Green Ideas: Penguin Classics launches its environmental book series

Penguin Classics has launched its Green Ideas collection, a series of 20 short books on the environment from authors including Greta Thunberg, Wangari Maathai and James Lovelock.

The paperbacks, priced £4.99 each, show “the richness of environmental thought, and point the way to a fairer, saner, greener world”, according to Penguin Books.

Among the books included are Greta Thunberg’s No One Is Too Small to Make a Difference, Wangari Maathai’s The World We Once Lived In, Naomi Klein’s Hot Money and Lovelock’s We Belong to Gaia.

In a statement, Penguin Books said: “Over the past 75 years, a new canon has emerged. As life on Earth has become irrevocably altered by humans, visionary thinkers around the world have raised their voices to defend the planet, and affirm our place at the heart of its restoration. Their words have endured through the decades, becoming the classics of a movement.

“Here, in twenty short books, Penguin Classics brings you the ideas that have changed the way we think and talk about the living Earth. From art, literature, food and gardening, to technology, economics, politics and ethics, each one deepens our sense of our place in nature; each is a seed from which a bold activism can grow. Together, they show the richness of environmental thought, and point the way to a fairer, saner, greener world.”

James Lovelock, who at 101 is the oldest living Green Ideas author, in his book We Belong to Gaia draws on decades of wisdom to lay out the history of the living earth, to show that it is not ours to be exploited. 

James Lovelock said: “Bringing different disciplines together in the way of Green Ideas is an essential way to understand our planet. [Gaia] was not a popular idea among scientists who rejected it fiercely and saw it as a threat to their concept of science separated into disciplines, like biology, geology, physics, and chemistry. I followed the wise words of Alfred Lotka who said in the 1920s that it is better to think of the Earth as a whole and not try to explain it through a set of separated disciplines.”

A Green Ideas Slipcase edition, which includes all 20 books, will be available to buy from next month.

The Green Ideas paperbacks, priced £4.99 each, are available to buy from Amazon and all good book retailers now

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living

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