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    $100.00 $92.33 list($125.00)
    1. Land Development Calculations:
    $17.16 $15.06 list($26.00)
    2. The Bottomless Well: The Twilight
    $6.29 $4.27 list($6.99)
    3. Desert Solitaire
    $11.53 $10.81 list($16.95)
    4. Hubbert's Peak : The Impending
    $101.00 $33.00
    5. Natural Resource Conservation:
    $94.80 $66.95
    6. Resources of the Earth: Origin,
    $12.75 $11.75 list($15.00)
    7. The Green Belt Movement: Sharing
    $36.45 $31.23 list($45.00)
    8. The Ultimate Resource 2
    $10.20 $8.50 list($15.00)
    9. Resource Wars: The New Landscape
    10. Conservation Design for Subdivisions:
    $112.67 $47.99
    11. Environmental and Natural Resource
    $10.50 $1.27 list($14.00)
    12. Coal: A Human History
    $17.95 $12.18
    13. Water Follies: Groundwater Pumping
    14. Determining The Economic Value
    $21.95 $20.93
    15. Crimes against Nature: Squatters,
    $29.95 $24.41
    16. Flowforms: The Rhythmic Power
    $78.00 $49.95
    17. Geography, Resources and Environment,
    $15.75 $14.95 list($25.00)
    18. Power to the People : How the
    $20.00 $11.94
    19. Beyond Growth: The Economics of
    $14.95 $10.58
    20. Park Ranger True Stories from

    1. Land Development Calculations: Interactive Tools and Techniques for Site Planning, Analysis and Design
    by Walter Martin Hosack
    list price: $125.00
    our price: $100.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 007136255X
    Catlog: Book (2001-06-26)
    Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional
    Sales Rank: 25456
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    "It is the kind of simplified tool that many of us in practice sorely need" - Jamie Greene, AICP, AIA, Principal, American Communities Partnership

    *The first computational tool for land development and site planning analysis and design
    *Real-world case studies, with photographs and plans, illustrate how alternative development options would affect the project results
    *Includes a CD-ROM containing 30 interactive spreadsheets that can be used for every type of land development scenario ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Extremely valuable tool
    "Land Development Calculations" provides an excellent and innovative strategy for working towards sustainable land use and development. The models for varying land development strategies can assist local government land use decision makers and planners as well as developers determine the carrying capacity of land within realistic thresholds. The accompanying spreadsheets for the development scenarios on the CD-ROM are extremely user friendly and do not place an undue burden on the user by requiring what may be hard to find or to collect data. All of the data required just is typical of what is necessary to make appropriate land development decisions. As a local government planner, I am working towards incorporating the information received from the models in to the zoning and development code as part of the approval process by using it to further assess suitability of the property for the purposes proposed (a zoning consideration required in accordance with the State of Georgia Zoning Procedures Act). I strongly encourage other land planners and developers to read "Land Development Calculations," because of its highly practical and very timely material.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Author Delivers Valuable Techniques and Tools
    This is a terrificaly valuable technical reference for practitioners who need an efficient method of performing land development calulations. The book and its companion set of spreadsheets enable users to answer two key questions: 1) how much can be built on a given piece of land; or 2) how much land is needed to accommodate a given use? The material is clearly written and well illustrated, especially a series of worksheets leading through the method. Another strength is its comprehensiveness and detail, including all major land-use and micro site conditions. ... Read more

    2. The Bottomless Well: The Twilight of Fuel, the Virtue of Waste, and Why We Will Never Run Out of Energy
    by Peter W. Huber, Mark P. Mills
    list price: $26.00
    our price: $17.16
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0465031161
    Catlog: Book (2005-01-18)
    Publisher: Basic Books
    Sales Rank: 6972
    Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A myth-shattering book that explains why energy is not scarce, why the price of energy doesn't matter very much, and why "waste" of energy is both necessary and desirable.

    The sheer volume of talk about energy, energy prices, and energy policy on both sides of the political aisle suggests that we must know something about these subjects.But according to Peter W. Huber and Mark P. Mills, the things we think we know are mostly myths.In The Bottomless Well, Huber and Mills show how a better understanding of energy will radically change our views and policies on a number of very controversial issues.

    Writing in take-no-prisoners, urgently compelling prose, Huber and Mills explain why demand for energy will never go down, why most of what we think of as "energy waste" actually benefits us; why more efficient cars, engines, and bulbs will never lower demand, and why energy supply is infinite.In the automotive sector, gas prices matter less and less, and hybrid engines will most likely lead us to cars propelled by the coal-fired grid.As for the much-maligned power grid itself, it's the worst system we could have except for all the proposed alternatives.Expanding energy supplies mean higher productivity, more jobs, and a growing GDP.Across the board, energy isn't the problem, energy is the solution. ... Read more

    Reviews (17)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Just do the math(s)!
    The fact that anyone could be taken in by the delirious pseudo-science presented in this book is a sad reflection on the level of mathematical innumeracy in our culture. For a free summary of much of the real arithmetic of energy: see I can only imagine that the authors of this book have cynically concluded that telling people what they want to hear can be very profitable, even though all the actual evidence fails to support such false optimism. The authors' thesis is about as plausible as "Intelligent Design", and falls apart just as quickly when subjected to rational analysis. If you find yourself being lulled into a dangerous belief in this book's claims, then I've got an idea for a perpetual motion machine, to which I'd love to sell you the rights!
    Dave Hodgson [Graduate Electronic Engineer, US & Japan Patent Holder, for inventions that actually work!]

    3-0 out of 5 stars a mix of well-supported argument and optimistic speculation
    I found this to be an entertaining, exciting, optimism-generating book, but after reading it I'm afraid I can't be as optimistic as the authors are. On the one hand, a large component of the book is essentially just spelling out the laws of thermodynamics, and it can't be argued with. Of the myths they debunk, in several cases they make their case quite well--there is always going to be energy waste (that's part of the laws of thermodynamics), increases in efficiency do not result in reduced consumption of energy, and overall demand for energy is continually increasing. I think their suggested path of oil-independence not by continuing to expand the burning of coal (as the U.S. has been doing for the last few decades) but by building new nuclear capacity is sensible. They suggest some other technologies that may also turn out positively (including nuclear fusion). Their comments on the alternative energy production methods already in place (diesel generators and delivery trucks) are fascinating.

    Where I part ways with the authors is on their assumption that continued success in finding new sources of energy (or better ways at getting at current sources of energy) is inevitable. Yes, we've been successful so far, but this is one area where we can be certain that in a long enough run, the past will not predict the future. (Or, alternatively, they make the mistake of not looking at other relevant past records, like the records of both species extinctions and civilizations that collapse.) I was almost expecting the authors to cite Frank Tipler's The Physics of Immortality, as part of an argument for an infinite human future. They don't go quite as far as Tipler, arguing that we could upload ourselves into a computer simulation which would produce infinite computation and allow all possibilities to berealized in a finite future--they limit the future to "as long as the sun continues to shine, and the planet rotates, and the depths of the cosmos stay cold" (p. 188).

    There is much of value in this book. Like a recent issue of The Economist (April 23-29, 2005), they present arguments for a rational environmentalism that accounts for costs and benefits, and show that steps to preserve a clean environment are a good and effective use of some of the increased energy consumption (at the cost of reduced efficiency).

    I recommend the book, with reservations. The parts that are founded on implications of the laws of thermodynamics and solid research support are sound, but there are also claims which run far beyond the support provided (like "we will never run out of energy").

    5-0 out of 5 stars Should be "Required Reading" for ALL politicians!
    A brilliant shift in thinking, truly "out of the box."Politicians and other policy/lawmakers should be required to not only read this book, but take an intense test on it.Those failing would be sent back to reread it.

    This is certainly one of the most positive books on the entire subject of "energy," that little known and less understood subject.Though obviously from an open market perspective, there is no political ranting or even excoriating one side or the other of the political spectrum."Just the facts, ma'am" seems to be their credo.In laying out those facts, we are treated to a new understanding of what "energy does and does not mean.Along with that is a highly hopeful prediction for the world's energy/power supplies, along with an introduction to the world of quantum physics, heretofore little known or understood by the lay reader.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Insightful!
    Most books on energy proceed with all the plodding predictability of an oil station pumping up and down in the middle of Nowhere, Texas: There's only so much oil, it's being consumed faster and faster, so someday the spigot must squeak dry. Authors and contrarians Peter W. Huber and Mark P. Mills stand up in the court of global opinion to pound loudly on the oil drum of iconoclasm. The question before the world jury: Is this a work of genius, or a perfect illustration of the fact that some energy is indeed wasted? This book reflects diligent-if-tendentious research and unapologetically advances highly unpopular, and potentially inaccurate, theories. These include the notion that making industrial processes more energy efficient results in increased consumption. It asserts that energy development is a perpetual motion machine that rewards increased consumption with ever-expanding supplies, and that wasting energy is both inevitable and virtuous, as it leads ultimately to greater supply and production. This last notion is not so far-fetched in light of nuclear fusion and the ongoing convergence of digital and genetic technologies. Werecommend this unique perspective to those interested in a different take on the world's sustainability dilemma. If nothing else, it will give you something extremely controversial to read while the jury is still out.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Could have been condensed into a long magazine article.
    Mankind keeps progressing technologically to the use of ever more efficient and refined forms of energy.Demand for high-grade power will keep rising, requiring new sources of fuel -- which are available in almost unlimited supply. A fossil-fuel based economy is less damaging to the environment than a carbohydrate-fueled (agricultural) economy, contrary to popular belief.As the transportation and manufacturing sectors of the economy shift to using more electrical power, we should turn to nuclear power to generate it.Solar and wind power will remain insignificant in meeting demand.These are the main points of the book, in the opinion of this technology-dummy reviewer.The book seems unfocused and rambling -- maybe it would have been better if it had been condensed into a long magazine article.Update:there is an article by Huber and Mills in the Winter 2005 issue of City Journal (available online) advocating nuclear power that repeats the arguments of the book in less detailed form. ... Read more

    3. Desert Solitaire
    list price: $6.99
    our price: $6.29
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0345326490
    Catlog: Book (1985-01-12)
    Publisher: Ballantine Books
    Sales Rank: 2561
    Average Customer Review: 4.66 out of 5 stars
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    With language as colorful as a Canyonlands sunset and a perspective as pointed as a pricklypear, Cactus Ed captures the heat, mystery, and surprising bounty of desert life. Desert Solitaire isa meditation on the stark landscapes of the red-rock West, a passionate vote for wilderness, and a howlinglament for the commercialization of the American outback. ... Read more

    Reviews (90)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Thank you, Mr Abbey !
    When he wrote this book, Cactus Ed did such a great job in describing the canyon country of southern Utah that you can recommend it to everyone who likes widerness. Not the pseudo-one we have today, no, the real one, where you can truly be in touch with the universe. I live overseas and, each time I miss the colourful landscapes of Utah, I read this book and the desert appears before my eyes. But there's not only descriptions, Abbey also try to find solutions to preserve this unique region from all the dam and road builders only looking for profit, and that's not the least interesting part ! Well, if you prefer action, read "The Monkeywrench Gang". Oh yes, Ed's sometime contradictory, but who's not ? And that's also why Desert Solitaire is so powerful : Abbey didn't try to hide the good nor the bad aspects of his life there. It's a book live from the desert !

