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This Borrowed Earth: Lessons from the Fifteen Worst Environmental Disasters around the World (MacSci) Paperback – February 2, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0230619838 ISBN-10: 9780230619838 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: MacSci
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Trade; 1 edition (February 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780230619838
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230619838
  • ASIN: 0230619835
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,876 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Robert Hernan provides a deep service … May this book give heart and courage to many more such great souls, for there are assuredly many more such fights to come.”--from the foreword by Bill McKibben
 
“A wake-up call to all concerned citizens of this earth.”—from the preface by Graham Nash

 

"This Borrowed Earth: Lessons from Fifteen Environmental Disasters Around the World,  powerfully depicts in simple, transparent prose, the lasting and wrenching impact of some of the major environmental disasters of the last century, which younger generations may only barely remember.  But Mr. Hernan’s book does much more.  It reveals a striking similarity in the genesis of these disasters that can shed light on ways to prevent them in the future – in particular, the profit-driven development of production technologies with no heed to their health and environmental effects or the environmental fate of their products.  One is convinced, after reading Mr. Hernan’s book, that the only way to slow the rate of growth of devastating climate change is for governments around the world to assert control over our most basic technology – the production of energy in ways that can lift the world out of poverty without destroying it in the process."--Barry Commoner

 

“Lets the facts and the victims speak for themselves. Again and again, we see polluters hiding or denying information, threatening those impacted by pollution, and putting profits before people. Hernan’s stories show that each of these disasters were avoidable; we can only hope that by reading of them we all learn and avoid future ones.”--Peter Lehner, Executive Director, Natural Resources Defense Council

About the Author

Robert Emmet Hernan is a former senior counsel for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Assistant Attorney General for New York State. He was a trial lawyer for New York State in the infamous Love Canal Case. He lives in New York City.


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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 16 customer reviews
Hernan is a brilliant story teller.
C. P. Garvey
This is a book that will help future generations to avoid the mistakes of the past.
Robert Emmet Hernan
This will be required reading for my APES classes.
Allison Mock

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By James D. Morris on February 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
Bob Hernan's book is a tremendously useful summation of fifteen of the worst environmental catastrophes of our time, along with their awful human toll. Clearly and gracefully written, it is transparent and accessible and would be a valuable teaching tool.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joanna Isaak on March 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Robert Hernan's This Borrowed Earth is nothing if not timely. This survey of a number of the major environmental disasters of the last twenty years arrives at a time in which the global environmental situation has arguably become the major issue facing the world today. Hernan's book is a sobering and gripping narrative of a series of man-made environmental disasters, from Minimata to Chenobyl to Three Mile Island, the consequences of which were fatal to thousands of people. The record of evasions, self-excuses, and outright lying, practiced by the corporations and governments responsible for the disasters makes for disturbing reading, and a strong sense of the need for vigilance in the future. The book's subject matter is inherently dramatic, and is told in an appropriately minimalist style; the tragedies speak for themselves. A book that should receive wide readership, and a must read for anyone concerned about the state of the planet. -D. O'Connell
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robert Emmet Hernan on February 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
"This Borrowed Earth" is an amazing book and should be required reading in all classrooms. Described here are fifteen of the worst man-made disasters that have shaped and given urgency to the contemporary environmental movement. Each story is told with clarity and compassion. Hernan lets the facts speak for themselves but in a prose that is limpidly clear, almost hypnotic. Full of information about the causes of these disasters, the book also focuses on the human experiences around the events--often heartbreaking. But the stories of individual courage and achievement are also inspiring and stand in stark contrast to the tales of corporate ignorance and/or indifference. Each new generation should be made aware of this history; many of us born after the l970's are shockingly unfamiliar with some of these landmark crises. This is a book that will help future generations to avoid the mistakes of the past.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By C. P. Garvey on February 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hernan is a brilliant story teller. His stories of environmental disasters are riveting, particularly in his focus on the resulting human suffering. As each story unfolds, the author conveys complex environmental principles in direct, easily-understood language.

Hernan's stories are stark reminders of the environmental havoc that can be wrought all too easily in our highly-industrialized, ever-burgeoning world. Many of the disasters he recounts are in danger of being forgotten -- or worse, never known -- by newer generations. Kudos to the author for focusing the light of the current day on these critically-important events of the recent past -- lest we forget and such disasters begin to repeat themselves.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Michele J. on February 16, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book. It was a fast read for me and kept me glued to some absolutely horrifying events that have happened or are continuing to happen today. Lessons have been learned by heroic people that took a stand against almost immovable government agencies and corporate power. We can only hope to have such people lead the way to the future of a more environmentally responsible society.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Allison Mock on August 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
Excellent job of presenting the social, economic and political issues surrounding these disasters. Each story had a compelling human element to it. I liked the fact that the author stuck to the facts and didn't get wrapped up in soapbox rhetoric. This will be required reading for my APES classes.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you want to know what's going on with our environment , read this book. It will break your heart. Some of these disasters are too close to home.
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By Karyn Packard on October 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This well researched book documents environmental disasters and reflects on each dramatic situation over time. Very interesting reading, many facts that of which I was previously unaware.
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