Environmentalists have a bad reputation as overly earnest, dour, end-of-world types. But that’s slowly shifting as environmentalism, or giving a darn about the earth, becomes more mainstream.
Sometimes green folks and green books can be positively … funny. Yes, I said funny.
The best books are those that are funny and get you thinking. Then you don’t feel like you’re being hit over the head with a baseball hat. Don’t get me wrong –sometimes we do need to be hit over the head with a baseball bat, but not all the time. Sometimes we need a break.
If you need a break from heavy, serious eco-lit, let me give you two book suggestions.
The first: Bothered by My Green Conscience by Franke James is not only fun and thought-provoking, but illustrated with funky pictures by the author, a Toronto artist. James decided to sell her SUV and rip up her driveway to plant a garden, and endures the reactions from family and friends, and even Toronto City Hall to her wild, green scheme. Along the way she discusses how social change happens: awareness versus action, empathy versus self-interest, and fines vs. social disapproval. The result is a whimsical look at one person’s efforts to do the hardest thing first to counter climate change in her personal life.
The second: Greasy Rider: Two Dudes, One Fry-Oil-Powered Car, and Cross-Country Search for a Greener Future by Greg Melville is an eco-road story. Melville and his old college chum, Iggy, depart on a cross country tour visiting green hot-spots like Google’s headquarters, Al Gore’s mansion, Fort Knox, a wind farm, a renewable energy lab, and a green home, driving an old Mercedes converted to run on vegetable oil. While I wouldn’t say this book was hilarious, like some reviewers did, it was entertaining and very readable. And not to worry; it doesn’t skirt ethanol’s thorny issues.