    5-0 out of 5 stars you can't see anything from a start walking!
    Best to read if you are visiting Arches, the Grand Canyon, or Lake Powell, or if you have been there, or even if you just wish you were there...
    After reading Abbey's incredible illustration of "his" country, you might as well have been there yourself in spirit, if not in body. Desert Solitaire is part memoir, politics, opinion, beauty, myth, journal, eulogy, ravaging accusation of modern society, and general ramblings on the Southwest. There is very little structure, except that the book opens with Abbey entering Arches in the spring as a ranger, and ends with him leaving in the fall. He touches almost every subject under the desert sun. My favorite chapters were:

    -"Down the River": on Glen Canyon before the dam
    -"Polemic Industrial Tourism and the National Parks": scathing and sarcastic, belittleing the American automobile tourist
    -"Rocks": a disturbing legend of the uranium boom in Utah
    -"Episodes and Visions": general desert musings and tangents

    The best way to describe the feel of this book is the blurb on the back: "rough, tough, combative [...] this book may well seem like a ride on a bucking bronco."

    3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but uneven...
    Edward Abbey's collection of essays about his work at the then Arches National Monument(which he calls National Moneymint to mock the villains who wish to pave over everything). Abbey does have some good points, like we should stop trying to pave over things to make it more convineat to see nature. The whole Glen Canyon tragedy is told, foreshadowing the novel "Monkey Wrench Gang". I did like his wide knowledge of philosophy and the desert fauna and flora, and I relate to his love of the desert, but his prose is a bit(forgive the pun) too arid, and I had to slog through parts of the book. On the whole, I recommend it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Desert Solitaire
    This book is awsome. It is hard to believe that 30 years later some of the same problems exist for the NPS. Abbey definitely was a visionary. This book is the best account of real life in a fabulous place. It takes you back to those National Park visits when life was simple and people didn't mind getting out of their car and walking. Today everyone thinks they can "experience" a park from their car, Abbey understood this was coming and didn't mind giving his idea's on the subject. The descriptions of wildlife, flora and fauna are fantastic. You can almost smell the wild flowers. If you really want to experience the canyonlands of Utah, read this book!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable and entertaining but not much Natual History
    You've got to admire a man known as the quintessential evironmentalist who writes so gleefully about trashing nearly everyplace he goes. This book is above all humorous and that alone makes this book enjoyable. Abbey is also a good story-teller.

    The book chronicles a few seasons Abbey spends as a seasonal ranger in Arches National Monument (now a Park). Abbey describes the environs adequately but in no great depth. What is fascinating is how Abbey relates to the environment and how he interacts with it. Also included are a few other excursions like his float trip down Glen Canyon prior to its flooding by the dam.

    My favorite parts are the dumb things Abbey does in the environment. Maybe Abbey is saying that is why we need wilderness. We need someplace to lay naked in the sun, burn down, carve initials into trees, or to get away from tourists. My favorite story is when Abbey lights a wildfire in Glen Canyon with his careless bumbling and runs and jumps on his raft just as the flames roar up to the beach. And Abbey seems to enjoy trashing the environment whenever possible doing stunts like rolling old tires into the Grand Canyon (through a mule train) and continually laying naked out in the boondocks somewhere. He also likes carving his initials in various places. His antics with the tourists who seem to bother him in spite of his job being to help them. There is also a humorous account of being a part of a search for a missing (and dead and bloated) tourist.

    All in all, an amusing read more for the insight into Abbey than into the places he visited. And let me also throw in a quote from Abbey's intro. "The time passed extremely slowly, as time should pass, with the days lingering and long, spacious and free as the summers of childhood. There was time enough for once to do nothing...". Anyone who can think and write like that deserves to be read. ... Read more

    4. Hubbert's Peak : The Impending World Oil Shortage
    by Kenneth S. Deffeyes
    list price: $16.95
    our price: $11.53
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0691116253
    Catlog: Book (2003-08-11)
    Publisher: Princeton University Press
    Sales Rank: 8492
    Average Customer Review: 3.76 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Geophysicist M. King Hubbert predicted in 1956 that U.S. oil production would reach its highest level in the early 1970s. Though roundly criticized by oil experts and economists, Hubbert's prediction came true in 1970.

    In this revised and updated edition reflecting the latest information on the world supply of oil, Kenneth Deffeyes uses Hubbert's methods to find that world oil production will peak in this decade--and there isn't anything we can do to stop it. While long-term solutions exist in the form of conservation and alternative energy sources, they probably cannot--and almost certainly will not--be enacted in time to evade a short-term catastrophe. ... Read more

    Reviews (41)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The wolf is at the door
    Deffeyes hits the nail on the head when he clearly details what petroleum industry insiders already know - it's not "if" global oil production will peak, it's "when." After years of warning about the imminent demise of cheap oil supplies, experts are now splitting hairs about whether or not inexpensive oil production will peak in this decade or the next. The author's easy-going, occasionally humorous prose makes the bad news easier to take, but either way, a serious global oil crisis is looming on the horizon.

    Deffeyes energizes his readers by sweeping us easily through the denser strata of the complexities and developmental progress that built "Big Oil," but he also warns of relying on technology to save us in the future. Unlike many technological optimists, this life-long veteran of the industry concludes that new innovations like gas hydrates, deep-water drilling, and coal bed methane are unlikely to replace once-abundant petroleum in ease of use, production, and versatility. The Era of Carbon Man is ending.

    A no-nonsense oilman blessed with a sense of humor, Deffeyes deftly boils his message down to the quick. Easily-produced petroleum is reaching its nadir, and although they are clean and renewable, energy systems like geothermal, wind and solar power won't solve our energy needs overnight. "Hubbert's Peak" represents an important aspect of the energy crisis, but it is only one factor in this multi-faceted problem that includes biosphere degradation, global warming, per-capita energy decline, and a science/industry community intolerant of new approaches to energy technology research and development. An exciting new book by the Alternative Energy Institute, Inc., "Turning the Corner: Energy Solutions for the 21st Century," addresses all of the components associated with the energy dilemma and is also available on

    Anyone who is concerned about what world citizens, politicians, and industry in the United States and international community must do to ensure a smooth transition from dependence on dangerous and polluting forms of energy to a more vital and healthier world, needs to read these books. Future generations rely on the decisions we make today.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A must read for any serious energy analyst
    Ken Deffeyes, a colleague of M. King Hubbert, has written a critical book which tells the reader that global oil production will peak in the next decade. Hubbert, a geophysicist employed at Shell, first predicted in 1956 that US oil production would peak around 1970. This has come to pass. Using the same basic analytical methods for global oil production, Deffeyes makes a strong case as to why global oil production will peak in 2004-2009 timeframe. Certain variables can delay the peak in oil production but the peak is inevitable. All of this is neatly laid out in Chapter 1 and presented in detail in Chapter 7 & 8. The remainder of the book is a background in oil exploration and production and some discussion about alternative sources of energy.

    Far from being an environmentalist or policy wonk, Deffeyes, as an oil professional and academic, has clearly outlined the implications of Hubbert's peak for our hydrocarbon-based society. Unfortunately, the short-sighted politicians and policymakers in Wasghington will not want to seriously debate this issue. Instead policies to support America's insatiable hunger for SUV's (and other waste) will continue until an energy supply crisis hits home.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Informative And Well Written
    Kenneth Deffeyes is a former Shell oil geologist and also a former Princeton University professor (now emeritus) so he brings a lot of expertise to the subject of the world oil supply, and at which point supply can't keep pace with demand. He cites often the famous 1956 prediction in which another Shell geologist, a M. King Hubbert, who in a paper said oil production in the United States would peak in the early 1970's, and it sure did peak, in the year 1970, and has been declining ever since. Hubbert used some statistical tools in his analysis, and for this new analysis of the world oil production peak Deffeyes draws on the work of the late Hubbert and with the addition of more up to date statistical tools. Deffeyes says that we have discovered most of the oil that is in the ground, and that drilling deeper will yield only natural gas, the reason for this is fascinating. He also says that it takes about 10 years to bring a new oil field into production, so the expected shortfall of the supply of oil Deffeyes predicts somewhere between the years 2004 and 2009 is inevitable. He also says no major oil fields have been discovered in many years and it is unlikely that another Middle East sized oil field still remains undiscovered, to save us from a bidding war for the remaining oil. The year 2009, according to Deffeyes, is the last possible year that the peak in world oil production will occur.

    This book is full of wisdom and much humor, it is not a stodgy old book, it was a page turner for me. Deffeyes in one chapter says we have paid too much attention to the 'dot com' companies and how many people think our economy can run well by just selling software, etc, back and forth among ourselves, and that we should pay more attention to fundamental activities which are agriculture, mining, ranching, forestry, fisheries, and petroleum. This book is also very informative from a geological standpoint, how oil is trapped in rock layers and how it is drilled for production. Deffeyes says fossil fuels are in a sense a one time gift of nature and if we are wise this fuel will get us to the age of renewable energy. The Green River oil shale formation in the western United States is mentioned in this volume, Deffeyes states that it is roughly equal to all of the world's conventional oil, but at the present price of a barrel of crude oil it is not economical to use at this juncture. Natural gas is also mentioned and may be used more extensively in the future, as well as geothermal energy and a few others. He also says we need to get over our phobia with nuclear energy, I agree with that.

