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A Sierra Club sponsorship gift is a unique way to show your appreciation for someone special, while also doing something positive for the environment. By giving a Sierra Club sponsorship gift, you are able to affirm your environmental values, and also share those values with a family member or friend in a way they are sure to enjoy. Your symbolic sponsorship supports all Sierra Club’s efforts to protect America’s wildlands and wildlife, keep our air and water clean and solve global warming.

Not only are sponsorship gifts ideal for the committed tree-hugger in your family, but they will delight fledgling environmentalists too. Our plush puppets appeal to any age group and our easy to read Fact Sheets are full of fun details about your chosen wild place and the wildlife that call it home.

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Book recommendations from our newsletters

Click on a book's title (below) for a link to information about the book at


The Sounds of Life: How Digital Technology Is Bringing Us Closer to the Worlds of Animals and Plants by Karen Bakker, 2022
All sorts of creatures can hear and make sound along a wide range of the sonic spectrum, often well beyond human hearing.  Since scientists could not hear sounds, they concluded that animals, creatures, and plants did not make sounds and could not hear sounds.  Boy, were they wrong!
            Advances in technology with digital bioacoustics shows that animals once believed to be silent can hear, make music, and exchange information.
            Just as the microscope revealed another world of animalcules, digital bioacoustics is acting like a sonic microscope to reveal a universe teeming with hitherto unknown sound, from teeny corals to gigantic whales in the ocean, from tiny bees to huge elephants on land -- enabling us to interpret their language and better understand the Tree of Life.
            The subject matter is fascinating, and the author writes in language that is easily understood.  Check it out! - Kirk Miller
Available at local libraries and at local and online bookstores

Beyond The Wall by Edward Abbey, 1971
In this wise and lyrical book about landscapes of the desert and the mind, Edward Abbey guides us beyond the wall of the city and asphalt belting of superhighways to special pockets of wilderness that stretch from the interior of Alaska to the dry lands of Mexico.
Available at local and online bookstores

The Emerald Mile by Kevin Fedarko, 2013

This is the thrilling true tale of the fastest boat ride ever, down the entire length of the Colorado River and through the Grand Canyon, during the legendary flood of 1983.  I read this book at the urging of some friends, even though it didn't seem to appeal to me, and I'm glad that I did.  Great book, easy read, difficult to put down. - Kirk Miller
Available at local libraries and at local and online bookstores

Saving Us: A Climate Scientist's Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World by Katharine Hayhoe, 2021

In Saving Us, Hayhoe argues that when it comes to changing hearts and minds, facts are only one part of the equation.  We need to find shared values in order to connect our unique identities to collective action.
               Drawing on interdisciplinary research and personal stories, Hayhoe shows that small conversations can have astonishing results.  Saving Us leaves us with the tools to open a dialogue with your loved ones about how we all can play a role in pushing forward for change.
Available at local libraries and at local and online bookstores

Gloryland by Shelton Johnson, 2009

If you watched Ken Burns' National Parks mini-series, you will recognize the author, Shelton Johnson.  His historical fiction novel is the story of a Black man growing up after the Civil War, becoming a Buffalo Soldier, and eventually patrolling the newly created Yosemite National Park.  It is an uplifting book that touches on a variety of subjects -- justice, prejudice, the beauty of the outdoors, and more.  His profound imagery of Yosemite and the Sierras is lyrical - poetry in prose.  I savored the book, one of the best that I have read. - Kirk Miller
Available at local libraries and at local and online bookstores

Leave Only Footprints: My Acadia-to-Zion Journey Through Every National Park  by Conor Knighton, 2020

This is a delightful story of one man's journey through every national park in one year.  From sunrise in Acadia on January 1 to sunset at Point Reyes national Seashore on December 31.  A story told with humor and love for the great outdoors. - Coralie Miller
Available at local libraries and at local and online bookstores

