by Alison Pouliot, NewSouth Publishing, University of NSW Press Ltd 2023
Review by NSW NPA Environmental Book Club
Pouliot is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable writer whose life work is studying fungi. Underground Lovers introduces us to this amazing world. Previously we may have been astonished by unexpected encounters with beautiful or weird fungi in the bush or our gardens. We’re probably aware that fungi do important work in complex ecosystems but may not know much more. She introduces us to the basic facts about the different types and their role in recycling and networking in the ‘subterrain’ of plant communities. She champions the study of this third ‘kingdom’ besides flora and fauna.
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By Amitav Ghosh, The Nutmeg’s Curse, Parables for a Planet in Crisis, John Murray 2021
Review by NPA Book Club
Some of us knew Ghosh as a fiction writer with a Bengali background and nature friendly perspective. Here he takes a scholarly and passionate approach to the current crisis of imminent planetary collapse. He begins with the Dutch finding nutmeg in the Banda islands in the 17th century and their subsequent dispossession and extermination of the human inhabitants.
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A new agriculture, a new earth, by Charles Massy
Group review by NPA book group
The NPA book group had a very interesting discussion of this rich book on February 8. Members brought different perspectives. Some had farm backgrounds but most of us had not. One member had a family connection to the author. Another has a son considering farming as a career. A third found it valuable to read the book twice.
Read More “Book Review: Call of the Reed Warbler”
Our July Environmental Book Club reading was Sunburnt Country; the History and Future of Climate Change in Australia by Joëlle Gergis. In this history of Australia’s climate and the meteorology that recorded and analysed that climate, Gergis brings understanding to climate fluctuation through natural forces and demonstrates how human action is intensifying climate variability and exposing us to new climate extremes.
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Review by Meron Wilson and Anne Dickson
Our land is not something to be tamed, made efficient and converted to a European concept of farmland, but something to be understood and nurtured. The emerging effects of a changing climate challenge us to rethink where and how we produce our food. Indigenous author Bruce Pascoe, in his book Dark Emu, gives us some insight into what Australia was once like, and what we can learn from the economy, culture and agricultural methods of Indigenous Australians.
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Reviewed by Meron Wilson, NPA Sydney Environmental Book Club
Sunlight and Seaweed by Tim Flannery looks at the mess we have gotten ourselves into, fouling our planetary nest by living beyond our ecological means, and offers a few rays of hope we can yet put things right-ish.
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