The Great Lakes Environmental Alliance is pleased to offer a Lending Library service to help community members become more educated on the environmental topics that most interest them. Books may be signed out free of charge at any monthly meeting. All we ask is that books are returned by the next monthly meeting so that other community members have the opportunity to benefit from them as well. 



1,001 Chemicals in Everyday Products”                              AVAILABLE

Grace Ross Lewis

“Every wondered what all those chemicals on product labels are, what they’re used for, and how they may affect your health? Here’s a guide that fully clarifies the uses and risks of commonly encountered chemicals and additives.

 1,001 Chemicals in Everyday Products provides entries on chemicals found in the home, school, office, garage, and garden products. Substances in cosmetics, food and vitamins, cleaning liquids, gardening products, and car-care products are covered. Extensive attention is given to environmental hazards that have been highly publicized in the news, including pesticides and household exposures to detergents, drugs, paints, ozone, lead, radon, and hair dyes.

 Vital details are provided on each chemical in plain language, without scientific jargon, and in a format that makes it easy to find information fast. Providing factual information in minimum space, every compact chemical entry features:

            *Entry name * Products that contain the chemical * Uses of the chemical

            *List of product/chemical synonyms * Graphic symbol that depicts uses

                                                            of the product

 Product and chemical synonym indexes are included to allow easy cross-referencing.

 Users of 1,001 Chemicals in Everyday Products will be fully armed to identify the benefits and hazards of chemicals in products that we use in our daily lives. It is an essential source for everyone who wants to minimize exposure to potentially hazardous substances.”



Chemical Deception”                             AVAILABLE

Marc Lappe

 “In Chemical Deception, Lappe charts both individual and global episodes of toxicity and discusses the myths that have perpetuated them: that the risk from cancer-causing agents is remote; that tap water is safe; that the body’s defenses can handle food, air, and water contaminants; that a fetus is protected from dangerous substances; that toxins are innocuous as long as concentrations are kept low; that most, if not all, toxins will eventually be metabolized or safely assimilated; that man-made toxins are not as bad as natural ones; that the environment is resilient and so on.

 He provides eye-opening information on the most toxic substances known, as well as “safe” contraceptives, silicone-based breast implants; and the role of multinational corporations that market chemicals with insufficient consideration of their harmful effects on human health and the global ecology.

 As Lappe points out, “The ability of the planet and persons to cope with toxic substances has been clearly overestimated…In the end, it is up to us – members of the public, whose dreams and aspirations for a good life are circumscribed by toxic emissions, contaminated housing tracts, and toxins in our drinking water – to take control over the fate of the earth. It is only too late if we persist in our self-deception that chemicals will forever make ‘for better living.’ Chemicals can be whatever we want them to be. Now is the time to put them to the service of life instead of its destruction.”



The Consumer’s Guide to Effective Environmental Choices: Practical Advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists”                 AVAILABLE

Michael Brower, PH.D

Warren Leon, PH.D

 “Paper or plastic? Bus or car? Old house or new? Cloth diapers or disposable? Some choices have a huge impact on the environment; others are of negligible importance. To those of us who care about our quality of life and what is happening to the earth, this is a vastly important issue. In these pages, the Union of Concerned Scientists help inform consumers about everyday decisions that significantly affect the environment. For example, a few major decisions – such as the choice of a house or vehicle – have such a disproportionately large affect on the environment that minor environmental infractions shrink by comparison.

            This book identifies the 2 Most Significant Consumer-Related Environmental Problems, the 7 Most Damaging Spending Categories, 11 Priority Actions, and 7 Rules for Responsible Consumption. Learn what you can do to have a truly significant impact on our world from the people who are at the forefront of scientific research.”




“do fish feel pain?”                              CHECKED OUT

Victoria Braithwaite

 “We think of fish as slow and unfeeling, with brains so primitive that they are capable only of simple behavior. But recent evidence challenges this view. Victoria Braithwaite has been at the forefront of research into fish behavior and perception. Here she discusses what we now know about the ability of fish to feel pain and to suffer. She argues that the care we accord to mammals and birds should be extended to fish. This conclusion has far reaching and often surprising implications for our dealings with fish.



The Enduring Great Lakes, A Natural History Book”                               AVAILABLE

John Rousmaniere

“The Great Lakes are dying” is an opinion heard so frequently that it has become a cliché. But are these five magnificent bodies of water, around which sixty million Americans live and work, really losing their life-giving functions?

            This book is the first report for the general reader on the basic scientific research involving the lakes and their organic life that has taken place in the years since the rise of serious ecological concern. A dozen Midwestern scientists and naturalists describe the state of bird, plant, and fish life, and speculate about the future of organisms in this massive and complex ecosystem.

            Subjects here range from the demise of the Atlantic salmon and the near extinction of the lake trout, to changes in phytoplankton (the microscopic and invaluable algae at he bottom of the food chain), the apparent return of the bald eagle since the banning of DDT, and “The Old-Time Fisherman as Ecologist.”

