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Starred Review. While the conventional wisdom condemns it as an environmental nightmare, Manhattan is by far the greenest place in America, argues this stimulating eco-urbanist manifesto. According to Owen (Sheetrock and Shellac), staff writer at the New Yorker, New York City is a model of sustainability: its extreme density and compactness—and horrifically congested traffic—encourage a carfree lifestyle centered on walking and public transit; its massive apartment buildings use the heat escaping from one dwelling to warm the ones adjoining it; as a result, he notes, New Yorkers' per capita greenhouse gas emissions are less than a third of the average American's. The author attacks the powerful anti-urban bias of American environmentalists like Michael Pollan and Amory Lovins, whose rurally situated, auto-dependent Rocky Mountain Institute he paints as an ecological disaster area. The environmental movement's disdain for cities and fetishization of open space, backyard compost heaps, locavorism and high-tech gadgetry like solar panels and triple-paned windows is, he warns, a formula for wasteful sprawl and green-washed consumerism. Owen's lucid, biting prose crackles with striking facts that yield paradigm-shifting insights. The result is a compelling analysis of the world's environmental predicament that upends orthodox opinion and points the way to practical solutions. (Sept.)
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A convincing case...Pugnacious and contrarian The New York Times Turns conventional wisdom on its head and takes a clear-eyed look at what 'green' might truly mean San Francisco ChronicleSee all Editorial Reviews
Like every other voice out there talking about how we are ruining the planet, Mr Owen does not address the true issue. Overpopulation. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Titan
i notice the author lives in an idyllic rural setting, i wonder if he'd trade that for the "green metropolis". Read morePublished 3 months ago by Ray G
At one time the author lived in NYC and that's what he talks about. Living in a city with a good mass transit, walkable conditions, and almost everything you need except a car. Read morePublished 11 months ago by mark yuschak
A great book that breaks down the common beliefs—myths, really—of Priuses and environmental trends. Can solar power really save us? Read morePublished 11 months ago by t0wnp1ann3r
Sometimes in the pursuit of sustainability we need to hold a mirror up to our efforts and recognize the ways in which inconsistencies and whims lead to outcomes that are not what... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Francis Vanek
That we're literally and figuratively "running out of gas," is not news. But David Owen's thorough coverage, use of data, and often surprising perspectives are news. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Jay Lubinsky
Gave as a gift. Assume everything was okay. No complaints. Wish I had the option of limiting future recommendations just to items I buy and ship to myself.Published 17 months ago by Gifts That Keep on Truckin'
After the first couple of chapters it's kind of like, "I get it... New York rules." but his writing style is quick and easy to read, as well as entertaining. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Leeann
If you don't mind other people and you enjoy public life, read this book. If you love your car and your McMansion more than anything else, don't read this book. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Karla Guererri