Kemp Library to set a sustainability reading list

Kemp Library will soon carry a collection of books about sustainability and the issues surrounding it. Photo Credit / Rebecca Jasulevicz
Kemp Library will soon carry a collection of books about sustainability and the issues surrounding it. Photo Credit / Rebecca Jasulevicz

Kemp Library will soon carry a collection of books about sustainability and the issues surrounding it.
Photo Credit / Rebecca Jasulevicz

By Scott Bradley

For The Stroud Courier 

For the past few months, the Sustainability Commission has examined how to bring its message to a wider audience.

In looking at the topic, the commission realized that there are many things it can do on campus to move the vision of sustainability forward.

With that in mind, the Sustainability Commission requested that Kemp Library establish a small collection of contemporary publications to focus on sustainability and the issues that surround it.

The list has been provided, and the purchases are being arranged. Here is a quick preview of what is on its way.

Perhaps the seminal volume that raised the environmental alarm in the 1960s is a good place to start.

Silent Spring” by Rachael Carson raised the nation’s awareness to the dangers of pesticides.

The book caused the Congress of the United States to set limits and create standards on pesticide use, and it caused President Nixon’s Executive Branch to establish the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

This book has been on our shelves for some time, but this is a great time to raise it again as part of this important collection.

An earlier book by Carson, “The Sea Around Us,” will also be in the library.

In “The Sea Around Us,” Carson discusses the nature of our blue world and the evolution of the seas.

This is an excellent presentation of how our world has been evolving, and how the nature of our seas and their currents impacts us all.

The book proves even more powerful when considering rampant climate change and increasing ocean temperatures.

Sustainability is not just about the environment, so the commission’s list contains several books about engaging economics and social and cultural elements to lead us to more sustainable processes in the years ahead.

Among these are “Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage” and “Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace.”

These two show us the connection between the social sciences and the environmental science that we strive to support, and their authors, Daniel Esty and Andrew Winston for the first and Vandana Shiva for the second, find the words and ways to demonstrate the importance of effective process planning to find solid footing on a sustainable path.

Others in this collection include “Reinventing Fire,” a clear path offered by the Rocky Mountain Institute for weaning our economy off of fossil fuels, and “Deep Economy: The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future,” which shows economic processes to create a successful, equitable world for a global, sustainable future.

There are others coming to the library, each important in its own right.

Some tell a story of survival, and others lay out the threats and viable solutions that we can achieve if we are willing to act.

However, they all provide a better understanding of the impact of sustainable and non-sustainable actions.

The rest of the booklist can be found on the Sustainability Commission’s ESU page: http://www4.esu.edu/about/offices/sustainability/index.cfm

Email Scott at:

skb209@embarqmail.com

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