    But as for the basic prediction here of a permanent oil shortage somewhere between 2004 and 2009, Deffeyes does mention that a worldwide recession could affect the time of the shortage, and we are in a worldwide recession as I type this. In addition, I saw on the news that the Russians are ramping up their oil production and this could also affect the year of the shortfall, but nevertheless whether the shortfall occurs in 2004 or 2009, or 2015, it does appear that a shortfall is coming and we should be preparing for it, at least on an individual basis if our governments aren't doing much.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Yikes - Somebody get Mr. Deffeyes a Ghost Writer!
    While I tend to agree with some of what Mr. Deffeyes concludes, I have to say he did a woeful job of presenting a case for his conclusions. Other authors have done much better making a case for the obvious end of rising oil production.

    Deffeyes' writing style is atrocious. He constantly digresses and hopelessly abandons the reader in a morass of minutiae and gaps in written explanations. Most of the book does not even directly address his title. Too much of the book is a disjointed "explanation" of oil industry geology ... "stream of consciousness" petroleum geology/statistics if you will. It is as if he dictated the book, and didn't bother to have it proof read to see if anyone could follow his ramblings.

    I would have given the book one star except for the fact that there are some usefull and understandable explanations in the book. If you are a fanatic on this subject, it may be worthwhile trying to read it. Otherwise, there are many other more persuasive, well written books on the subject.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended!
    When a wise old codger of rural roots warns you in humble fashion, "Pardon me, sir, but I dare say you're headed down the wrong road!" something tingling there on the back of your neck warns that you'd better listen. Even more so when the old-timer has risen beyond his oil-patch roots to become a Professor Emeritus at Princeton University. Kenneth S. Deffeyes doesn't have to impress anybody, and perhaps that's one reason he has written a book on oil that will never give you that scratchy sensation of wool being drawn over your eyes. Deffeyes returns to his Oklahoma City roots to point out, as any fellow atop a tractor or toting a pipe wrench might, that things just can't keep going up and up forever. The difference: Deffeyes has a lifetime of industry and academic experience behind him. So, how real is the coming energy shortage? Well, put it this way: We highly recommend this book only to those individuals and companies who rely on electricity or the internal combustion engine. Stone age denizens need not sign up. ... Read more

    5. Natural Resource Conservation: Management for a Sustainable Future (8th Edition)
    by Daniel D. Chiras, John P. Reganold, Oliver S. Owen
    list price: $101.00
    our price: $101.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0130333980
    Catlog: Book (2001-07-17)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 13462
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    Book Description

    Written from a sustainable perspective, this readable, yetrigorous, book provides comprehensive coverage of a variety of local, regional, national, and global resource and environmental issues from population growth to wetlands to agriculture to global air pollution. It emphasizes practical, cost-effective, sustainable solutions to these problems that make sense from social, economic, and environmental perspectives.Overall increased emphasis on international and global issues (includes many examples from Canada). New information on Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing—integrated GIS Remote Sensing boxed information appears throughout, including 12 case studies. Expanded coverage of ecosystem management and watershed management, global climate change, ozone depletion, wetlands protection, and policy—including new international treaties, new federal laws, and more.The friendly, approachable writing style makes the book accessible to a wide range of readers—from those who want an introduction in natural resource conservation and natural resource management to professionals in this field. ... Read more

    6. Resources of the Earth: Origin, Use, and Environmental Impact (3rd Edition)
    by James R. Craig, David J. Vaughan, Brian J. Skinner, David Vaughan
    list price: $94.80
    our price: $94.80
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0130834106
    Catlog: Book (2001-01-15)
    Publisher: Prentice Hall
    Sales Rank: 631774
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    Book Description

    Extensively illustrated, balanced, broad–based, and up–to–date, this book explores the nature and critical issues of all major types of earth resources--energy, metallic, nonmetallic, water, soil--and the impacts that resource usage has on the earth environment. It provides geologic background of resource formation and occurrence of most of the various types of resources; offers an international perspective; discusses resources not only from the scientific point of view, but also from the point of economic, political, historical considerations; and considers how the extraction and use of the resources creates impacts--local or global, immediate or delayed, visible or invisible, singular or cumulative.Minerals: The Foundations of Society. Plate Tectonics and The Origins of Mineral Resources.Earth's Resources Through History. Environmental Impacts of Resource Exploitation and Use. Energy from Fossil Fuels. Nuclear Power and Alternative Energy Sources. Abundant Metals. The Geochemically Scare Metals. Fertilizer and Chemical Minerals. Building Materials and Other Industrial Minerals. Water Resources. Soil as a Resource. Future Resources.For anyone interested in earth resources. ... Read more

    7. The Green Belt Movement: Sharing the Approach and the Experience
    by Wangari Maathai
    list price: $15.00
    our price: $12.75
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 159056040X
    Catlog: Book (2003-03-01)
    Publisher: Lantern Books
    Sales Rank: 28719
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    Book Description

    Wangari Muta Maathai was born in Nyeri, Kenya in 1940. In 1960, she won a Kennedy scholarship to study in America and earned a master’s degree in biology from the University of Pittsburgh and became the first woman in East Africa to earn a Ph.D.

    Returning to Kenya in 1966, Wangari Maathai was shocked at the degradation of the forests and the farmland caused by deforestation. Heavy rains had washed away much of the topsoil, silt was clogging the rivers, and fertilizers were depriving the soil of nutrients. Wangari decided to solve the problem by planting trees.

    Under the auspices of the National Council of Women of Kenya, of which she was chairwoman from 1981 to 1987, she introduced the idea of planting trees through citizen foresters in 1976, and called this new organization the Green Belt Movement (GBM). She continued to develop GBM into broad-based, grassroots organization whose focus was women’s groups planting of trees in order to conserve the environment and improve their quality of life. Through the Green Belt Movement, Wangari Maathai has assisted women in planting more than 20 million trees on their farms and on schools and church compounds in Kenya and all over East Africa.

    In Africa, as in many parts of the world, women are responsible for meals and collecting firewood. Increasing deforestation has not only meant increasing desertification, but it has also meant that women have had to travel further and further afield in order to collect the firewood. This in turn has led to women spending less time around the home, tending to crops, and looking after their children. By staying closer to home, earning income from sustainably harvesting the fruit and timber from trees, women not only can be more productive, they can provide stability in the home. They can also create time for education opportunities—whether for themselves or their children.

    This virtuous circle of empowerment through conservation is serving as a model throughout the world, where women both individually and collectively are entrusted with money and material to invest it in ways that make a difference to their daily lives. Wangari Maathai’s Green Belt Movement is a great example of how one person can turn around the lives of thousands, if not millions of others, by empowering others to change their situation.

    Wangari’s road to success was by no means easy. During the 1970s and 1980s, she came under increasing scrutiny from the government of Daniel arap Moi. She was frequently the target of vilification from the government, as well as subject to outright attacks and imprisonment. She refused to compromise her belief that the people were best trusted to look after their natural resources, as opposed to the corrupt cronies of the government, who were given whole swathes of public land, which they then despoiled.

    In January 2003, Wangari Maathai was elected by an overwhelming margin to Parliament, where she is the Assistant Secretary for Environnment, Wildlife, and Natural Resources in the democratically elected Kibaki government. Even though she is now being protected by the very same soldiers who once arrested her, her voice on behalf of the environment is still strong and determined.

    In The Green Belt Movement, founder Wangari Maathai tells its story: why it started, how it operates, and where it is going. She includes the philosophy behind it, its challenges and objectives, and the specific steps involved in starting a similar grassroots environmental and social justice organization. The Green Belt Movement is the inspiring story of people working at the grassroots level to improve their environment and their country. Their story offers ideas about a new and hopeful future for Africa and the rest of the world. ... Read more

    8. The Ultimate Resource 2
    by Julian Lincoln Simon
    list price: $45.00
    our price: $36.45
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0691003815
    Catlog: Book (1998-07-01)
    Publisher: Princeton University Press
    Sales Rank: 223824
    Average Customer Review: 4.32 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Arguing that the ultimate resource is the human imagination coupled to the human spirit, Julian Simon led a vigorous challenge to conventional beliefs about scarcity of energy and natural resources, pollution of the environment, the effects of immigration, and the "perils of overpopulation." The comprehensive data, careful quantitative research, and economic logic contained in the first edition of The Ultimate Resource questioned widely held professional judgments about the threat of overpopulation, and Simon's celebrated bet with Paul Ehrlich about resource prices in the 1980s enhanced the public attention--both pro and con--that greeted this controversial book.

    Now Princeton University Press presents a revised and expanded edition of The Ultimate Resource. The new volume is thoroughly updated and provides a concise theory for the observed trends: Population growth and increased income put pressure on supplies of resources. This increases prices, which provides opportunity and incentive for innovation. Eventually the innovative responses are so successful that prices end up below what they were before the shortages occurred. The book also tackles timely issues such as the supposed rate of species extinction, the "vanishing farmland crisis," and the wastefulness of coercive recycling.

    In Simon's view, the key factor in natural and world economic growth is our capacity for the creation of new ideas and contributions to knowledge. The more people alive who can be trained to help solve the problems that confront us, the faster we can remove obstacles, and the greater the economic inheritance we shall bequeath to our descendants. In conjunction with the size of the educated population, the key constraint on human progress is the nature of the economic-political system: talented people need economic freedom and security to bring their talents to fruition. ... Read more

    Reviews (31)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderul celebration of the human mind.
    The title of this book refers to the human mind. When people are free, and when secure private property rights exist, and when consenting individuals are free to enter into voluntary contractual agreements, and when government activity is limited to proptecting these freedoms and property rights, then human existence will exist in its best possible state.

    Julian Simon uses huge amounts of facts, evidence, data, and empirical evidence to show that the overpopulation doomsayers have been wrong about all of their predictions. For example, throughout the 20th century, the average per-capita calorie consumption for the world has been going up. In addition, throughout the 20th century, the real prices of natural resources have been going down, which means that these things have become more abundant.

    The problems of hunger and poverty that exist in places such as Ethiopia and Bangladesh are not caused by overpopulation. Instead, these problems are caused by political factors. Thus, reducung the populations of these countries will do nothing to improve the quality of life for the inhabitants of these countries.

    Hong Kong is the most densely populated country in the world. And it is also one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Several decades ago, Hong Kong was a slum. But then it adopted a free market economy. As a reult, Hong Kong became wealthy. If countries such as Ethiopia and Bangladesh would adopt free market economies, then they would become wealthy, too.

    Julian Simon placed a very high value on the human mind. And it shows in this book. This book is a celebration of life. Julian Simon held a very deep love for the human race. He will be missed by many people.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good good
    Despite the two negative reviewers who seem to have missed the entire point of the book, this is the most influential and important book I've ever read.