How To Avoid A Climate Disaster by Bill Gates, 2021
Do you know the five main categories of human activities that produce greenhouse gases?  They are:
1 – making things such as cement, steel, and plastic
2 – plugging in (supplying electricity)
3 – growing things (plants and animals)
4 – transportation (planes, trucks, ships)
5 – keeping warm and cool (heat, cooling, refrigeration)
In this book, each activity gets its own chapter describing how the category impacts the climate, reviewing alternative solutions, and suggesting an associated Green Premium.  A Green Premium is defined as the difference between what we pay today for products from each category and what we would have to pay for a zero-carbon alternative.  Bill Gates describes at least 19 technologies which are currently being developed to help get to zero emissions globally.
            In further chapters, he discusses policies, planning, and what individuals can do to help fix the climate disaster.  He proposes that "engaging in the political process is the most important single step that people from every walk of life can take."
            I found the book to be encouraging since it helped me to understand that there are many projects in progress to address a broad range of climate change issues that will have to come together to get to a net zero solution by 2050. - Kim Klich
Available at local libraries and at local and online bookstores

The World’s Littlest Book on Climate: 10 Facts in 10 Minutes about CO2 by Mike Nelson, Pieter Tans & Michael Banks

This book is a quick read on climate facts.  The authors have given clear information about such things as why we know that the type of CO2 in the atmosphere is caused by burning fossil fuels, why there are more extinctions, wild weather, and why 2-3 F degrees impacts the earth so much. - Pam Klich
Click here for a free download e-version.
Available at local libraries and at local and online bookstores.  Click here for Amazon. 
There are also in-person discussion sessions, May-August, in Plano called the Friendly Science Climate Science Workshop.  Click here to sign up. - Pam Klich

The End of Bias: A Beginning by Jessica Nordell

This book examines unconscious bias, which is unintentional prejudiced behavior that clashes with our consciously held beliefs.  The book is somewhat surprising in its revelations.  It made me think and re-think some things.  For example, in diversity training, if you try to be color-blind, it makes bias worse; if you stress differences, it helps reduce bias.  This seemed counter-intuitive to me, but the author explains why this is so.  She uses real life examples to illustrate points throughout the book.
            The author is very open about her journey in researching and writing the book, and how surprised she was with what she found during her research and also in what she found out about herself.
            It should be beneficial to all of us in our everyday lives.  The book is a quick read.  Check it out. - Kirk Miller
Available at local libraries and at local and online bookstores

The City and the Coming Climate by Brian Stone, Jr. 

This book taught me that there are many aspects of climate change that I wasn't aware of -- and that many of the world's climate change powers also are not aware of.  Consequently, we are not addressing some of the most urgent climate change problems.

            Most large U.S. cities not only are warming faster than the planet as a whole, they are warming at double the rate of global climate change, with major implications for human health.  The implications for city dwellers are suggested by the 2003 European heat wave, in which 70,000 people died as a result of heat-induced illness.  Managing urban heat (the heat island effect) is essential for mitigating climate change.  After explaining the problems, the author gives concrete solutions to the problems. - Kirk Miller

Available at the Dallas library and at local and online bookstores

Forget The Alamo by Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson, and Jason Stanford

This book was researched very well and reveals that some things taught in school are whitewashed history.  It is an easy, interesting read.  The book contains tidbits such as:

  • Irony: In the 1800s, Mexico passed a law prohibiting Americans from crossing the border to Mexico (but they didn't threaten to build a wall to keep Americans out).
  • The Texas constitution remains the only one in world history to guarantee slavery and actually outlaw any and all emancipation.
  • Phil Collins' obsession with the Alamo artifacts
  • The Texas School Board and politicians censoring history books

Available at local libraries and at local and online bookstores

Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About The World -- And Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling

When asked simple questions about global trends - why the world's population is increasing; how many young women go to school; how many of us live in poverty - we systematically get the answers wrong.  So wrong that a chimpanzee choosing answers at random will consistently outguess journalists, Nobel laureates, and investment bankers.

