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You Are Here: Exposing the Vital Link Between What We Do and What That Does to Our Planetby Thomas M. Kostigen
Synopses & Reviews
In this groundbreaking book, the New York Times bestselling coauthor of The Green Book, Thomas M. Kostigen, reveals the vital missing link in today's environmental crisis: how we as individuals are connected to the most tenuous geography on the planet. Despite the recent prominence of "green" issues in the news, the direct relationship between our actions and the earth is too often ignored. But the seemingly insignificant things we do every day have the power to literally alter the landscape in the ongoing battle to resuscitate the planet.
There are living narratives of climate change that reveal the consequences of our everyday actions. You Are Here allows us to both comprehend and care about what's happening in these encampments of ruin. Kostigen shows us what may well be a glimpse of our future in Linfen City, China, one of the most polluted places on the planet. From a garbage patch twice the size of Texas in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, to the melting arctic ice shelf, to the flood zone that is Mumbai, India, to the dwindling rainforests of the Amazon, You Are Here describes the environmental crisis in a way we can feel, see, and touch. Kostigen presents us with opportunities for change and shows us how to take action on the spot, wherever we are. Combining groundbreaking research and page-turning frontline reporting, Kostigen pulls back the curtain on the most pressing and provocative issues of the day and in so doing we see the earth and our place on it in a brand new light.
"In a travelogue heavy on statistics but disappointingly pale in atmospherics, Kostigan (The Green Book) invites readers to accompany him on a trip 'into the thick of the most environmentally tenuous places on the planet' to observe the havoc caused by human behavior, from Jerusalem, where acid rain and global warming — induced salt weathering are wearing down the Western Wall, to the sewage-logged Great Lakes. He visits 'the future': the 'orgy of color, mayhem, flash modernity, and squalor' of Mumbai; Linfen City, China, 'the dirtiest place on Earth'; and the Eastern Garbage Patch, a mid-Pacific 'lethal marine habitat' of trash 'twice the size of Texas.' Post-trip, Kostigen exclaims, 'Now I see people in my actions....I feel differently about what I do and what it does to the planet.' Unfortunately, his feeble powers of description convey little feeling to the reader (the Amazon jungle is 'definitely a bit of Survivor out here') and his navely optimistic claim that 'We have changed the Earth's natural course of development' and 'we can just as easily change its course again — for the better' is less than convincing." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Certainly we need crash courses like this one, from knowledgeable authors who educate instead of preach. A Paul Theroux type with an environmental agenda, Kostigen doesn't tell us to save the world; he shows us the price already being paid for our failure to do so." Booklist
"Kostigen shows us that, in a world of limited resources, there is no such thing as an insignificant choice. Pushing us from awareness to action, this is an unforgettable story about how, through our choices, we are all tied to one another." Alexandra Cousteau, Environmental Advocate and National Geographic Emerging Explorer
"An intriguing and insightful account that deserves to be read by everyone affected by these issues which is...everyone!" Mark Plotkin, founder of the Amazon Conservation Team and Time Magazine Hero for the Planet
Book News Annotation:
Kostigen (a columnist for Dow Jones MarketWatch and Discover magazine) takes the reader on a tour of "the frontlines of the environmental battlegrounds," describing places around the world that demonstrate the multifaceted nature of global environmental crisis. These include the heavily polluted Linfen City in China, a massive collection of garbage in the Pacific Ocean twice the size of Texas, the disappearing forests of the Amazon jungle and Indonesian Borneo, the Fresh Kills Landfill in New York, and the melting polar ice cap. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A leading environmental journalist travels to the most fragile places on Earth to show how what individuals do at home affects people, places, and things across the globe. 8-page 4-color photo insert.
“A passionate and heartfelt call to care.”
About the Author
Thomas M. Kostigen is coauthor of the New York Times bestseller The Green Book. He writes the "Ethics Monitor" column for Dow Jones MarketWatch and the "Better Planet" column and blog for Discover magazine. He is a longtime journalist and former Bloomberg News editor. Kostigen has been writing about global warming, the environment, social issues, and government policies for two decades. He lives in Santa Monica, California.
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