    To address the biologist's concern, farmland is a commodity and more of it can be made in less space using technology. Common sense and Simon both dictate that replacement commodities don't need to be the same as the original - if you can't imagine a farm in a skyscraper, then perhaps you can't solve the world's food problems but I'll bet someone can and will.

    For the anti-capitalist, Simon VERY CLEARLY advocates democratic, people-friendly governments for everyone, and equally clearly shows that it is the lack of political stability and civil freedoms that has caused much of the so-called "third world's" inequity and deplorable conditions. And I have visited the third world and the slums of Washington, D.C., and have lived and volunteered in very poor parts of Chicago in the past. I don't think that adopting poor practices here will help developing nations or our own problem-ridden parts.

    I have recommended this book to almost every person I know, and have bought and given away a good number of copies as well. I'd encourage you to do the same.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The world is complicated
    I have not read the full book, but from what I have read Simon has a strong Economist's view.

    The main reason I read the sections of the book that I did was that I was evaluating the world3 model that appears in the book Beyond the Limits and Limits to Growth. Simon correctly points out that world3's simulation of nonrenewable resource is unrealistic because it ignores the ability to substitute one resource for another and ignores the information that price can convey. This of course is expected from an economist since any econ 101 class will discuss substitution of one good for another and the fact that demand will decrease if the cost goes up.

    On the other hand, he often ignores the complexity of the problems that others do address. For example, he states that the amount of agricultural land is not a problem, since an area the size of downtown Houston could feed the world. What he igores is how many resourses such as energy, fertilizer, etc would be required to do that (hint, more energy than the world produces). World3 got that part right, since it correctly predicted that humanity would still have enough food in 2000, however, it also predicted that substantially more nonland resources would be need to do so.

    The world is complicated, and looking at it from just one perspective, such as an economist's, like Julian Simon does will give you a biased view of it. This book is useful if you want that perspective, but if that is the only perspective you have, you will be wrong.

    Josh Cogliati

    5-0 out of 5 stars One of the great books of the 20th century
    Rarely is a book written that fundamentally changed something about my worldview. Julian Simon's The Ultimate Resource 2 (UR2) is such a book. Simon's book shows that man is a born problem-solver--given enough freedom to improvise. I walk the earth today knowing a "secret" that few others know. After reading UR2, I know that humanity can resolve its fundamental problems: energy shortages, overcrowding, environmental degredation.
    The only concievable critics of UR2 are the regulators and manipulators of human affairs who use their positions of power to thwart innovation throgh nanny-state governance. Simon's analysis of the realities of environmental crises is the clearest I have read anywhere. Most of what we think we know about the environment is piece-meal: one fact or another, a few anecdotes lumped together into a conclusion. We hear that the Ozone Layer is disintegrating or that acid rain is killing lakes in the Northeast, or about Love Canal or various Superfund sites. Without a larger perspective, it all seems scary. Simon blows all of the hysteria away by stating that there is only one truly valid measure of the overall state of the environment: average life expectancy. By this standard, the environment has been improving for a century. Humans are healthier, and more comfortable than they have ever been.
    The Ultimate Resource 2 is itself a valuable resource that should be prominently displayed in every home library. The hours I have invested in reading it have already been paid back in the form of great stimulating conversation with other people. Simon regards human innovation as the ultimate resource, but I think that the truth is actually much more valuable and rare--and in terms of this commodity, Simon's book provides the equivalent of a pot of gold.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Know Thine Enemy
    Sadly, in order to understand the intellectual underpinnings of the Reagan and both Bush administrations and probably much of the Republican Party, this book is a must read. But it must be read carefully and critically. Look at the footnotes, the sources referenced and their ages.

    Julian Simon, the late University of Maryland economist, devoted the last thirty-five years of his life to refuting the proposition that world population size must be limited or disaster will ensue. In the course of three dozen articles and several books he developed a detailed thesis based on his fanatical belief in the value of all human life, even potential human life, and in human ingenuity and infallibility in problem solving. The Ultimate Resource 2 is his magnum opus.

    Simon's final product is a richly footnoted tour de force in the fine intellectual tradition of Rush Limbaugh. Like Limbaugh, Simon searches out the most extreme quotes from his opponents, pulls them out of context, and holds them up to ridicule. In Simon's case this process is especially aided by the advantage of hindsight: he selects quotes from sources usually thirty, sometimes fifty, and even two hundred years old.

    Simon's desperation to be taken seriously and his hopeless lack of information once he steps out of his area of expertise (economics) is especially well illustrated in his Chapter 18 on "Environmental Resource Scares." Under "Definitely Disproven Threats" he lumps coffee as a cause for pancreatic cancer, cell phones as a cause of brain cancer, fluoride in drinking water, and Alar, for all of which the scientific consensus is in agreement, with asbestos, DDT, and lead, for which the scientific consensus certainly is not. In so doing Simon demonstrates a misunderstanding of the scientific process. One study, let alone one unfounded hypothesis, does not establish scientific truth, nor does one study refute it.

    It does not require keen observation to note that we didn't all starve to death in the 1970's as predicted in Paul Ehrlich's The Population Bomb or to note that the reason was a very considerable advance in agricultural science (The Green Revolution). Simon wishes us to believe (Chapter 5) that "the overwhelming consensus of respected agricultural economists" never thought there was any danger of famine in the 1970's and that Ehrlich's prediction was purely a scare tactic. The devil is in the details. Simon's footnote for "the overwhelming consensus" of agriculture economists is that eminent scientific journal, The Washington Post. Careful inspection of the book's many footnotes reveal precious little primary source material of the type that one might expect from an economist, e.g. statistics from the Department of Agriculture. Most footnotes are to newspaper articles or the precious few authors in Simon's intellectual tradition.

    Ironically, much of the progress in standard of living perceived by the well-to-do in the U.S. in the last thirty years is directly attributable to the wake-up call contained in The Silent Spring and The Population Bomb. Yes, our cars smell better, some of our lakes and streams have come back to life, and we are at least aware of impending resource problems and working on them. Simon's devotion to the triumph of human ingenuity is based on perceived trends observed in the last thirty years that owe much to the environmental movement.

    Simon's thesis is thus: the environmental movement was based on bad science and bad information, the "progress" observed in the last thirty years is attributable to human numbers, ingenuity, and economics. Therefore, there never was a problem and we can all go marching merrily into future with no limits in food, space, raw materials, or energy. This is religion, not reality. That it should become the intellectual basis on which our current government functions is travesty.

    YES, read The Ultimate Resource 2. But don't stop there. When you find yourself bewildered by Simon's concepts like the "non-finiteness" of resources or the idea of 500 billion human beings on this planet (there are six billion now), read the Ehrlichs' most recent work, The Betrayal of Science and Reason. ... Read more

    9. Resource Wars: The New Landscape of Global Conflict With a New Introduction by the Author
    by Michael T. Klare
    list price: $15.00
    our price: $10.20
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0805055762
    Catlog: Book (2002-03-13)
    Publisher: Owl Books (NY)
    Sales Rank: 5134
    Average Customer Review: 4.82 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    From the oilfields of Saudi Arabia to the Nile delta, from the shipping lanes of the South China Sea to the pipelines of Central Asia, Resource Wars looks at the growing impact of resource scarcity on the military policies of nations.

    International security expert Michael T. Klare argues that in the early decades of the new millennium, wars will be fought not over ideology but over access to dwindling supplies of precious natural commodities. The political divisions of the Cold War, Klare asserts, have given way to a global scramble for oil, natural gas, minerals, and water. And as armies throughout the world define resource security as a primary objective, widespread instability is bound to follow, especially in those areas where competition for essential materials overlaps with long-standing territorial and religious disputes. In this clarifying view, the recent explosive conflict between the United States and Islamic extremism stands revealed as the predictable consequence of consumer nations seeking to protect the vital resources they depend on.

    A much-needed assessment of a changed world, Resource Wars is a compelling look at warfare in an era of rampant globalization and intense economic competition.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (11)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Resource
    This book was particularly helpful because it filled an information gap, especially in regards to entertaining feuds over the rather esoteric, tiny Spratley Islands, as well as the importance of water rights. There are sections concerning water rights disputes in Israel, Iraq, and Pakistan vs. India. Of course, plenty of space is given to various oil and gas reserves, including the Caspian Sea and the Caucasus region. The maps were clear and very helpful. Readers will also enjoy the tables that include the innumerable purchases of US military equipment by Saudi Arabia. This book will continue to be valuable as countries vie for the resources of inner Eurasia.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Self-inflicted wounds
    Michael Klare, I would argue, has a better claim to being able to predict tomorrow's headlines than self-proclaimed "futurists" who absurdly forecast that computers are going to surpass human intelligence and take over the world in 30 years. That's assuming our civilization can still generate electricity reliably, of course, which I suspect will become increasingly problematic as the parts of the world with projectable militaries fight over the remaining fossil fuels supplies and waterways suitable for hydroelectric damming. Already North America faces the prospect of our pilot lights going out this winter because of a severe natural gas shortage, which portends even worse resource crises to come.

    I came away from this book feeling really bad about the human prospect. The neo-con junta running the U.S. thinks it can solve America's problems by occupying the oil reserves in Southwest Asia, without any Plan B for dealing with the oil supply's eventual exhaustion. Meanwhile, people in the less developed, dry countries of the Nile Valley, the Tigris-Euphrates region and the Indus River have been mindlessly pumping out babies for generations well in excess of their death rates, and now find themselves facing catastrophic water shortages. In many rain-forested tropical countries, corrupt dictators and warlords have been stripping out their natural resources to sell to Western companies so they can buy the guns and supplies they need to keep their soldiers' loyalty and stay in power. I found this last part of Klare's account especially striking in light of all the free-market propaganda about the wonders of globalization. Despite the fiction that trade requires noncoercive, mutually consensual transactions all along the line from the producer to the eventual consumer, in the real world the "producers" of many luxury goods like diamonds and fine tropical woods use armed force (including private military companies, which Klare names) to extract these resources at the expense of local populations who want to keep their environments intact because their traditional livelihoods depend on them. Once these goods enter the global market, however, whatever blood spilled in producing them conveniently falls down the memory hole.

