Crisis

In this accessibly-written volume, central issues in global energy are discussed through interdisciplinary dialogue between experts from both North America and Europe.

Agriculture, Human Security, and Peace: A Crossroad in African Development

Covering more than the conventional “food-only” role of the agriculture, the international contributors to Agriculture, Human Security, and Global Peace detail how the solution to agricultural problems can lead to the general socioeconomic and political development of impoverished countries.

Energy and Innovation: Structural Change and Policy Implications

The move towards sustainable energy production and use is one the most challenging and profound changes currently taking place in the world’s established and emerging economies. Energy and Innovation: Structural Change and Policy Implications presents a series of informative case studies from Norway, the United Kingdom, Poland, the United States, Russia, Japan, and China that demonstrate how the pace of sustainable energy production differs by country.

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