Earth Matters

Scientists are observing changes in the Earth’s climate in every region and across the whole climate system, according to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report.

The Earth’s climate is changing, and the role of human influence on the climate system is undisputed, yet the report also identifies the role of climate change in intensifying specific weather and climate events such as extreme heat waves and heavy rainfall events for the first time.

Stabilising the climate will require strong, rapid, and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and net zero CO2 emissions, challenges delegates are meeting to discuss at the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow at the end of this month.

In recognition of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, we have created the ‘Earth Matters’ collection of fiction and non-fiction books, eBooks and eAudiobooks, to compliment our existing Earth Heroes environmental collections for children and young adults.

Fiction books

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

Set in the not-too-distant future, in the aftermath of a catastrophic event that has wiped out human civilization as well as most humans, Oryx and Crake is a novel about the pitfalls of genetic modification.

Walkaway by Cory Doctorow

In a world wrecked by climate change, Hubert, Seth and Natalie turn their back on the world of rules, jobs and ‘walkaway’ into the empty lands – lawless places where predators, human and animal flourish. Their journey brings them into contact with the initial pioneer ‘walkaways’ who are building a post-scarcity utopia.

The Overstory by Richard Powers

Nine strangers, each in different ways, become summoned by trees, brought together in a last stand to save the continent’s few remaining acres of virgin forest. ‘The Overstory’ unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fable, ranging from antebellum New York to the late-20th-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond, revealing a world alongside our own – vast, slow, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us.

Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver

On the Appalachian Mountains above her home, a young mother discovers a beautiful and terrible marvel of nature. As the world around her is suddenly transformed by a seeming miracle, can the old certainties they have lived by for centuries remain unchallenged?

The Fifth Season by N K Jemisin

The first book in the award-winning Broken Earth trilogy, Essun must pursue the wreckage of her family through a deadly, dying land. Without sunlight, clean water, or arable land, there will be war for the basic resources necessary to get through the long dark night, but Essun does not care if the world falls apart around her. She’ll break it herself, if she must, to save her daughter.

The Drowned World by J. G. Ballard

This fast-paced narrative by the author of ‘Crash’ and ‘Empire of the Sun’ is a stunning evocation of a flooded, tropical London of the near future and a foray into the workings of the unconscious mind.

Non-Fiction books

How to Save Our Planet by Professor Mark Maslin

How can we save our planet and survive the 21st century? How can you argue with deniers? How can we create positive change in the midst of the climate crisis? Professor Mark Maslin has the key facts that we need to protect our future. ‘How to Save Our Planet’ is a call to action, guaranteed to equip everyone with the knowledge needed to make change.

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

Silent Spring is Rachel Carson’s bestselling, passionate exposure of the effects of the indiscriminate use of chemicals. She describes how pesticides are applied to farms, forests and gardens, with scant regard to the consequences.

We Are the Weather by Jonathan Safran Foer

Climate crisis is the single biggest threat to human survival. And it is happening right now. We all understand that time is running out – but do we truly believe it? And, caught between the seemingly unimaginable and the apparently unthinkable, how can we take the first step towards action, to arrest our race to extinction? We can begin with our knife and fork. With his distinctive wit, insight, and humanity, Jonathan Safran Foer presents the essential debate of our time as no one else could, bringing it to vivid and urgent life and offering us all a much-needed way out.

Earthshot by Colin Butfield

The Earthshot concept is simple: Urgency + Optimism = Action. We have ten years to turn the tide on the environmental crisis, but we need the world’s best solutions and one shared goal – to save our planet. The Earthshots are unifying, ambitious goals for our planet which, if achieved by 2030, will improve life for all of us, for the rest of life on Earth, and for generations to come. This book is a critical contribution to the most important story of the decade.

The Garden Jungle by Dave Goulson

The Garden Jungle’ is about the wildlife that lives right under our noses, in our gardens and parks, between the gaps in the pavement, and in the soil beneath our feet. Dave Goulson explains how our lives and ultimately the fate of humankind are inextricably intertwined with that of earwigs, bees, lacewings and hoverflies, unappreciated heroes of the natural world.

How to Repair Everything: A Green Guide to Fixing Stuff by Nick Harper

Not everything has built-in obsolescence – as this fantastically handy guide to fixing everyday objects proves! Whether you need to repair a strap on a favourite handbag or mend a leak in a washing machine, this book is packed full of tips and tricks of the trade for the person who likes to do-it-yourself.

You can also find these books on our BorrowBox shelf: Earth Matters | Hampshire Library Service – BorrowBox.

Sustainability at Hampshire Libraries

Supporting the community for a greener future.

Some of the world’s most influential people have been gathering in Glasgow for the United Nations 26th Climate Change Conference (COP26). We wanted to share with you what we’re doing to make our libraries more sustainable, and how we can help you join the conversation too.

Making libraries greener

As part of a decarbonisation scheme, we have installed energy efficient lighting throughout our buildings and replaced all windows with double glazing to reduce our energy usage. There are smart meters installed in every library so that we can be mindful of the energy we use, and the solar panels installed on the roofs of several of our libraries ensure that the energy we do use is as clean and green as possible. We even have a fleet of electric vans to make sure that our book deliveries are eco-friendly.

Creating a space to learn

We’re not just thinking about how we can be more sustainable; we want to help you do the same too. Sitting at the heart of the community, our libraries play an important role in providing access to information on climate change, sustainability, and other environmental issues. To help you learn about the topic we’ve curated a special Earth Heroes collection full of really interesting books for children and young adults, with a third collection for adults coming out soon!

Supporting community action

Hayling Island Library is home to the Hayling Island Community Centre Association’s Community Pantry scheme designed to tackle food deprivation in the area. The pantry offers a range of donated fresh and frozen food as well as dried goods and sold at a far lower cost than shops or supermarkets and all funds are put back into the scheme to keep it running.

With support from Hampshire Libraries, Plastic Free Ringwood and Ringwood Actions for Climate Change also recently opened a community fridge and freezer at Ringwood Library. The initiative accepts surplus food from local businesses to be redistributed throughout the community, helping to reduce food wastage in the area. The community fridge saved 1 ton of food from going to waste in the first three months that it was open!

Written by Isaac Fravashi