These are excellent.
The Worst Mistake in History by Jared Diamond - Could civilisation itself be a crisis measure, a result of the overpopulation brought about by the unique success humanity? A fascinating perspective on progress.
The Case Against Babies by Joy Williams - A strong argument for abstaining from reproduction.
Planet of Weeds by David Quammen - Decreasing biological diversity tends to favour adaptable invasive species, like us.
Commenting on the book, Too Many People? Population, Immigration, and the Environment, Eleanor Bader makes the point that environmentalists are ignorant of the actual impacts that their daily-environmentalisms have. Have a read, it’s worth your time.
I’ve argued these same points many many times on this tumblr - that the way to affect change is to get involved in government. Learn what the Federal Register is, find out how local permitting and development works, and write to your local representatives. These things have more tangible impacts on quality of environment than recycling, protesting, locavoring, and shopping green (all good things-ish, but they really make little to no difference in the world).
“Spike in Food Prices Projected by 2013" - NYTimes
"China’s unprecedented growth is carrying a steadily steeper price tag as its air pollution hikes the nation’s health care costs, finds a new study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Although China has made substantial progress in reducing its air pollution, MIT researchers say its economic impact has jumped from $22 billion in 1975 to $112 billion in 2005. The costs result from both lost labor and the increased need for health care because ozone and particulates in air can cause respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.
"The results clearly indicate that ozone and particulate matter have substantially impacted the Chinese economy over the past 30 years," Noelle Selin, an assistant MIT professor of engineering systems and atmospheric chemistry, said in announcing the findings that appear in the February edition of the journal Global Environmental Change.
The study, by researchers at the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, said pollution’s economic impact has grown, because population growth increased the number of people exposed to it and higher incomes raised the costs associated with lost productivity.”
Read the rest at USA Today