The complicated interdependency of all life on earth is a key message of each shortlisted book in this category. The global future of food is examined by environmental activist George Monbiot in Regenesis, a startlingly original work which dares to imagine a world free of farming as we have known it, while Eating to Extinction by broadcaster and journalist Dan Saladino is an inspiring account of endangered foods and food cultures across the planet and a rallying call to protect the world’s diversity before it is too late.
The potential cataclysmic consequences to the planet of the decline of insects is explored by Professor of Biology at Sussex University, Dave Goulson in Silent Earth, a love letter to the insect world and a rousing manifesto for change. Environmental correspondent Oliver Milman celebrates both the incredible variety of insects in all their strangeness and beauty and the inspiring people who tirelessly study and conserve them in The Insect Crisis.
Damaged landscapes are explored in The Treeline, Ben Rawling’s spellbinding investigation into the precious Arctic treeline, at the very frontline of climate change, and in Wild Fell, a passionate account of the battle to restore nature to RSPB Haweswater, a reserve incorporating working farms in the Lake District, by ecologist and site manager Lee Schofield.
Despite depicting a world in crisis, the shortlisted books are shot through with optimism, capturing the energy of a global movement of people dedicating their lives to saving the planet and inspiring us to believe that turning the tide is still possible. Our Biggest Experiment by climate campaigner and writer Alice Bell chronicles the science and history of climate change, delivering the hopeful message that by harnessing the ingenuity and intelligence that has long driven the history of climate change research, we can find a more sustainable future for humanity.