            The world, for all its imperfections, is in a much better state than we might think.  But when we worry about everything all the time instead of embracing a worldview based on facts, we can lose our ability to focus on the things that threaten us most.  This book offers a new explanation of why this happens, and reveals the ten instincts that distort our perspective.

            This book might change the way you see the world. - Kirk Miller

Available at local libraries and at local and online bookstores

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate – Discoveries from a Secret World by Peter Wohleben

This fascinating book explains the science behind the secret and previously unknown life of trees and their communication abilities.  Trees communicate through underground fungal networks; they share nutrients, send distress signals, and nurture each other.  As a result of such interactions, trees in a family or community are protected and can live to be very old.  In contrast, solitary trees, like street kids, have a tough time of it and in most cases die much earlier than those in a group. - Kirk Miller

Available at local libraries and at local and online bookstores

Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed To Reverse Global Warming by Paul Hawken

This book lists one hundred things that could draw down carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. These are practical, economical things (many are technologies) that are cost-effective and can be done now. Hawken writes a paragraph or two about each item -- in non-technical language -- giving the methodology and science behind each. Very interesting. - Kirk Miller
Available at local libraries and at local and online bookstores

Paved A Way: Infrastructure, Policy and Racism in an American City by Collin Yarbrough

This book tells the stories of five neighborhoods in Dallas and how they were shaped by racism and economic oppression.  The communities look nothing like what they did during their prime.  Their declines were intentional; their foundations were chipped away over time.  The book is an eye-opening look at the various factors that led, and continue to lead, to dissolution of neighborhoods.  And it offers solutions to reverse these age-old practices. - Kirk Miller
Available at the Dallas library and at local and online bookstores.

Texas Nature and Environmental Centers Guide by Dan Moulton
This book serves as an environmental education reference, and also as a nature center travel guide. It's a virtual short course on environmental science for non-scientists. Teachers and group leaders (including parents) can use this book to help plan field trips and locate educational resources. The appended Environmental Primer will familiarize you with major environmental issues facing us, and direct you to websites where you can learn more about specific environmental problems and potential solutions.
Available at local and online bookstores

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
Bryson recounts his travails on trails as he and a friend walk part of the Appalachian Trail.  The comical yet heartfelt memoir is made all the more surreal by the fact that Bryson had no actual experience in hiking.  This classic is for hikers and non-hikers alike. - Kirk Miller
Available at most libraries, and at local and online bookstores

Strangers In Their Own Land by Arlie Russell Hochschild

This is a thought-provoking book that gives insight into why some conservatives think the way that they do.  I have wondered why some people seem (to me) to vote against their own interests, and this book showed me why. - Kirk Miller

Available at the Dallas, Richardson, and Plano libraries, and at local and online bookstores

Best Tent Camping: Texas: Your Car-Camping Guide to Scenic Beauty, the Sounds of Nature, and an Escape from Civilization by Wendel Withrow

The Lone Star State provides a spectacular backdrop for some of the most scenic campgrounds in the country, from the High Plains of the Panhandle to the beautiful beaches of the Gulf Coast.  But do you know which campgrounds offer the most privacy?  Which are the best for first-time campers?  Wendel Withrow has traversed the entire state and compiled the most up-to-date research to steer you to the perfect spot!  Whether you seek a quiet campground near a fish-filled stream or a family campground with all the amenities, grab Best Tent Camping: Texas. It's not only a guidebook; it's an escape manual for all who wish to navigate the back roads of Texas to find those special locales that recharge the head, heart, and soul. This guide is a keeper.

Available locally at REI and at Barnes & Noble, and online at  To get a signed copy of Wendel's book, contact him by email -

60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Dallas-Fort Worth by Joanie Sánchez

This detailed guide presents the best day-hikes in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.  Each hike description features key information on length, hiking time, difficulty, configuration, scenery, traffic, trail surface, and accessibility, as well as information on the history and natural history of the area.

Available locally at REI and at Barnes & Noble, and online at


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