- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Yale University Press (October 27, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0300141610
- ISBN-13: 978-0300141610
- Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1 customer review)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,873,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Treasures of the Earth: Need, Greed, and a Sustainable Future Hardcover – October 27, 2009
From Publishers Weekly
Ali, an associate environmental studies professor at the University of Vermont, examines humanity's treasure impulse—our drive to collect items of value—and chronicles the destruction that our appetite for gold, iron ore, diamonds and oil has wrought upon the earth. With a historical tour of the treasure impulse from the Bronze Age to conceptual art dealing, the book comes to an admirably pragmatic thesis—namely that consumption cannot be reasonably curbed, but can be altered significantly to propel development while becoming more environmentally responsible. Novel and potentially effective proposals are made (such as a campaign—along the lines of nutrition labels found on food—that would make consumers aware of the environmental impact of various products), but not explored to a satisfactory degree. Much of the material should be of wide interest, but it is hampered by dry language and meandering arguments. And despite its wide-ranging cultural references and explanations of such basics as the periodic table, the book is not always friendly to lay readers, occasionally resorting to abstruse academic jargon. (Nov.)
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Top customer reviews
The author has successfully merged a wide gamut of interrelated topics associated with "Treasures of Earth". Fascinating facts both historical and modern on ores, metals, stones, coal & diamonds mining, necessary diet minerals, hydro carbons, nuclear & synthetic materials and our crucial relationship with these materials which are necessary for human survival.
By using an intellectual approach to the English language, a plethora of references to economic history and addressing several scientific disciplines creates a rich and eloquent text with substantial evidence. However, to value this publication truly, the reader will need some background in earth sciences, current environmental concerns, human development and conflict management.
The author traverses evolution of human development throughout ages and prevalent use of materials for industry, warfare, human survival tools and ornamental value. There are connections made between excessive consumption and depletion with subsequent demise of civilizations.
While this book will make an interesting read for students and adults of all backgrounds and ages, it is a scholarly work where past, present and future come together. There are ample warnings for present generation of potential negative impact on environment and human development due to excessive consumption. Nevertheless, the author provides hope that with proper management of depletion of resources, development of synthetic materials and alternate energy sources there is a bright future for humankind