Yale environment dean wins book award for nonfiction

December 08, 2005

Photos are Book cover - Yale Press 'Gus' Speth - Peter Otis photographer James Gustave Speth, dean of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, is the winner of the 2005 Connecticut Book Award for nonfiction.

Speth took the prize for "Red Sky at Morning: America and the Crisis of the Global Environment," in which he argues that the international community must take urgent action to address global-scale environmental threats or face an era of unprecedented environmental decline. "Time is running out," said Speth, former chair of the Council on Environmental Quality in the Carter Administration and founder of the World Resources Institute. "We are on the verge of reaping an appalling deterioration of our natural assets. Only unprecedented action taken with a profound sense of urgency can forestall these consequences."

The book, published in March 2004 by Yale University Press, outlines steps in eight areas that, taken together, would comprise the needed transition to sustainability.

"These transitions require genuine partnership between countries of the North and South, as well as actions far outside the traditional areas of environmental policy," said Speth. "Collectively, they will do three things of immense importance. They will directly attack the underlying drivers of deterioration. They will greatly enhance the prospects for success of treaties and other agreements by altering the context in which the agreements are operating. And they will facilitate a very different, more hopeful and powerful way of doing the business of global environmental governance."

The paperback edition of "Red Sky at Morning," published in March 2005, contains an Afterword that reviews the mounting evidence of serious climate change and proposes a 10-point plan of action that does not depend on Washington leadership.

The Connecticut Book Awards were presented December 5 by the Connecticut Center for the Book, a program of the Hartford Public Library and an affiliate of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress. The books, published during the previous year, must be by an author, illustrator or designer who lives or has lived in the state or have a Connecticut setting. Judges choose from nominations made by people in the publishing industry, librarians, teachers and the public.

Yale University

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