by-elizabeth-kolbert

10 Books Recommended by President Barack Obama

Last year President Barack Obama shared with WIRED magazine a list of 10 books he highly recommends. These are the books. (Click the links for descriptions.) 

- The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln
- Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63 by Taylor Branch
- The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York by Robert A. Caro
- The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
- Andy Grove: The Life and Times of an American by Richard S. Tedlow
- Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
- Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
- In Dubious Battle by John Steinbeck
- Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo
- The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert

Have your read any of these? What are you thoughts on this list? 

anonymous asked:

Which books/ movies/ articles would you recommend to someone who wants to learn about climate change?

Being a filmmaker I am always looking back at films that influenced me. Although it was made back in 2006, I still think “An Inconvenient Truth” is an important film in understanding climate change. May of Al Gore predictions are things we are living through right now. One of the best on-going series about climate change is, “Years of Living Dangerously” it is an up to date, account of climate change events around the world. There is no lack of literature on the subject either, and there have been some terrific articles published over the last few years by the NYT. One of the books that really made me think about the changes unfolding was Elizabeth Kolbert’s “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History.” In a completely different style, I recently picked up a copy of Bill Nye’s “Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World” and it is an engaging read so far.

The best scientific information comes from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the scientific organization that produces the definitive treatments of climate change and greenhouse gases that serve as the standard references for scientists and policymakers globally. See the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report at <http://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar5>. For people in the United States, the U.S. Global Change Research Program produces the definitive source for the country. See the third National Climate Assessment at <http://nca2014.globalchange.gov>.

Masterpost: Book Recommendations

Hey! So one of the most frequently asked questions here is for what books I’d recommend to you all, so I’ve decided to compile a list of books that will help expand your view and raise your consciousness. Some of these books I haven’t read and were submitted by other members, so when you see “sb” it means submitted by. From now on, I’ll refer everyone to this post when they ask that question! I’ll add books to the list as I discover new ones or as you submit them. I put a * next to the titles I think you should really read, and I bolded those that you should really, really read. There are really good books here that don’t have a * because I haven’t read/finished them. Note: they’re alphabetized. 

Animal Farm by George Orwell (also 1984) (sb @supreme-understanding-allah)

*Any book by OSHO (esp. The Book of Understanding)

Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda
 (sb @supreme-understanding-allah)

Be Here Now by Ram Dass  (sb @supreme-understanding-allah)

*Bhagavad Gita (try The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita: Explained By Paramhansa Yogananda, As Remembered By His Disciple, Swami Kriyananda; it’s easier to understand)

Bringers of the Dawn: Teachings from the Pleiadians by Barbara Marciniak, Tera Thomas

Cosmic Memory: The Story of Atlantis, Lemuria, and the Division of the Sexes by Rudolf Steiner, Paul Marshall Allen

Crystal Enlightenment: The Transforming Properties of Crystals and Healing Stones (Crystal Trilogy, Vol. 1) by Katrina Raphaell (also volumes 2 & 3)

Discovering Your Soul Signature: A 33-Day Path to Purpose, Passion & Joy by Panache Desai

*Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality by Dean Radin Ph.D.

Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge A Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution by Terence McKenna  (sb @supreme-understanding-allah)

*Frequency: The Power of Personal Vibration by Penney Peirce

How Consciousness Became the Universe by Deepak Chopra, Roger Penrose, Brandon Carter

Keep reading

‘Species are at a low risk of extinction most of the time.’ But this 'condition of relative safety is punctuated at rare intervals by a vastly higher risk.’ The history of life therefore consists of 'long periods of boredom interrupted occasionally by panic.’
— 

The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert.

The occasional panic is what I both dread and get excited by in life.

Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions—times when the diversity of life on Earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out large dinosaurs. And this time, the cataclysm is us.

In our latest podcast, hear from Elizabeth Kolbert, author of the new book The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, and Michael Novacek, senior vice president and provost of science at the American Museum of Natural History, as they discuss the process of extinction—and the role humanity plays in it.

Why Teen-agers Are the Worst

Every adult has gone through adolescence, and studies have shown that if you ask people to look back on their lives they will disproportionately recall experiences they had between the ages of ten and twenty-five. (This phenomenon is called the “reminiscence bump.”) And yet, to adults, the adolescent mind is a mystery—a Brigadoon-like place that’s at once vivid and inaccessible. Why would anyone volunteer to down fifteen beers in a row? Under what circumstances could Edward Fortyhands, an activity that involves having two forty-ounce bottles of malt liquor affixed to your hands with duct tape, be construed as enjoyable? And what goes for drinking games also goes for hooking up with strangers, jumping from high places into shallow pools, and steering a car with your knees. At moments of extreme exasperation, parents may think that there’s something wrong with their teen-agers’ brains. Which, according to recent books on adolescence, there is.

Scientists are gaining new insights into the irrational brains of adolescents. Elizabeth Kolbert explores in this week’s issue.

In spite of the flood of disturbing reports coming from both the Antarctic and the Arctic—just a few days ago, the National Snow and Ice Data Center reported that the extent of the Arctic ice cap in winter had hit a record low for the second year in a row—the issue of climate change has rarely come up during the Presidential primary campaign.
—  Elizabeth Kolbert, “Climate Catastrophe, Coming Even Sooner?
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Congratulations to Anthony Doerr, David Kertzer and Elizabeth Kolbert on their Pulitzer Prize wins! Here are some interviews to help you brush up on their stellar books:

World War II In A New ‘Light’: Empathy Found In Surprising Places: The award-winning author Anthony Doerr’s newest novel approaches old history with two unfamiliar perspectives: a blind French girl and a German orphan. He says WWII history is as important as ever.

'Pope And Mussolini’ Tells The 'Secret History’ Of Fascism And The Church: It’s commonly thought that the Catholic Church fought heroically against the fascists in Italy. But in The Pope and Mussolini, historian David Kertzer says the church actually lent organizational strength and moral legitimacy to Mussolini’s regime.

In The World’s 'Sixth Extinction,’ Are Humans The Asteroid?: Elizabeth Kolbert’s new book begins with a history of the “big five” extinctions of the past, and goes on to explain how human behavior is creating a sixth one – including our use of fossil fuels and the effects of climate change.

And here’s the full list of winners.

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Rebroadcasting today: Elizabeth Kolbert author of The Sixth Extinction 

In The World’s ‘Sixth Extinction,’ Are Humans The Asteroid?

The Sixth Extinction with Elizabeth Kolbert
Elizabeth Kolbert and Mike Novacek
The Sixth Extinction with Elizabeth Kolbert

Congratulations to author Elizabeth Kolbert on winning the Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction for her book “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History.”  

On February 27, 2014, Elizabeth Kolbert, staff writer for the The New Yorker magazine and author of the new book The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, and Michael Novacek, senior vice president and provost of science at the American Museum of Natural History, discussed the process of extinction—and the role humanity plays in it. The event was moderated by science writer and video journalist Flora Lichtman.

Listen to the podcast above or download it on iTunes

Of the many inane arguments that are made against taking action on climate change, perhaps the most fatuous is that the projections climate models offer about the future are too uncertain to justify taking steps that might inconvenience us in the present. The implicit assumption here is that the problem will turn out to be less serious than the models predict; thus, any carbon we have chosen to leave in the ground out of fear for the consequences of global warming will have gone uncombusted for nothing.
—  Elizabeth Kolbert on the vulnerability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, and why counting on uncertainty is such a dangerous idea: http://nyr.kr/1jpf6oF