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Less Heat More Light book cover

Less Heat, More Light: A Guided Tour of Weather, Climate, and Climate Change

John D. Aber (Yale University Press)

There is an ever-growing need for plain-language, genuinely interesting, and solid scientific descriptions of our planetary changes to serve the public and policymakers. John D. Aber ’71 BS, ’73 MFS, ’76 PhD provides a scientific exploration of the history of climate change science, what drives changes in weather and climate, and how our knowledge about our globe is built from first principles of multiple fields. The goal of the book, Aber says, is to convey that the basics of weather, climate, and climate change have been known for decades and that relatively simple descriptions can help the public better understand the factors affecting climate and weather.

Dean Indy Burke says, “John Aber makes weather, climate, and climate change fascinating. His clear language and visuals are the best foundation I have seen for understanding the Earth system now and how it is likely to change in the future.”

Earthly Order book cover

Earthly Order: How Natural Laws Define Human Life

Saleem H. Ali (Oxford University Press)

The human desire for order is strong. We crave it. We cultivate it. But is our lack of understanding about the connections between different forms of order hindering our ability to sustain our population and preserve the environment?

Saleem H. Ali ’96 MES, professor of energy and the environment at the University of Delaware and an environmental planner with a focus on resolving ecological conflicts, unpacks what order means, both in human systems and nature, and delves into the tension between order and chaos. From social to political to economic systems, Ali lays out the basic tenets of functional order to provide readers with an understanding of “order by purpose.”

Ever Green book cover

Ever Green: Saving Big Forests to Save the Planet

Thomas E. Lovejoy and John W. Reid  (W.W. Norton & Company)

Nothing short of saving the planet is the focus of this provocative call to action co-authored by economist John Reid and Thomas Lovejoy ’63 BA, ’71 PhD. Lovejoy, a conservation biologist and longtime member of the YSE Leadership Council who died in 2021, was known for his decades-long field research in the Amazon on deforestation. In “Ever Green,” the authors explore the largest forests remaining on Earth — from Taiga, which extends from the Pacific Ocean through Russia, to the North American boreal — and their vital role in preserving biodiversity, storing carbon, and sustaining a stable climate. Saving ancient forests is the most immediate solution to curbing climate change and decarbonizing the atmosphere, the authors note. The boreal forest alone, they point out, stores 1.8 million metric tons of carbon in its soils and peat.

Lovejoy and Reid offer practical solutions, including calling for protecting more forest lands, planning smarter roads, and supporting Indigenous forest stewards.

The Blessings book cover

The Blessings

Gus Speth (Watershed Publications)

Former YSE dean and co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Gus Speth ’64 BA, ’69 JD has never shied away from writing about challenging topics — from the shortcomings of the modern environmental movement to the failings of government in addressing the climate crisis to the need for immediate mobilization to mitigate climate change.

In his most recent book, however, Speth, currently a professor at Vermont Law School, focuses on the wonders of the natural world and other blessings, including love, dogs, and even the importance of politics, through a lens of space and time. It is his fourth collection of poems.