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I have become very impatient with my own tendency to put a finger to the political winds and proceed cautiously.... [E]very time I pause to consider whether I have gone too far out on a limb, I look at the new facts [on the environment crisis] that continue to pour in from around the world and conclude that I have not gone far enough.... [T]he time has long since come to take more political risks--and endure more political criticism--by proposing tougher, more effective solutions and fighting hard for their enactments.
And the buzz on the street is that Gore actually wrote those words himself.
When Earth in the Balance first came out, it caused quite a stir--and for good reason. It convincingly makes the case that a crisis of epidemic proportions is nearly upon us and that if the world doesn't get its act together soon and agree to some kind of "Global Marshall Plan" to protect the environment, we're all up a polluted creek without a paddle. Myriad plagues are upon us, but the worst include the loss of biodiversity, the depletion of the ozone layer, the slash-and-burn destruction of rainforests, and the onset of global warming. None of this is new, of course, nor was it new in 1992. But most environmentalists will still get a giddy feeling reading such a call to action as written by a prominent politician.
The book is arranged into three sections: the first describes the plagues; the second looks at how we got ourselves into this mess; and the final chapters present ways out. Gore gets his points across in a serviceable way, though he could have benefited from a firmer editor's hand; at times the analogies are arcane and the pacing is odd--kind of like a Gore speech that climaxes at weird points and then sinks just as the audience is about to clap. Still, at the end you understand what's been said. Gore believes that if we apply some American ingenuity, the twin engines of democracy and capitalism can be rigged to help us stabilize world population growth, spread social justice, boost education levels, create environmentally appropriate technologies, and negotiate international agreements to bring us back from the brink. For example, a worldwide shift to clean, renewable energy sources would create huge economic opportunities for companies large and small to design, build, and maintain solar panels, wind turbines, fuel cells, and other ecofriendly innovations.
Gore doesn't mince words when describing just how hard it will be to get out of this jam. Real hope is contingent on a swelling up of concern among the public--and fast. A year into the vice presidency, in an interview with writer Bill McKibben, Gore paraphrased a key passage in his book, "The minimum that is scientifically necessary far exceeds the maximum that is politically feasible." Ah, a political out. Some readers will ask of Gore: what has he done since publishing his book to advance the political feasibility of decisive environmental action? --Chip Giller --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Excellent and very scary, should be required reading for all high schoolers, IMO. Explains in very readable and understandable detail how we are consuming our planet, and what we... Read morePublished 2 months ago by S. Smith
Great book and great vice president and should had been president in 2000 on a cake walk book was a great price odd it came from Florida
West Palm beach Florida
A very important book. Ours society ignores its message at its peril.Published 5 months ago by Incognito
Al Gore is at worst a complete fraud; at best he is ignorant, and I do mean ignorant in that he ignores the facts. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Anti-Statist Mama
I bought up this book on a whim from a thrift store. Years later, I got a chance to begin reading it – and over some weeks, I read it to the end, because it was great. Read morePublished 12 months ago by yumyumshisha
I know that this book was written ages ago, but its been inspirational to me and makes me think about all the long-term effects of what we do everyday. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Molly McDonald
Good service and delivery, but it's a terrible book filled with junk science, which is what one should expect when reading what a scientific illiterate has to say about something... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Enjuneer
This is excellent primer for anyone who wants to know the scope of climate change AND wants to help avoid the looming warming problems.Published 16 months ago by alderballs