    I would have given this book a 4-star rating, but Klare failed to show what's really going to happen if we don't deal with these resource problems rationally, especially the shrinking supplies of oil and gas. Since the Industrial Revolution we have been living on an artificial energy subsidy from fossil fuels that has allowed us to cheat environmental constraints on the human population by a factor of four to six. We face the likelihood of a massive Malthusian die-off once this subsidy is exhausted.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant book
    It is amazingly good book, the best book of this sort. In very dynamic and in the meantime precise manner author addresses perhaps the most important, complicated and troubling political matter of nova times. My congratulations to author.

    Correspondent for Russian daily newspaper "Russian Courier" in the USA Sergey L. Lopatnikov

    5-0 out of 5 stars Chilling glimpse of near future
    Out of oil by 2050, or 2040 , or 2080 and shortages long before then. Potable water.. scarce now and getting scarcer (one of the roots of the 67 Arab-Israeli War was water rights). The facts roll over the reader, dispassionate and almost mindnumbing in detail. Population growing far beyond any capacity to maintain (The population of Ethiopia in 1950 was 18 million, the projected population in 2050 will be 212 million!)Civil wars, wars by proxy, the depletion and devastation of irreplacable old growth forests, rainforests, whole fragile ecosystems gone in a decade. And these are facts....facts no reputable scientist will argue other then exactly WHEN the resources will be finally depleted. The feeling I got at the end of the book was that we are all 'fiddling' as our world starts to burn.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A sober warning going unheeded
    This is a clear and lucid account of the perils facing oil addicted societies, and those facing other shortages of water and other minerals. While the Middle East smolders, and while the burning of fossil fuels contributes to global warming, the US and its policy "leaders" increase our dependence on a resource that will increasingly provoke conflict and put coming generations in harm's way. This book also, intentionally or no, helps answer that post-9/11 question: Why do they hate us? In short, to satisfy the needs of our own economy and wastrel practices, we have helped repress and impoverish millions of innocents to our benefit. Our freedom, our prosperity have come in large measure at their expense, and this book clearly lays out the future venues where the bill from our policies will likely and finally come due and payable. This is like watching a train wreck in slow motion, and this book's contents, very strait laced, have the potential to create the outrage for a change of national direction. Must reading. ... Read more

    10. Conservation Design for Subdivisions: A Practical Guide to Creating Open Space Networks
    by Randall G. Arendt, Holly Harper, Natural Lands Trust, American Planning Association, American Society of Landscape Architiects
    list price: $42.50
    our price: $42.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 1559634898
    Catlog: Book (1996-08-01)
    Publisher: Island Press
    Sales Rank: 61867
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In most communities, land use regulations are based on a limited model that allows for only one end result: the production of more and more suburbia, composed of endless subdivisions and shopping centers, that ultimately covers every bit of countryside with "improvements." Fortunately, sensible alternatives to this approach do exist, and methods of developing land while at the same time conserving natural areas are available.

    In Conservation Design for Subdivisions, Randall G. Arendt explores better ways of designing new residential developments than we have typically seen in our communities. He presents a practical handbook for residential developers, site designers, local officials, and landowners that explains how to implement new ideas about land-use planning and environmental protection. Abundantly illustrated with site plans (many of them in color), floor plans, photographs, and renditions of houses and landscapes, it describes a series of simple and straightforward techniques that allows for land-conserving development.

    The author proposes a step-by-step approach to conserving natural areas by rearranging density on each development parcel as it is being planned so that only half (or less) of the buildable land is turned into houselots and streets. Homes are built in a less land-consumptive manner that allows the balance of property to be permanently protected and added to an interconnected network of green spaces and green corridors. Included in the volume are model zoning and subdivision ordinance provisions that can help citizens and local officials implement these innovative design ideas. ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    4-0 out of 5 stars More people need to read this book!
    What a concept! Rather than trying to get the most acreage per lot, make smaller lots with more shared open space. A must read for every developer, planning board, and zoning commition. Easy to follow examples show how to preserve historic and environmental features while adding to the value of the land that is developed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Should be a guide for the future of subdivisions!
    If we developed land in the manner the author teaches, America would look so much nicer! A very common sense approach to maintain rural character in an area and stop sprawl from destroying your area. Every developer, planner, new home buyer, builder, conservationist and private citizen should read this and also buy the author's book, "Rural By Design".

    5-0 out of 5 stars excellent reference guide that will help combat urban sprawl
    Cheers for Randall G. Arendt, et al. For years my government agency has been fighting a loosing battle in Florida with unmanaged and unfettered urban growth. It seemed as though nothing could stem the tide of urban sprawl until two things happened. One was an election of a more centralist government and the other was the introduction of "designing for conservation" into our policy making levels. This concept was brought into clear focus by Arendt's book. The authors not only presented a practical and economically sound guide for growth that can benefit developers, but the reference can act as a mechanism to help preserve the environmental cohesiveness of any community. The policy makers in our community were so impressed with this book that fifteen (15) copies were purchased to be placed into the hands of influential politicians, developers and regulatory agencies.

    4-0 out of 5 stars this book is a blueprint for land development of the future.
    As a land developer this book brought into focus the problems that haave been growing as more and more of the land in my area has been consumed, and we have less and less to develop. At first I thought it would be another environmental tirade against land development,but instead realised it was a very practical and economically sound guide for development that would benefit me and also help maintain the character of my community. Arendt's concern is for the environment and the preservation of open spaces and connective corridors of space and natural habitat between differing parcels of land in a given area. His solutions achieve these goals, but of special interest to me as a developer is that his solutions also mean no loss of density, reduced costs and higher land values. Excellent illustrations, easy to understand and worth the price many times over. ... Read more

    11. Environmental and Natural Resource Economics, Sixth Edition
    by Tom Tietenberg
    list price: $112.67
    our price: $112.67
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 020177027X
    Catlog: Book (2002-11-01)
    Publisher: Addison Wesley
    Sales Rank: 95492
    Average Customer Review: 3.33 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (3)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Out of Date
    The book is hopelessly out of date. Although it carries a 2003 publication date, it still refers to the USSR and Czechoslovakia in the present tense. It consistently refers to studies done in the 1980s as recent and less than 25% of the examples, charts. etc. use data from 1990 or later. For example, only 5 out of 37 references in the chapter on Economic Justice are more recent than 1990, and the most recent is 1994. This is typical of just about every chapter. One gets the feeling that the publisher never reviewed this revided edition.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good for Graduate School
    I used this book for graduate school. Its a textbook and little more. But, it is a well written textbook.

    5-0 out of 5 stars good
    goo ... Read more

    12. Coal: A Human History
    by Barbara Freese
    list price: $14.00
    our price: $10.50
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0142000981
    Catlog: Book (2004-01-01)
    Publisher: Penguin USA (Paper)
    Sales Rank: 122171
    Average Customer Review: 4.12 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    In this remarkable book, Barbara Freese takes us on a rich historical journey that begins hundreds of millions of years ago and spans the globe. Prized as "the best stone in Britain" by Roman invaders who carved jewelry out of it, coal has transformed societies, expanded frontiers, and sparked social movements, and still powers our electric grid. Yet coal’s world-changing power has come at a tremendous price, including centuries of blackening our skies and lungs—and now the dangerous warming of our global climate. Ranging from the "great stinking fogs" of London to the rat-infested coal mines of Pennsylvania, from the impoverished slums of Manchester to the toxic streets of Beijing, Coal is a captivating narrative about an ordinary substance with an extraordinary impact on human civilization. ... Read more

    Reviews (16)

    5-0 out of 5 stars To build a world that no longer needs coal . . . . .
    This is a truly remarkable book.

    In time, and hopefully in the not-too-distant future, Barbara Freese will attain the well-deserved stature that Rachel Carson achieved with "Silent Spring" just 40 years ago -- or Sinclair Lewis a century ago when he exposed the horrors of the meat packing industry.

    As Freese so eloquently illustrates, it's hard to dislike coal. Her history credits coal, plus a variety of lucky accidents, with being the foundation of almost everything we love and hold dear in our industrial-intellectual-materialist modern luxury. The ability of coal to produce energy has been known for thousands of years, but it took many new ways of thinking to unleash the latent power of coal as the fuel of industrialization.

    Freese treads lightly though the history of coal, showing how a unique combination of events and circumstances made it the fuel of choice in England at the time of William Shakespeare was writing and Queen Elizabeth I. The US trailed England until the latter half of the nineteenth century when coal made this country the most powerful nation on earth.

    Given that, it's hard to picture the US giving up King Coal to adopt alternatives. After all, could America give up King George III to adopt a democratic alternative? England, in the 1600s, made the change which led to industrialization; at about the same time, China didn't and plummeted from being the world's most powerful economy into a helpless undemocratic giant by 1800.

    Granted, such decisions don't hinge on the next election - - or the last one. The basic change may take a century; but, Freese argues, unless fundamental changes are made in our source of energy, we face certain disaster. Of course, England, China and every coal-based economy faces similar challenges within the same time frame.

    The problem, as Freese points out, is that dramatic global climate change hinges on a few degrees in temperature. The last Ice Age, some 10,000 years ago, was only 5 degrees Celsius colder than today; and that change occurred within a decade. Within another century, unless energy policies change, global warming caused by the burning of fossil fuels could send temperatures up another 5 degrees Celsius and melt the last of the ice caps - - which are already melting.

    One possibility is rising oceans, which drown out coastal regions where most people now live. The other is rising oceans, putting vastly more moisture and carbon dioxide in the air which cuts off sunlight, chilling the planet enough to trigger massive snowstorms that create another Ice Age. Take your pick. That is the future we face if we don't act.

    England, some 400 years ago, faced a similar "energy crisis" due to over-cutting of forests to provide basic energy plus the charcoal needed to smelt iron. Coal was quickly adopted to provide heat, but it took a century to learn how to make coke to smelt iron. The result produced the Industrial Revolution.

    Freese says we must find an alternative . . . . . or else. Carson said as much in "Silent Spring" -- find an alternative to DDT or face the consequences of widespread environmental poisoning. The beauty of America is its ability to overcome such challenges and improve results for everyone.

    She is also wise enough to point out that well-meaning, sincere and sometimes intelligent people will say nothing new needs to be done. A century ago, some even argued that coal smoke was healthier than fresh air because coal smoke, having been through the fire, was not germ-laden as was fresh air.

    Freese is objective enough not to advocate solutions. Instead, she clearly and concisely illustrates the problem. Carson had a simple answer, "Ban DDT." Now, the environmental challenge is vastly different, and more immense. Today, "coal" is the problem, "Ban coal" is not the answer. Instead, we need a better alternative. When that happens, coal will disappear due to competition from a superior product.

