Peter H. Gleick

Peter H. Gleick

Dr. Peter Gleick is renowned the world over as a leading expert, innovator, and communicator on water and climate issues. He co-founded and leads The Pacific Institute in Oakland, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2012 as one of the most innovative, independent non-governmental organizations in the fields of water and economic and environmental justice and sustainability.
Dr. Gleick's work has redefined water from the realm of engineers to the world of social justice, sustainability, human rights, and integrated thinking. His influence on the field of water has been long and deep: he developed the first analysis of climate change impacts on water resources, the earliest comprehensive work on water and conflict, and defined basic human needs for water and the human right to water—work that has been used by the UN and in human rights court cases. He pioneered the concept of the 'soft path for water,' developed the idea of "peak water," and has written about the need for a "local water movement."
Dr. Gleick received the prestigious MacArthur "genius" Fellowship and was named "a visionary on the environment" by the BBC. He was elected both an Academician of the International Water Academy, in Oslo, Norway and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. Wired Magazine featured Dr. Gleick as "one of 15 people the next President should listen to."
He received his B.S. from Yale University and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Gleick serves on the boards of numerous journals and organizations, and is the author of many scientific papers and nine books, including the influential series The World's Water and Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water, as well as A Twenty-First Century Water Policy.

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Island Press Authors Share the Love

This Valentine’s Day, we thought it would be fun for Island Press authors to share the love. We asked a few authors to choose their favorite Island Press book—other than their own, of course—and explain what makes it so special. Check out their...

This Valentine’s Day, we thought it would be fun for Island Press authors to share the love. We asked a few authors to choose their favorite Island Press book—other than their own, of course—and explain what makes it so special. Check out their responses below, and use code 4MAGICAL for 25% off and free shipping all of the books below, as well as books from participating authors.

What’s your favorite Island Press book? Share your answer in the comments.

My favorite IP book—not that I’ve read them all—is Mike Lydon’s Tactical Urbanism. This book shows how ad hoc interventions can improve the public realm, especially if they’re later made permanent. I discussed the concept on the latest Spokesmen podcast with architect Jason Fertig and illustrator Bekka “Bikeyface” Wright, both of Boston. 

Carlton Reid, Bike Boom and Roads Were Not Built for Cars

Last year I wrote a cover story for SIERRA magazine about how Donald Trump's proposed wall along the US-Mexico border would all but eliminate any chance for recovering jaguar species in the Southwest. In the course of my research I came across Alan Rabinowitz's An Indomitable BeastIt's a great read, blending Rabinowitz's own experiences as a big cat biologist with cutting-edge findings on this amazing species. As a writer, this book and its amazing details helped me bring the jaguar to life for readers. 

Jason Mark, Satellites in the High Country

This day is a time for reaching beyond data and logic to think about deeper ways of knowing. Love, specifically, but I would add to that faith, tradition and ethics. That's why I love Aaron Wolf's new book, The Spirit of Dialogue: Lessons from Faith Traditions in Transforming Conflict. Going beyond the  mechanical "rationality" of the typical public meeting is necessary if we are to address the big issues of global sustainability and the smaller issues of how we sustain our local communities. Aaron Wolf provides the experience, tools and promise of a better, deeper approach.

Larry NielsenNature's Allies

Like many others, I am indebted to to Island Press for not one but three books that profoundly influenced my thinking. Panarchy (2001, edited by Lance Gunderson and C.S. Holling) introduced me to the concept of socio-ecological systems resilience. Resilience Thinking (2006, by Brian Walker and David Salt) taught me what systems resilience really means. And the follow-up book Resilience Practice (2012) helped me start to understand how systems resilience actually works. The latter remains the most-consulted book on my shelf—by Island Press or any other publisher—and I was thrilled and frankly humbled when Brian and David agreed to write a chapter for our own contribution to the field, The Community Resilience Reader (2017).

Daniel Lerch, The Community Resilience Reader

"A large percentage of my urbanism bookshelf is comprised of Island Press books, so it's very difficult to share my love for just one! So, I won't because the books we pull of the shelf most often these days are the NACTO Design Guides. Finally, a near complete set of highly usable and mutually supportive design standards that help us advocate for and build better streets, better places." 

Mike Lydon, Tactical Urbanism

 

 

Nicols Fox's Against the Machine is a book that’s becomes more relevant each year as technology impinges ever further on our daily lives. It’s a fascinating, deeply researched look at how and why people have resisted being treated as extensions of machines.

Phil Langdon, Within Walking Distance

Lake Effect by Nancy Nichols. I read this book several years ago. It is so important to hear the voices of those whose lives are impacted by industrial age pollutants, lest we slide into complacency. In this case, the story of the chemicals of Lake Michigan. It is a short, beautifully written, disturbing read.
Emily Monosson, Natural Defense and Unnatural Selection

Peter Gleick’s series, The World’s Water, is one of the most useful surveys of the cutting edge of global waters there is. Each edition brings in-depth coverage of the issues of the day, always eminently readable and backed up by the crack research team that he puts together for each topic. I use it in my classes, always confident that students (and I) will be kept abreast of the best of The World’s Water.
Aaron Wolf, The Spirit of Dialogue

Mark Jerome Walters' important book, Seven Modern Plagues, places great emphasis on linking emerging diseases with habitat destruction and other forms of modification natural processes. This book is a call for us to recognize that each new disease reflects an environmental warning.
Andy Dyer, Chasing the Red Queen

My favorite Island Press book is The New Agrarianism: Land, Culture, and the Community of Life, edited by Eric T. Freyfogle. Perhaps it remains my favorite IP text because it is the first IP text I remember reading front to back, twice! I first encountered the book as a graduate student and was struck my its scope and tone. The book is thought provoking. But it's also a joy to read, which isn't surprising in hindsight given the award-winning contributors.   
Michael Carolan, No One Eats Alone

Don't see your Island Press fave? Share it in the comments below!

Photo credit: Fountain by Flickr.com user Nicola

#ForewordFriday: Thirsty? Edition

Bottled water in New York City.
Bottled water in New York City. Photo by Kevin Coles, used under Creative Commons licensing. Bottled water in New York City. Photo by Kevin Coles, used under Creative Commons licensing.

 

Every second, a thousand people in the U.S. reach for a disposable plastic bottle of water. In Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water, freshwater expert Peter Gleick examines the causes and consequences of favoring bottled water over tap and uncovers the marketing behind the trend.

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Fiji Water: Where bottled water, money, and ethics conflict

Fiji Water, one of the world's most well-promoted brands of bottled water, is also one of the most secretive and private. Owned by Lynda and Stewart Resnick, the increasingly controversial Southern California billionaires, Fiji Water is a symbol of...
Fiji Water, one of the world's most well-promoted brands of bottled water, is also one of the most secretive and private. Owned by Lynda and Stewart Resnick, the increasingly controversial Southern California billionaires, Fiji Water is a symbol of both the bad and the good in the world of bottled water. "Bad" because the massive energy cost and plastic waste produced by shipping bottled water thousands of miles from the island of Fiji to markets in the United States and around the world, and because of their interactions with the unelected military regime in Fiji, which came to power in a coup in 2006. The country has been under martial law since 2009. "Good" because of the benefits the company claims to offer in the way of jobs and other economic returns to local communities in Fiji, and because of their much publicized claims to be "carbon negative" -- a claim, by the way, that cannot be independently verified with information provided publicly by the company. Despite their efforts to keep a low profile, however, Fiji Water is in the news, in a big way. Read the Gleick's full article.