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Read up on food security, urban planning, maintaining biodiversity and the green economy

The relationship between humans and their environment is proving to be the defining challenge of the 21st century. Settle in with a bevy of books that shed light on the sustainability emergency and offer solutions.

A few suggestions:

Food security for the faint of heart

Robin Wheeler
Whether you are a longtime food security advocate or a newcomer to the topic, Robin Wheeler’s lighthearted exploration of food sustainability will help prepare you. An emergency, such as a devastating earthquake, could completely alter the food supply that we have become so dependent on, and Food Security describes how we can confidently handle such a situation, while creating awareness about the economic benefits of sustainable food supply and production. (New Society Publishers, 2008. $16.95)

Integral city: evolutionary intelligences for the human hive

Marilyn Hamilton
“Meshworker” Marilyn Hamilton provides a global, multi-perspective view of the city as a natural system, describing it as a “human hive.” Cities are natural systems that adapt to their challenges, including the integration of information, matter and energy, she argues. This holistic perspective supports the idea that our cities can evolve intelligently to the increasingly problematic relation between humans and the environment they inhabit. (New Society Publishers, 2008. $27.95)

Wild foresting: practicing nature's wisdom

A. Drengson and D. Taylor
This anthology, dedicated to the relationship between humans and wild forests, is an essential read for everyone concerned about biodiversity, ancient forests, indigenous cultures and endangered species. Written by the prize-winning authors of Ecoforestry: The Art and Science of Sustainable Forest Use, Wild Foresting focuses on the sustenance and promotion of forest health and biological and cultural diversity. (New Society Publishers, 2008. $24.95)

Sun living: developing neighbourhoods with a one planet footprint

Will Mayhew and Elisa Campbell
It is by now common knowledge that North American urban living is not sustainable – we’ve all heard the bromide about needing five planets to sustain our profligate lifestyle. The authors of Sun Living suggest a five-step process to reduce our ecological impact, a process that would support dynamic, livable communities and lifestyles. (Christenson Developments, 2008. $24.95)

Strategies for the green economy: opportunities and challenges in the new world of business

Joel Makower and Cara Pike
“Save the Buyosphere!” That’s just one of the suggestions from the “guru of green business practices,” and author of Strategies for the Green Economy. Makower insists that businesses must create, implement and communicate highly successful strategies in order to thrive in the new green economy. This four-part book, which focuses on green strategies in the new business landscape, shows just how to do that. (McGraw Hill, 2008. $27.95)