    What could be more American?

    Our challenge is to build a world that no longer needs coal, before nature creates a world that doesn't need us.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Well-written and comprehensive
    From the premise that coal is stored solar energy, Barbara Freese examines the role that coal has taken in the development of human history. She manages to lay out the "connections" between the discovery and exploitation of this resourse and the resulting economic, social, and political changes. All this is done in a very readable format.

    The only mild criticism I can assign is that, toward the end of the book, she looks to the future and projects what the ultimate result of all this may be. To be fair, that analysis completes the "history" she sets out to profile, and is obviously the point of the book. However, the projection is not nearly as fascinating as the history.

    When I have loaned this book to friends, my advice has been to read as long as it interests you, and then put it away without guilt. It will be well worth the read, no matter how far you go.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Coaldust
    Freese does a middling job with Coal: A Human History. The first part was well-written, certainly well-researched, and included many interesting facts about coal. The text takes a tangent in the latter half, however. Her critique is really an unsuccessful attempt to explore the effects of coal to contemporary material and cultural history - which is implied in her title. For example, when earlier she shares historical quotes of the sublime quality of coal fogs in urban areas and its modern allure, later she critiques its negative environmental impacts without engaging these earlier anecdotes - there's a troubling disconnect in her analysis between past and present.

    Freese has spliced a valid contemporary environmental critique onto a strong historical look at the effects of our relationship to coal on cultural and industrial development. I should direct my critique at her editors because she is an excellent writer and supports her theses well. I believe readers would be better served with two pieces - a more fully explored environmental history of coal, and a follow-up companion treatise on the contemporary situation.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Coal... a slightly different perspective
    This is a truly insightful and fluid book. The story line is very well written and highly informative. It brings out the history of the black rock and weaves it quite compellingly into the history of modern western civilization. The differentiation between anthracite and bituminous coal serves to illustrate the differences between the East and the Midwest of the US.
    The book takes an odd turn, however, when it turns into political commentary and develops the themes espoused at Kyoto. There is no mention of all of the big coal towns that have sprung up over the last few decdades in the modern American West. Places like Gillette, Kemmerer, Craig or Rock Springs where truly world-class, state-of-the-art technology has come to the fore to mine the rock as economically and sensitively as possible. Similarly, there is no mention of the state-of-the-art rail systems that serve these hubs to bring coal to major metropolitan communities. And to, there is no discussion of new fluidized bed systems designed to burn the pulverized coal as cleanly as possible.
    When I finished the book, I felt somewhat diasappointed that the theme of "A Human History" was truncated after Kyoto. If I had wanted to read a natural resources poli sci book, I would have bought one.
    Nonetheless, the author is to be commended for her first attempt here and this reader looks forward to reading her next work.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Well balanced book
    A very good account of the history of coal, The author explains the basics, the different types of coal and how they are formed, The book progresses onto early societies and their treatment of the "burning stones". As can be expected the major part of the book is about the industrial revolution and the struggle of cities such as London and Pittsburg to maintain a habital city..The coal industry became "King Coal" and became the industrial lifeblood in many countries. A vital industry over which industrial sectors were formed and labor rights were gained. The Final chapters of the book deal with the pollution problems brought on by the burning coal. Two serious points are brought up;
    1) Society can engineer away most of the pollution problems to the point where coal approaches almost perfect combustion. It will result in a much higher cost to utilize coal, and perfect combustion will still leave us with a massive Carbon dioxide output problem. Perhaps accelerating the global warming scenarios
    2)The China question, as a large developing nation China is also heavily dependent on coal as a cheap and readily available energy source, and because of China's scarce resources it applies minimal polution control.
    This combination does not bode well for the future. This reader thought the material was presented in a very professional manner. It was not a "the sky is falling" type of book. It is in fact a good book to obtain a balanced view. It explains how humans have lived with coal in the past and states that societies may have major decisions to make in the future. ... Read more

    13. Water Follies: Groundwater Pumping and the Fate of America's Fresh Waters
    by Robert Glennon
    list price: $17.95
    our price: $17.95
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    Asin: 1559634006
    Catlog: Book (2004-01-01)
    Publisher: Island Press
    Sales Rank: 151059
    Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    The Santa Cruz River that once flowed through Tucson, Arizona is today a sad mirage of a river. Except for brief periods following heavy rainfall, it is bone dry. The cottonwood and willow trees that once lined its banks have died, and the profusion of birds and wildlife recorded by early settlers are nowhere to be seen. The river is dead. What happened? Where did the water go?

    As Robert Jerome Glennon explains in Water Follies, what killed the Santa Cruz River — and could devastate other surface waters across the United States — was groundwater pumping. From 1940 to 2000, the volume of water drawn annually from underground aquifers in Tucson jumped more than six-fold, from 50,000 to 330,000 acre-feet per year. And Tucson is hardly an exception — similar increases in groundwater pumping have occurred across the country and around the world. In a striking collection of stories that bring to life the human and natural consequences of our growing national thirst, Glennon provides an occasionally wry and always fascinating account of groundwater pumping and the environmental problems it causes.

    Glennon sketches the culture of water use in the United States, explaining how and why we are growing increasingly reliant on groundwater. He uses the examples of the Santa Cruz and San Pedro rivers in Arizona to illustrate the science of hydrology and the legal aspects of water use and conflicts. Following that, he offers a dozen stories — ranging from Down East Maine to San Antonio's River Walk to Atlanta's burgeoning suburbs — that clearly illustrate the array of problems caused by groundwater pumping. Each episode poses a conflict of values that reveals the complexity of how and why we use water. These poignant and sometimes perverse tales tell of human foibles including greed, stubbornness, and, especially, the unlimited human capacity to ignore reality.

    As he explores the folly of our actions and the laws governing them, Glennon suggests common-sense legal and policy reforms that could help avert potentially catastrophic future effects. Water Follies, the first book to focus on the impact of groundwater pumping on the environment, brings this widespread but underappreciated problem to the attention of citizens and communities across America. ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A book any hydrology student should read
    I read this book during a summer program dealing with freshwater resources throughout the world. It not only helped my progression through the course, but also gave me a new perspective on water as a resource. In the US most of us do not give a second thought to the water we use in our everyday lives. Even in regions plagued by drought modern technology adds to the illusion that water is everywhere and limitless. However, any reader of this book will tell you differently. It takes you through different case studies through out the country where water use has had dramatic influence on the environment we live in. It explains not just the science of the situation but also the politics often behind the scenes as well. I would highly recommend this book to any student, professor, or hobbyist with an interest in hydrology.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The same motives as Scheherazade
    Most recent controversy over the use and conservation of America's fresh water has concerned the water visible on the surface - river and lakes. With that as an implicit focus, we frequently argue over where dams ought to be built, what fields ought to be irrigated and at whose cost, whether homes in flood plains ought to be insured at public expense, and so forth.

    Robert Glennon, a professor of law at the University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law, wants to draw our attention to invisible water, and to the question how we might best avoid either polluting or running out of it.

    Early on, he tells the story of Ubar, a city of ancient Arabia, an oasis for the camel caravans of its time, and a place of fabulous wealth. Scheherazade spoke of Ubar in one of her thousand-and-one tales, as did countless bedouins around countless campfires. It became an Arabian Sodom, reputedly destroyed at the peak of its splendor by an angry God. What Glennon adds is that Ubar (in what we now call Oman) was a very real place.

    In the 1980s, an amateur archeologist, Nicholas Clapp, led an expedition that successfully located and unearthed the fortress that had once guarded the precious spring-fed well that had made the city a port of call for those desert-crossing voyagers. It now appears that sometime between 300 and 500 AD, Ubar simply fell. It collapsed of its own weight, into a huge underground limestone cavern - the cavern that its wells had progressively emptied of water. The groundwater had held the city up, physically as well as fiscally. So Ubar, having exended its capital, sank out of sight, and entered legend as the "Atlantis of the desert" (T.E. Lawrence's phrase.)

    Glennon tells this story for the same three reasons that Scheherazade did: to charm, to instruct, to survive.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Page Turner!
    Glennon is a gifted writer who sucks you in from the opening pages of the introduction and makes you care about the outcomes of the stories he presents. In a witty and accessible style he tells the alarming story of the devastating effects of groundwater pumping, effects that are not limited to the desert areas of this country. This is a book for all of us! Although engaging and readable the book is packed with enough information to provide me (not a legal or environmental scholar) with the data I need to speak in an informed fashion to tell decision makers and friends that we need to do something about this before it's too late.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A clarion warning
    Water Follies: Groundwater Pumping And The Fate Of America's Fresh Waters by Robert Glennon (Morris K. Udall Professor of Law and Public Policy, University of Arizona) is a timely and much needed wake-up call concerning the all-too-frequent pollution and misuse of the groundwater tables that America relies upon for fresh drinking water. Consisting of a selection of anecdotes about how the Santa Cruz River in Tucson went dry, the rampant greed in Tampa Bay, watershed initiatives concerning Massachusetts' Ipswitch River Basin, and a great deal more, Water Follies is a clarion warning and very strongly recommended contribution for Environmental Studies reference collections.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Must Read for Environmentalists
    I thought I had a pretty good understanding of issues relating to fresh water and the environment. I didn't, but I do now after reading Water Follies.

    This is a very important book for anyone interested in the environment. I am pretty well read on environmental topics and was surprised by how much I learned from Glennon's very readable book.

    The author explains very clearly the interrelationships among ground water, lakes, rivers, and the damage we have done and are doing to the environment through mindless groundwater pumping.

    Fresh water shortages and ground water pumping are going to be front page stories over the next few years. Water Follies will enable you to appreciate the issues involved and to develop a well informed opinion. ... Read more

    14. Determining The Economic Value Of Water: Concepts And Methods
    by Robert A. Young
    list price: $39.00
    our price: $39.00
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    Asin: 1891853988
    Catlog: Book (2004-12-30)
    Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
    Sales Rank: 1479280
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    15. Crimes against Nature: Squatters, Poachers, Thieves, and the Hidden History of American Conservation
    by Karl Jacoby
    list price: $21.95
    our price: $21.95
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    Asin: 0520239091
    Catlog: Book (2003-02-03)
    Publisher: University of California Press
    Sales Rank: 430952
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Crimes against Nature reveals the hidden history behind three of the nation's first parklands: the Adirondacks, Yellowstone, and the Grand Canyon. Focusing on conservation's impact on local inhabitants, Karl Jacoby traces the effect of criminalizing such traditional practices as hunting, fishing, foraging, and timber cutting in the newly created parks. Jacoby reassesses the nature of these "crimes" and provides a rich portrait of rural people and their relationship with the natural world in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. ... Read more

    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A lucid book on how we've "created" nature - and outlaws
    Crimes Against Nature is written by one of America's foremost new thinkers on the environment. Karl Jacoby's book has all the beauty and intellectual force his lectures are famous for.