            Illustrated with many pages of superb color photographs and readable tables, charts and graphs, this is a book for all who are concerned about America’s greatest water resource.”




“Blue Covenant: The Global Water Crisis and the Coming Battle for the Right to Water”                              AVAILABLE

Maude Barlow

 Lake Superior is almost two feet below its normal levels. Arizona is officially out of water and must import from neighboring states. Beijing may have to move because there soon won’t be enough water left to supply the city. How did the world’s largest resource become so imperiled? And more importantly, what do we have to do to draw back from the brink?

 Canada’s own Maude Barlow has been at the forefront of the global water movement for the past decade, and in this timely and important book she addresses the state of the world’s water, how water companies are reaping vast profits from declining supplies, and how ordinary people from around the world have banded together to reclaim the public’s right to clean water, creating a grassroots global water justice movement. Sobering, inspiring, essential, Blue Covenant is a book we all must read if we love this planet.”



Journey to the Tar Sands”                              AVAILABLE

Tim Murphy

 “In August 2007, a group of nineteen young environmentalists set out by bike from Alberta’s souther boundary to learn the truth about the tar sands, and what they mean for people and the environment. As members of the Sierra Youth Coalition, coming from all across Canada (plus two from the U.S.), trhey were passionate about seeing the tar sands for themselves. They knew the tar sands are the bigtgest obstacle to Canada meeting the terms fo the Kyoto Protocol. They wanted to better understand why developing this resource is so important and appealing, not just to oil companies, but also to Canadians.

            Journey to the Tar Sands is the story of their trip, told by the nineteen bike riders and illustrated with their personal photos. They book describes the people and places they visited, what they learned on that journey and the friendships and adventures they shared.

            Throught the eyes and the experiences of these young adventurers, Canadians can learn first-hand about the real meaning, and the impact of tar sands development on people and the environment.”



Nuclear Power Is Not The Answer”                              AVAILABLE

Helen Caldicott

 In a world torn apart by wars over oil, politicians have increasingly begun to look for alternative energy sources – and their leading choice is nuclear energy. Among the myths that have been spread over the years about nuclear-powered electricity are that it does not cause global warming or pollution, that it is inexpensive, and that it is safe.

 But, as world-renowned antinuclear activist Helen Caldicott reveals in this eye-opening look at the costs and consequences of nuclear energy, the facts belie the incessant barrage of nuclear industry propaganda. In fact, nuclear power actually contributes to global warming; the true cost of nuclear power is prohibitive, with taxpayers picking up most of the tab; there’s simply not enough uranium in the world to sustain nuclear power over the long term; and the potential for a catastrophic accident or a terrorist attack far outweighs any benefits

 Trained as a physician, and – after four decades of anticunclear activism – thoroughly versed in the science of nuclear energy, the best selling author of Nuclear Madness and Missle Envy here turns her attention from nuclear bombs to nuclear lightbulbs. As she makes meticulously clear in this essential book, the world cannot withstand either.



“Oceans: The Threats to Our Seas and What You Can Do to Turn the Tides”                              AVAILABLE

Jon Bowermaster

 “Oceans gathers some of the most insightful visionaries, explorers, and ocean-lovers _ marine biologists, politiicians, environmentalists, fishermen, sportsmen, deep divers _ to provide a compeling guide to the state of our planet’s largest habitat. More than 70 percent of the globe is covered by ocean, andhalf of the world’s population lives within minutes of a coastline. Rich with resources and potential _ as a source of renewable energy, life-saving drugs, food _ our ocans have long been thought of as bothh infinite and undamageable. But they are not. Overfishing, climate change, pollution, acidification, dead-zones, and more have now put the world’s ocean and marine life at great risk. We must take action now if wewant to save our seas for future generations.

            This unique anthology is a companion volume to the spectacular film, Oceans, in which filmmakers Jaques Perin and Jaques Cluzaud explore the splendor of the world’s seas, showcasing the strange and fascinating creatures that live in its depths. Inspired by the film, Oceans the book shows how we can change our lives to help keep the ocean both viable and healthy for centuries to come.



On the Brink:  The Great Lakes in the 21st Century”                               AVAILABLE

Dave Dempsey

 “As one of the world’s great natural treasures, the Great Lakes have also served in recent decades as an early warning system for many emerging environmental problems. In the early twenty-first century, as the Lakes face unprecedented challenges, we need to revisit the wonder of the Lakes and the perils plaguing them, and to take action to protect this majestic ecosystem.

