Synopses & Reviews
What do a clothesline, a condom, and a public library have in common? They are among seven everyday "wonders" that can help rein in our economy's rapid plunder of the planet's natural resources.
"Seven Wonders asks readers to ponder a thought-provoking question: What would the world be like if everyone on the planet consumed resources the way we do in North America? The conclusion: probably uninhabitable. But the seven time-honored tools presented in this book--the bicycle, the condom, the ceiling fan, the clothesline, "pad thai, the public library, and the ladybug--can improve our lives and help reduce our colossal appetites to a level the Earth can support. Each of the wonders serves as a springboard for examining critical environmental issues. For example, a discussion of the bicycle inspires new thinking about gridlock, growth, and global warming. Condoms bring up issues of population and public health, while ladybugs in the garden naturally lead to an examination of what pesticides are doing to the environment and our health. Engaging and persuasive, "Seven Wonders artfully demonstrates how surprisingly simple steps can lead to a dramatically more sustainable future for our crowded and complex world.
Consider your way of life and the effect that you have on the planet, and ask yourself the following question: If everyone on Earth lived like you, what would the impact be on the natural world and its finite resources? Probably catastrophic. According to John Ryan, it's time for us to reexamine our actions and reconsider our options.
In Seven Wonders, Ryan informs readers of the extraordinary benefits of such familiar things as the bicycle, the ceiling fan, the clothesline, the condom, Thai food, the public library, and the ladybug - and how using them can help solve critical global problems such as air pollution, ozone layer depletion, and toxic pesticide runoff. Our high-consumption "American way of life" creates enormous ecosystem damage. John Ryan artfully demonstrates how we can adopt relatively easy ways to lessen this damage and, at the same time, improve the health of our shared natural environment and of our families.
About the Author
John C. Ryan, research director at Northwest Environment Watch, is also the author of Over Our Heads, Hazardous Handouts, and State of the Northwest, and the co-author of Stuff: The Secret Lives of Everyday Things. He lives in Seattle, within biking distance of a dozen Thai restaurants.
Northwest Environment Watch is an independent, not-for-profit research center based in Seattle, Washington, and Victoria, British Columbia. Its mission is to foster a sustainable economy and way of life in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
Table of Contents
The bicycle -- The condom -- The ceiling fan -- The clothesline -- Pad Thai -- The public library -- The ladybug.