The Environment and Climate Change

The Scots like a good blether about the weather. And and yet Scottish weather isn't that exciting as a subject - it's never that hot, or cold; there are no monsoons or typhoons. There's just rain, grey skies, a chill in the air... and more of the same tomorrow.

The spectre of Global Warming is on the rise, and jokes about bumper tomato crops aside, the effects are already being felt. There is particular concern about the destructive effects of warmer winters on the flora and fauna of the Cairngorms, a unique environment under serious threat.

But for all our talk about the weather, there's aren't many books on the subject. Christopher Warren's Managing Scotland's Environment debates the issues surrounding land development and reform, environmental protection and species management, and is designed for students and workers in the environmental field. Kevin Dunion's Troublemakers is a history of Scotland's environmental campaigners.

Scotland After the Ice Age

Two titles take a historical perspective on the Scottish environment: Species History in Scotland: Introduction and Extinctions Since the Ice Age and Scotland After the Ice Age.

Scotland From Space

For an overview of the Scottish environment, you can't get any bigger than Scotland From Space, from photography specialists Colin Baxter.

Scottish Woodlands

In 1799 William Blake said, 'the tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way'. Proverbs are equally mixed in their messages. One, from Guinea, warns those seeking shade or inspiration from trees, 'under a flowering tree, one finds many insects...' And another from China advises, 'keep a green tree in your heart, and perhaps a singing bird will come.'

Perhaps you will find inspiration from Britain's oldest tree, the Fortingall Yew in Tayside, which is probably over 3,000 years old. The tallest trees in Britain are Scottish too; a Douglas Fir in Reelig Glen in Invernesshire is the tallest; second places goes to a 64.5 metre fir in the Hermitage Forest, in Perthshire. The trees of Scotland are celebrated in titles such as Scottish Woodland History , People and Woods in Scotland and A Pleasure in Scottish Trees. Naturalist Don MacCaskill's Listen To The Trees has been reprinted many times, most recently hardback.

Flora Celtica

Easily the most beautiful book on the subject of Scotland's plant life is Flora Celtica by William Milliken and Sam Bridgewater.

  • Cover scan of Flora Celtica
    Flora Celtica - William Milliken; Sam Bridgewater - Hardback
    The wild plants of the British Isles have been providing essentials for people's lives since mankind first set foot on our shores. Scotland, in particular, has a diverse and colourful plant lore that's as relevant today as it was 500 years ago.
  • Cover scan of Listen To The Trees
    Listen To The Trees - Don MacCaskill - Hardback
    This is a new, enhanced hardback edition of the evocative story of Don MacCaskill's life, complemented by 60 additional photographs and specially commissioned drawings.
  • Cover scan of People And Woods In Scotland
    People And Woods In Scotland: A History - Paperback
    This is a history of the trees, woodlands and forests of Scotland and of the people who used them. It begins 11,500 years ago when the ice sheet melted and trees such as hazel, pine, ash and oak returned, bringing with them first birds and mammals and, soon after, the first hunter-gathering humans.
  • Cover scan of A Pleasure In Scottish Trees
    A Pleasure In Scottish Trees - Alistair Scott - Hardback
    All trees in Scotland come under scrutiny in this volume. It celebrates the wealth of trees that flourish throughout the country, not only the 30-odd native to Scotland, but the 1000 and more introduced from everywhere in the temperate world.
  • Cover scan of Scotland After The Ice Age
    Scotland After The Ice Age: An Environmental And Archaeological History, 8000 BC - AD 1000 - Paperback
    Gathering environmental, ecological, historical, geological, and archaeological evidence, this text charts the environmental transformation of Scotland from the end of the Ice Age 10,000 years ago to the Viking invasions of an established society 9000 years later.
  • Cover scan of Scotland From Space
    Scotland From Space - Paperback
    This book contains satellite images of Scotland taken from over 400 miles above the Earth in true colour, along with captions about Scotland's landscape.
  • Cover scan of Scottish Woodland History
    Scottish Woodland History - Paperback
    This book deals with both the old Caledonian pine forests and the deciduous woods, and discusses how people have used and misused them over the centuries.
  • Cover scan of Species History In Scotland
    Species History In Scotland: Introductions And Extinctions Since The Ice Age - Paperback
    Environmental historians, archaeologists, ecologists, biologists and nature conservationists offer an interdisciplinary approach to species history in Scotland.
  • Cover scan of Troublemakers
    Troublemakers: The Struggle For Environmental Justice In Scotland - Kevin Dunion - Paperback
    Environmentalist Kevin Dunion argues for a sustained challenge to environmental injustice in Scotland. This text offers an insight into the nature of environmental campaigning in Scotland and draws on international as well as Scottish case studies.

The Global Picture

Extreme Weather - Peter Bunyard

There are a few Scottish titles about global warming more generally, such asThe Breakdown of Climate and Extreme Weather by Peter Bunyard, and Mark Maslin's striking Global Warming. Dave Reay's Climate Change Begins at Home investigates the causes of global warming, and suggests changes that we can all make at home. He argues that we cannot wait for governments and industry to come up with the answers.

For younger readers, children will enjoy Balamory: Weather and High School pupils will find The Physical Environment useful.

  • Cover scan of Climate Change Begins At Home
    Climate Change Begins At Home: Life On The Two-Way Street Of Global Warming - Dave Reay - Paperback
    After summarizing today's state of affairs, scientifically and politically, Dave Reay explores the climate impact of housing, gardening, food, money, work, transport, and death. Packed with provocative case studies, calculations, and lifestyle comparisons, this book makes the complexities of climatology understandable.
  • Cover scan of Global Warming
    Global Warming - Mark Maslin - Paperback
    Maslin examines the latest evidence on the topic, and describes the impact that global warming will have on health, agriculture, water resources, coastal regions, forests, wildlife and our climate.
  • Cover scan of The Physical Environment
    The Physical Environment - Calvin Clarke - Paperback
    The third edition of this title offers a re-designed page layout to aid pupil understanding at all three levels of Standard Grade. Each topic is studied through single, extended case studies. The volume covers weather, mapwork, river and glacial landforms and related physical processes, climate and vegetation.

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