    This book gives a startlingly new perspective on just how we've created our national parks. In doing so, he makes us rethink what we consider our proudest achievements - and at what cost we've achieved them. Five stars.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An intriguing look at our national parks
    "Conservation" seems like a completely positive word--e.g., we want to preserve nature for future generations. I remember how in awe I was when I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time.

    But after reading Jacoby's book, I feel like I have a whole new perspective. Not that I don't agree that protecting the environment shouldn't be a high priority--for example, I think the idea of drilling into the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil when we have all these people driving thes gas-guzzling SUVs is the height of idiocy. But this book shows that there were some human costs to creating the park--the Indians and poor white people who already lived on the land that became parks. I didn't realize that they had the U.S. army patrolling and occupying the Grand Canyon to keep people out--although I do remember thinking that the Forest rangers' uniforms (and Smoky the Bear!) were very militaristic.

    Basically, what became parks were already living entities that had people living in and exploiting their natural resources and changing the environment. So now I realize when I see the Grand Canyon, it's not as if it's in a time warp, completely untouched for centuries. I plan to keep traveling and visiting more parts--esp out west, and this book has definitely deepened my understanding of our National Park system! ... Read more

    16. Flowforms: The Rhythmic Power of Water
    by A. John Wilkes
    list price: $29.95
    our price: $29.95
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    Asin: 0863153925
    Catlog: Book (2003-12-01)
    Publisher: Floris Books
    Sales Rank: 604457
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    Book Description

    Working with his remarkable invention, the Flowform, John Wilkes has uncovered the hidden secrets of water. Among those secrets, says Wilkes, is that water is the universal bearer of whatever character we put into it, and that for this reason the way we treat water is of fundamental importance to our health and to the well- being of our planet.

    This lavishly illustrated book documents a lifetime of inquiry into the true nature of water. It includes a history of flowform research as well as the most important up-to-date developments in this research throughout the world. It also includes informative appendices on metamorphosis, flowform designs and applications, and the scientific and technical aspects of flowform research. ... Read more

    17. Geography, Resources and Environment, Volume 1 : Selected Writings of Gilbert F. White (Geography, Resources, and Environment, Vol 1)
    list price: $78.00
    our price: $78.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0226425746
    Catlog: Book (1986-02-01)
    Publisher: University of Chicago Press
    Sales Rank: 1405297
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    18. Power to the People : How the Coming Energy Revolution Will Transform an Industry, Change Our Lives, and Maybe Even Save the Planet
    by Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran
    list price: $25.00
    our price: $15.75
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0374236755
    Catlog: Book (2003-10-30)
    Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
    Sales Rank: 17620
    Average Customer Review: 4.28 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    A guided tour of a revolution in the making that promises to change our lives

    Global warming, rolling black outs, massive tanker spills, oil dependence: our profligate ways have doomed us to suffer such tragedies, right?Perhaps, but Vijay Vaitheeswaran, the energy and environment correspondent for The Economist, sees great opportunity in the energy realm today, and Power to the People is his fiercely independent and irresistibly entertaining look at the economic, political, and technological forces that are reshaping the world's management of energy resources. In it, he documents an energy revolution already underway--a revolution as radical as the communications revolution of the past decades.

    From the corporate boardroom of a Texas oil titan who denies the reality of global warming to a think tank nestled in the Rocky Mountains where a visionary named Amory Lovins is developing the kind of hydrogen fuel-cell technology that could make the internal combustion engine obsolete, Vaitheeswaran gamely pursues the people who hold the keys to our future.Man's quest for energy is insatiable.It is also essential.By avoiding the traditional binaries that pit free markets against the wisdom of conservation and the need for clean energy, Power to the People is a book that debunks myths without debunking hope.
    ... Read more

    Reviews (18)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Power to People by Viajay V. Vaitheeswaran
    Vijay Vaitheeswaran's Power to People is a timely reminder about the space and scope for releasing limits to growth through innovative approaches to dealing with society's serious issues, of which energy ranks highest alongside water, as agreed upon at the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development. It is timely also because the book removes much of the woolly way of thinking that has clogged the roadway which the book vividly charts. The book has caught bull by the horn and reigned it in by suggesting how markets and technology can be combined to work well for providing power to people. Countries and communities looking for new and additional sources of power can benefit by following and adapting this roadway, more so if short of fossil fuels and yet desirous of bringing light to villages and promoting productivity, sustainable development and economic growth.

    At the Roman Forum, we ponder over the key messages of the book, especially after our President has read all its 358 pages -unusually without being bored. We find that the book deals with creative development by harnessing science and technology for harmony between humanity and the environment, as we profess in our mission. It demonstrates that better environment and more power are possible. The hydrogen fuel cell technology is one example. Another is that of market driven forces, which are banefully tamed in a manner that they work against the release of so much power that the planet has in its elements -polluter-pays-principle, CDM and half-baked Kyoto protocol notwithstanding. Instead, as the book points out, these forces can and should be liberated and drawn upon for providing energy in an efficient and affordable manner and yet avoiding costly subsidies that only sustain fossilized technologies and systems that have little merit on the basis of true costs and benefits -economic, environmental and social. So much cheating so far, but no more, if we heed the message about the beginning of change that should be fostered.

    The book is based on scientific analyses of the situation in an easily understandable manner in order to provide pragmatic solutions to the energy crisis, often aggravated by controversial concerns about carbon emissions, climate change and fossil fuel supplies. The book is objective and provocative, drawing upon extremes of opinion ranging from the Malthusian doom and gloom through to pro-activist must-oppose culture. Without dismissing anyone -neither Bjorn Lomborg nor Arundhati Roy and the likes that so many have done, he enlightens the entire arena of power paradigms, issues and conflicts of interest and yet ends up with logical solutions that can address both the problems of poverty and the environment by providing positive scenarios of power accessible to needy and all alike. CSOs as well as corporate, national and global governance can take several leaves out of the book.

    It is difficult to sum up this magnum opus of the year, starting from the bygone past, assessing the present on the anvil, and steering into the future energy. The vision offered by the book is one reason why this book is for all those interested in understanding and promoting policies and programs for the planet's power and prosperity in a harmoniously holistic manner. It is thus that we hereby offer a challenge to the author, the Mississauga Hydrogen cell pioneers and critics of current paradigms, among others, to pass by for a colloquium on the theme at the Roman Forum. We are prepared to have the book as a basis for disseminating our complex creative development message for reducing poverty by providing power to people in an environmentally appropriate and cost-effective manner. That could be a contribution towards achieving the most meaningful Millennium Development Goal, whether or not the UN and its UN Development Program are listening.

    Meanwhile, we recommend the book full five stars.

    Antonio Tamburrino and Maharaj Muthoo, Roman Forum, Rome ( (;

    5-0 out of 5 stars Energetic Tour of a Huge Topic
    I read this book because I wanted an introduction to energy issues and because Vaitheeswaran writes for The Economist, my favorite news periodical. I loved it. The author conducts a fact-filled tour of old energy (oil), new energy (hydrogen) and many of the characters, companies and countries working in the biggest industry of them all. If you like the journalistic style of The Economist, then you will surely enjoy this book. It is densely factual, tempered in presentation, and very credible. As a bonus, unlike the Economist (which doesn't seem to promote individual journalists), the author introduces himself into the story on precious few occasions and it's usually in a hilarious and self-deprecating way; e.g., one day while visiting Los Angeles, he keeps missing appointments because his electric vehicle can't keep a charge.

    The book is perceived as optimistic because the author hopes that liberalized markets (first section) combined with environmentalism (second section) will promote technologies (third section) that inexorably but gradually shift us from carbon-based fossil fuels to cleaner, more efficient fuels. And he's placing his bets on a portable hydrogen fuel cell that can plug into both your house and your car, and whose only byproduct is water vapor.

    But the author does not euphorically see this future as necessarily destiny; you just know the publisher slapped the marketing sub-title on the cover. If entrepreneurial technologists are the heroes of his drama, then governments are the closest thing to villains. In the case of markets, he shows that California's failed electricity experiment was the wrong kind of deregulation (because regulators unwisely capped retail rates and saddled consumers and new entrants with the cost of so-called stranded investments). He reminds us that competitive markets require a "vigilant regulator and proper price signals" (i.e., deregulation does not mean "no regulation"). In the case of environment, the author seems more worried. He makes a case that global warming is a real issue worthy of action. After he expertly presents the facts (e.g., concentrations of CO2 are increasing), he concludes with a historical parallel-concerning climate phenomenon that are not fully understood but potentially devastating-that is positively chilling: new scientific evidence now shows that we previously underestimated the effects of ozone layer depletion, and if not for the flexible Montreal protocol signed almost two decades ago, the effects would have been much deadlier. Here again, interestingly, he sees myopic politics as the culprit (as global warming is a reverse public good without current, individual constituents) and prefers to put his faith in market economics. He claims that truly free markets will somehow tend to promote more efficient, less polluting companies.

    The technology section is, believe it or not, entertaining. I doubt he can satisfy everybody here and I am not qualified to question his virtual neglect of solar power and his uncharacteristically decisive, cynical verdict concerning the future of nuclear power. His big theme for the future is "small is beautiful"-specifically, miniature fuel cells, small distributed power producers, and even he says, small hydro-projects instead of large destructive dams.

    I totally agree with someone's idea that he could have helped with some charts, but not because the book lacks quantitative data. It does not. But some of the data could have been rendered more memorable in chart form; e.g., oil reserves by country, fuel efficiency statistics. Also, he doesn't really cover the stalled Bush energy bill or the Clean Skies Initiative, which is disappointing but I guess he finished the book before these were introduced. Mere quibbles for an otherwise outstanding book.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Sure Is Sunny In Here
    For an overview of up-and-coming sources of energy for the new millennium you can't do much better than this book, but beware of its very optimistic and not always realistic examinations of the politics and economics of energy. As a policy expert, Vaitheeswaran certainly has keen insights into what is going on in energy today, from actual vs. perceived shortages in fossil fuels to the latest cutting-edge research into new technologies such as fuel cells. Here you will get great insights into how the current market works, with some in-depth debunking of popular assumptions concerning issues like the California crisis in 2000-01, or the true political machinations and motivations of OPEC. Vaitheeswaran ably documents how humans will continue to have access to reliable energy, in whatever form, and that world society is hardly on the brink of a major catastrophic shortage.

