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10 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Environment -The Science Behind the Stories, November 12, 2008
This review is from: Environment: The Science behind the Stories (3rd Edition) (Paperback)
Overall this is a superior and very effective textbook for teaching (compare to Raven et al, Botkin and Keller). One BIG criticism that limits or diminishes the text overall however is that Withgott and Brennan are unabashedly politically partisan throughout the text. For example, page 77, in the section entitled , "Science can be politicized" , Withgott and Brennan use the opportunity to go after the Bush administration. The impression is clearly left that the Republican party is the enemy of science and that Democrats are the friends of science. Fairness would dictate a more balanced approach to this section, especially now that we have a bicameral Democrat government with a Democrat executive; are students to believe now that science will not be politicized? Are students to believe that the Union of Concerned Scientists does not politicize science? UCS practice of flying scientists to Washington and then giving them detailed talking points and coaching prior to shuttling them to a meeting with their Senator is not being political? What about the political agenda from the left? Did the NASA scientist quoted on page 77 not have a political agenda as well? Check out [..[............] .. to judge this for yourselves.
The book contains many many more of these types of political bias. Reading through Chapters 18 and 19 is like reading through the Democrat parties talking points. Are we to assume ,as Withgott and Brennan suggest, on page 542 that the Democrat majority Congress is the best friend of the environment? I feel these types of political commentary throughout the text do no service for the causes of environmental activists like Withgott and Brennan. Partisan attacks throughout the book only diminish the work of scientists because they are then associated with these attacks. I think Withgott's background as a San Francisco based journalist clearly has framed his approach.
Again, overall, the book is very very well done. I like this text and would recommend it over any of the others I have seen for an Intro Env Sci course; but, I only wish the authors had left out their own political bias. This would have strengthened the book greatly!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 19, 2009 5:02:48 AM PDT
I had to comment here and say that the Republican party IS and has been a hinderance to Science, especially in the Bush Administration. If that truth is the reason you disliked this book, then perhaps you should not be so sensitive to criticism of the Republican party.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 20, 2010 2:51:46 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Apr 20, 2010 2:52:07 PM PDT]
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