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Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit Paperback – Bargain Price, October 31, 2006
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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.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
He wrote in the Introduction, "Writing this book is part of a personal journey that began more than twenty-five years ago, a journey in search of a true understanding of the global ecological crisis and how it can be resolved... it has also led me to undertake a deeper kind of inquiry, one that is ultimately an investigation of the very nature of our civilization and its relationship to the global environment... At some point ... we lost our feeling of connectedness to the rest of nature. We now dare to wonder: Are we so unique and powerful as to be essentially separate from the earth? Many of us act---and think---as if the answer is yes... I am convinced that many people have lost their faith in the future, because in virtually every facet of our civilization we are beginning act as if our future is now so much in doubt it makes more sense to focus exclusively on our current needs and short-term problems...Read more ›
His solutions are strong given his level of perception and analysis as a government policymaker. They are not much good for rapid change, however, or for grassroots action. While health food stores already existed back in 1992, it is amazing to witness how many efforts have lead to more sustainable products since then. Unfortunately, the green business trend is new, and, perhaps protectively, he appears to leave out any significant mention of environmentalists and entrepreneurial efforts, especially the initiating of Greenpeace by its Sierra Club founders, health food stores and food cooperatives, Anita Roddick and the Body Shop, and Greenpeace's promotion of non-chlorine bleaching techniques.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 13 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 15 months ago by Anti-Statist Mama
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 21 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 21 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 23 months ago by alderballs
Are you an environmentalist? No, you are not. Do not worry. Read this book, and you will be one, because you will be soon taking about itPublished on December 8, 2013 by Oscar