    However, this book loses steam significantly when Vaitheeswaran starts to analyze the possible political and economic tools that will be necessary to keep the future energy market healthy. Basically, he is dangerously close to the dogma of the free market and free trade as the cure for all ills. Yes, as Americans we know that intelligently managed markets are essential. However, after fruitfully explaining how current energy markets are distorted by cronyism, tax breaks, subsidies, corporate welfare, and other inequitable political shenanigans, the possibility of such distortions is strangely missing from Vaitheeswaran's analyses of future trends. It's as if the free market, once allowed to roll, would suddenly create a perfect world devoid of human corruption, and not just in market-savvy America. This is the unrealistic message overall - a corrupt present shall be replaced by an unrealistic free market utopia around the world. And generally, in attempting to cover all sides of these issues from the point of view of everyone from radical environmentalists to fossil fuel plutocrats, Vaitheeswaran ultimately fails to land squarely in any camp, which saps the power from many of his conclusions. While much of this book is quite useful in describing exciting new technologies, sunny optimism often blinds the reader from dirtier realities. [~doomsdayer520~]

    4-0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking Book
    The title caught my attention..and I started reading..

    Good book to get a peek on a few up and coming possibilities in the Energy Industry. The author has a very good ability to write so that it connects well and keeps interest.

    I really enjoyed reading about the various possibilities that the coming change in the energy industry might entail.. Especially about various developments in the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen world.

    The author has done comprehensive research for this book which is admirable and there is a lot of journalism in the book.

    Overall a good book. Highly recommend it if you are curious about the energy industry trends

    3-0 out of 5 stars Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark
    If you are looking for a relentlessly optimistic market-oriented analysis of the energy future, this is the book for you. It is well-written, entertaining, and informative. If, however, you are looking for a well-reasoned resonse to the arguments of Kenneth Deffeyes, Hubbert's Peak, David Goodstein's, Out of Gas, or Richard Heinberg's, The Party's Over, you will be disappointed. Vaitheeswaran never addresses their arguments. Rather, he dismisses them without so much as a by your leave. For example his analysis of the question as to whether we are facing an age of sharply increasing energy costs due ever decreassing rates of recovery of fossil fuels consists of a series of quotes from the optimists. His conclusion? Don't worry, be happy! Happily, or unhappily, the next ten years will tell us whether we should have heeded the "Chicken Littles." Unfortunately, if they are right it will be too late. In fact, it is probably already too late. ... Read more

    19. Beyond Growth: The Economics of Sustainable Development
    by Herman E. Daly
    list price: $20.00
    our price: $20.00
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    Asin: 0807047090
    Catlog: Book (1997-09-01)
    Publisher: Beacon Press
    Sales Rank: 53314
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    Named one of a hundred "visionaries who could change your life" by the Utne Reader, Herman Daly has probably been the most prominent advocate of the need for a change in economic thinking in response to environmental crisis. An iconoclast economis t who has worked as a renegade insider at the World Bank in recent years, Daly has argued for overturning some basic economic assumptions. He has won a wide and growing reputation among a wide array of environmentalists, inside and outside the academy.

    In a book that will generate controversy, Daly turns his attention to the major environmental debate surrounding "sustainable development." Daly argues that the idea of sustainable development--which has become a catchword of environmentalism and international finance--is being used in ways that are vacuous, certainly wrong, and probably dangerous. The necessary solutions turn out to be muc h more radical than people suppose.

    This is a crucial updating of a major economist's work, and mandatory reading for people engaged in the debates about the environment.

    "Daly is turning economics inside out by putting the earth and its diminishing natural resources at the center of the field . . . a kind of reverse Copernican revolution in economics."

    --Utne Reader
    ... Read more

    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Truly Important Book
    Don't miss reading this book! When I read conventional economics, I constantly find myself asking why most economists use such ridiculous assumptions. Herman Daly's book tells why, and gives a start of what to do about it. Mr. Daly's work convinced me that economics will soon be undergoing a revolution like that of physics in the time of Einstein. As a patent attorney with a biochemistry degree, I can tell you that Mr. Daly is right on the money when he discusses the importance to humanity's future of discarding GNP as an economic measure. If you didn't realize before that understanding entropy is essential to economics, Mr. Daly will tell you. There is plenty of other great stuff here, too.
    I don't agree with all of Mr. Daly's points. One of his major themes is that being truly concerned about the environment and the future of humanity requires reverence for the Earth as God's creation. Since I am an atheist, and I am very concerned about the environment and the future of humanity, I find this viewpoint a little hard to swallow. Don't let that stop you from reading this great book, though.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The big ugly secret about economic dogma
    Daly, more than any other economist or writer on sustainability, makes clear the fallacies of traditional free-market thinking. The book illustrates very clearly why economic growth cannot be sustainable in a finite world. (Although he doesnt use the metaphor -- I'll borrow it from Edward Abbey -- the same logic explains why "sustainable" cell growth in humans is called "cancer.") Daly argues that traditional economic theory is mainly useful in only one of the three core areas of economy (the optimal price and allocation of scarce resources) and does not address in any meaningful way two other issues -- the distribution of resources and determining the overall scale of the economy that can be sustained within the biosphere. Particularly interesting is the essay on economist Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen, which describes all of the tenets of traditional economic theory that become untenable merely when one accepts the fact that the second law of thermodynamics (the law on increasing entropy) must apply to an economy just as it applies to the biological and physical world.

    What makes Daly effective as a writer is the calm humility of his intellect. Economics has practically become a religion in our society (witness the dogmatic reviews of political/economic books on this site). However, unlike other economists, who get shrill and polemical when their dogma is challenged, Daly is willing to consider possible holes in his arguments, opponents' counterarguments, and unknowns. Of course, he shreds most counterarguments in his calm, polite way, but after reading other economists the openness is refreshing.

    My one complaint is the disjointed nature of the book. Although certain themes run throughout each of the seven sections, some of the pieces were originally written as separate essays, and it shows. However, given the clarity of the writing (even on very technical subjects such as Soddy's views on the nature of money) that is ultimately forgivable.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Cataclysmic Implications
    Herman Daly continues to consolidate and sharpen the insights first expressed (with coauthor Cobb) in "For the Common Good." Here, with 6 years of experience with the World Bank under his belt, Daly is uniquely able to address the short-sightedness of current economic thought and flesh out its implications for all of us. Although quite technical for the average reader, this book says all that you would ever need to know about why the IMF, the WTO, and the World Bank are rapidly pushing the "inevitable" global economy and all of humanity toward an even more inevitable ecological meltdown. But more importantly, Daly calmly details the exact policy changes that will be required to reverse course. They're not complex -- they simply require a level of political will and cultural sobriety not seen in the United States since...well, since the country was founded. From my perspective, this book is a _must_read_, even more so than the equally outstanding "For the Common Good."

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Giordano Bruno of Growth Heresy
    Herman Daly has been warning his readers of the dangers of unrestrained growth longer than some of them have been alive! He is a tireless, thoughtful, and informed proponent of sustainable economic policy who has enjoyed more success than most growth heretics, as attested by his six years at the World Bank. But, like other heretics - whether of growth or of other dogmas - his teachings are largely ignored or ridiculed by the pharisees of proper thought. No doubt his professional status has been diminished by the stand he has taken. Felicitously, we don't burn heretics at the stake these days for undermining archaic beliefs purblindly held or the anti-growth movement might have its first martyr.

    In "Beyond Growth" Daly puts forth his beliefs in a concise and readable way. I found the first few chapters a bit heavy on economic theory and terminology (Daly is after all an economist first and foremost), but once that necessary underpinning has been laid Daly goes on to discuss growth-related topics (population, international trade, ethics) in terms more familiar to the layman, expressed in a thought-provoking and even moving way. Daly not only knows, he cares. The final chapter of the book, in which he attempts to meld the concept of stewardship common to most religions with principles of sustainable development, suggests Daly's concern for growth-addicted humanity springs from a religious upbringing. If he has forsaken some of the dogmatic teachings of his youth, he has retained the kernel of the faith, a devotion to Truth and the well-being of his fellow man, to which he adheres as firmly as did his Renaissance predecessor in heresy. Such adhesion brought Bruno martyrdom at the stake; for Daly it is more likley to bring ultimate recognition as one of the most forward-thinking intellectuals of his time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fuses Christian ethics w/environmental economics effectively
    Herman Daly fills a spiritual void in the field of economics. He explains how current capitalist economic theories dependent on unlimited growth are not only destructive to the environmental resource base upon which the economy depends, but also morally indifferent to unwanted side effects such as the unequal distribution of wealth. The strength of Daly's work is such that it may help bring two important advocacy groups that are not normally associated we each other--environmentalists and Christians--together into a powerful constituency. ... Read more

    20. Park Ranger True Stories from a Ranger's Career in America's National Parks
    by Nancy Eileen Muleady-Mecham
    list price: $14.95
    our price: $14.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: 0967459540
    Catlog: Book (2004-05)
    Publisher: Vishnu Temple Press
    Sales Rank: 111779
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Book Description

    What Park Rangers really have to deal with in any given day and how training, stamina and attitude make all the difference. Theis book could almost be a reference manual, training tool and recruitment handbook for any one interested in wearing a Smoky Bear hat. The author has lived and worked in parks ranging from USS Arizona in Hawaii to the Florida Everglades with most of her career at Grand Canyon. ... Read more

    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A very exciting read!
    I worked with Ms. Muleady-Mecham in Sequoia NP, many years ago. I was a brand new, seasonal ranger, and had the opportunity to see her in action as a paramedic. I was very impressed with her knowledge, and her calm demeanor under pressure.

    My dad picked up this book for me, because I had worked as a ranger before, and thought I'd enjoy it. He had no idea that I actually (sort of) knew the author.

    I really enjoyed reading this book. I felt like I was there on the scene as everything happened. The author definitely gives the reader a feel for the behind-the-scenes action that is going on in the national parks, stuff the average visitor to the park will never be aware of. ... Read more

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