            Dave Dempsey weaves the natural character and phenomena of the Great Lakes and stories of the schemes, calamities, and uknusual human residents of the Basin with the history of their environmental exploitation and recovery. Contrasting the incomparable beauty and complexity of the Lakes and the poetry, folklore, and citizen action they have inspired with the disasters that short-sighted human folly has inflicted on the ecosystem, Dempsey makes this history both engaging and relevant to today’s debates and decisions”



Poisoned Nation”                             AVAILABLE

Loretta Schwartz-Nobel

 “Loretta Schwartz-Nobel compellingly documents the links between the contamination of our air, water, food, and everyday products and the growing epidemics of illness threatening our health, from breast cancer to lung disease, autism and asthma”



The Poisoning of Michigan”                              AVAILABLE

Joyce Egginton

 “In an isolated mass burial site in Kalkaska, Michigan, lie the grisly remains of 35,000 cattle – the first victims of the biggest chemical disaster this country has experienced. But no the only victims. According to competent medical authorities, all of the nine million people who lived in Michigan in 1973-74 have measurable levels of a highly toxic chemical polybrominated biphenyl – in their tissues. Some have symptoms of serious toxicity for which there is no cure. Others, it is suspected, may develop incurable diseases in years to come.

            The story begins in 1973 when the Michigan Chemical Corporation delivered by mistake an unknown quantity of PBB to an agricultural feed company. Employees there assumed the the poorly marked brown bags contained the magnesium oxide that had been ordered and mixed it into the tons of cattle feed to be delivered all across the state. Soon whole herds were devastated by a plaguy which caused healthy animals to become emaciated and deformed. Federal and state authorities ignored or minimized the problem. It ook nine months before one farmer, working on his own, stumbled on the real cause, and many more months before all the herds were quarantined. During this time, contaminated meat, milk, and eggs were sold throughout the state.

            On the basis of court testimony and hundreds of interviews, the author has fashioned this narrative in all its rich, human detail. This is much more than an account of what happened in Michigan. It is the anatomy of all technological disasters, past or yet to happen.”



“Ruin & Recovery: Michigan’s Rise as a Conservation Leader”                               AVAILABLE

Dave Dempsey

 “Against the backdrop of national trends, Ruin and Recovery traces the evolution of the public movement to conserve Michigan’s forests, fish and wildlife in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centiuries and the environmental movement that demanded cleanup of the stat’s air and water in the 1960s and 1970s. Both movements put Michigan on the nation’s map as a leader in environmental protection. The current Michigan generation faces a similar challenge in protecting Michigan’s agricultural, ecologically valuable and senic lands from sprawling urban development.”



Snow Ball Earth”                              AVAILABLE

Gabrielle Walker

 “Did the Earth once undergo a super ice age, one that froze the entire planet from the poles to the equator? In Snowball Earth, gifted writer Gabrielle Walker has crafted an intriguing global adventure story, following maverick scientist Paul Hoffman’s quest to prove a theory so audacious and profound that it is shaking the world of earth science to its core.

            In lyrical prose that brings each remote and alluring locale vividly to life, Walker takes us on a thrilling natural history expedition to witness firsthand the supporting evidence Hoffman has pieced together. That evidence, he argues, shows that 700 million years ago the Earth did indeed freeze over completely, becoming a giant “snowball,” in the worst climatic catastrophe in history. Even more startling is his assertion that, instead of ending life on Earth, this global deep freeze was the trigger for the Cambrian Explosion, the hitherto unexplained moment in geological time when a glorious profusion of complex life forms first emerged from the primordial ooze.

            In a story full of intellectual intrigue, we follow the irascible but brilliant Hoffman and a supporting cast of intrepid geologists as they scour the planet, uncovering clue after surprising clue. We travel to a primeval lagoon at Shark Bay in western Australia, where dolphins cavort with swimmers every morning at seven and “living rocks” sprout out of the water like broccoli heads; to the desolate and forbidding ice fields of a tiny Artic archipelago seven hundred miles north of Norway; to the surprising fossil beds that decorate Newfoundland’s foggy and windswept coastline; and on to the superheated salt pans of California’s Death Valley.

            Through the contours of these rich and varied landscapes Walker teaches us to read the traces of geological time with expert eyes, and we marvel at the stunning feats of resilience and renewal our remarkable planet is capable of. Snowball Earth is science writing at its most gripping and enlightening.





"To The Village Square"                    AVAILABLE

Lionel Delevingne

"I couldn't simply leaf through Lionel Delevingne's exquisite To The Village Square. To open it is to participate, comprehend and appreciate the extensive, heroic, multi-decade struggle against global damage by nuclear power plants. It celebrates the many concerned and sensible citizens who have built successful, continuing and urgent movements against the high-handed and short-sighted private developers of these risky plants.

For those around from the "No Nukes" start, this is a proud history. For younger folks, it's a realization of the heritage and beauty of this eternal, reasoned, strengthening and constructive defiance. Delevingne's own introduction modestly claims he's composed a book about power; it is also a book that stirs us with hope and understanding of choice and conscience and commitment to humankind."



“Wollaston: People Resisting Genocide”                              AVAILABLE

Miles Goldstick

 “More uranium is mined in Northern Saskatchewan that anywhere else in the Western world. Much of it is mined on or near Native lands. This is the story of the Natives’ struggle not only to protect their homes from the immediate and long-term environmental effects of uranium mining, but also to have a say in how their lands are used. These personal accounts by the residents themselves show that, contrary to the government line, it is the people themselves who are at the forefront of this fight, and not a handful of outside agitators.”