Column: Learn more about Earth Day at the library


Earth Day is coming up next Saturday, April 22. Around the nation and the globe individuals are participating in awareness activities like global teach-ins and the March for Science in Washington, DC. This year’s campaign in particular is focusing on environmental and climate literacy.

As the Earth Day campaign states, “Education is the foundation for progress.” What better resource to brush up on the facts, viewpoints and conversations than your local library?

Just using a generic search for “climate change” in the Delaware County District Library catalog returns more than 175 titles, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. These are divided up into books, eBooks, and DVDs primarily. A few of the titles, like “Merchants of Doubt,” were written as a book first (published in 2010), then inspired a feature-length documentary (released in 2015).

Leonardo DiCaprio’s “The 11th Hour” and, more recently, “Before the Flood” present riveting accounts of the dramatic changes occurring around the world. The 2012 documentary, “Chasing Ice,” takes the perspective of acclaimed National Geographic photographer James Balog, once a skeptic about climate change, who deploys revolutionary time-lapse cameras to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers.

Styles of writing on the subject range from dry to tongue-in-cheek and everything in between. Documentaries use visuals from all over the world and interviews from many angles to illustrate the point that our planet needs love and care in order to make it last.

You can also visit and click on our “Resources” page. Under the Magazines & Newspapers section are links to full-text periodicals and newspaper columns that cover general reference, science, education and much more for your exploration into climate literacy.

The books I recommend to you this week are just some highlights of all the resources available in print or online. Each work in this column has been published in the last three years. Libraries and librarians are not here to make decisions for you, but we are more than equipped to point you in the direction of resources. Read varying points of view, come to your own conclusions, and have a very happy Earth Day.

• This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein. (2014) Explains why the environmental crisis should lead to an abandonment of “free market” ideologies and current political systems, arguing that a massive reduction of greenhouse emissions may offer a best chance for correcting problems.

• Betting the Farm on a Drought by Seamus McGraw. (2015) McGraw takes us on a trip along America’s culturally fractured back roads and listens to farmers and ranchers and fishermen, many of them people who are not ideologically, politically, or in some cases even religiously inclined to believe in man-made global climate change. McGraw also speaks to scientists and policymakers who are trying to harness that most renewable of American resources, a sense of hope and self-reliance that remains strong in the face of daunting challenges.

• Treading on Thin Air by Elizabeth Austin. (2016) A world-renowned atmospheric physicist, revealing how the climate is an inescapable part of our daily lives, shows how the effects and impacts of weather on humans, society and the planet are changing with the times and what it means for our future.

Thank You for Being Late by Thomas L. Friedman. (2016) A field guide to the twenty-first century shares strategies for surviving today’s hectic technological, environmental, and economic challenges, contrasting present-day environments with the working model of an earlier generation.

Nicole Fowles

Glad You Asked

If you have a question that you would like to see answered in this column, mail it to Nicole Fowles, Delaware County District Library, 84 E. Winter St., Delaware, OH 43015, or call us at 740-362-3861. You can also email your questions by visiting the library’s web site at or directly to Nicole at [email protected]. No matter how you contact us, we’re always glad you asked!

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