- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: HarperOne; 1 edition (September 23, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061580368
- ISBN-13: 978-0061580369
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 11 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,301,848 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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You Are Here: Exposing the Vital Link Between What We Do and What That Does to Our Planet 1st Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
In a travelogue heavy on statistics but disappointingly pale in atmospherics, Kostigan (The Green Book) invites readers to accompany him on a trip into the thick of the most environmentally tenuous places on the planet to observe the havoc caused by human behavior, from Jerusalem, where acid rain and global warming–induced salt weathering are wearing down the Western Wall, to the sewage-logged Great Lakes. He visits the future: the orgy of color, mayhem, flash modernity, and squalor of Mumbai; Linfen City, China, the dirtiest place on Earth; and the Eastern Garbage Patch, a mid-Pacific lethal marine habitat of trash twice the size of Texas. Post-trip, Kostigen exclaims, Now I see people in my actions.... I feel differently about what I do and what it does to the planet. Unfortunately, his feeble powers of description convey little feeling to the reader (the Amazon jungle is definitely a bit of Survivor out here) and his naïvely optimistic claim that We have changed the Earth's natural course of development and we can just as easily change its course again—for the better is less than convincing. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kostigen travels the globe to connect the dots between countries, cultures and personal choices. He opens in Jerusalem, pointing out the damage done by excess greenhouse gases to icons like the Western Wall. From there he visits Mumbai, which is threatened by rising water levels, and Linfen City, China, whose air pollution, a quarter of it caused by manufacturing goods for the U.S., negatively impacts California. Relentless demand for palm oil is destroying Borneo forests, and excess trash is forming floating garbage patches in the Pacific. Kostigen bears witness to the adverse impact of wasteful environmental practices, then writes riveting passages about how our consuming lifestyles are causing monumental catastrophes. We suffer, he writes, “from a sense of immunity.” Certainly we need crash courses like this one, from knowledgeable authors who educate instead of preach. A Paul Theroux type with an environmental agenda, Kostigen doesn’t tell us to save the world; he shows us the price already being paid for our failure to do so. --Colleen Mondor
Top customer reviews
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WHY should we recycle? WHY should we change our lifestyle? This book provides some of the best answers to these WHYs with each chapter introducing readers to a place on our planet that suffers the consequences of people's choices. And these places are not limited to the U.S. or a particular country. These places range from Israel to the Great Lakes to the middle of the Pacific Ocean. There are plenty of great books on HOW to live a greener lifestyle, but I absolutely recommend this book to those who want to know WHY these lifestyle changes are necessary.
I learned a lot of new things from this book. It was an easy and quick read. The author gives a good amount of information (not too heavy but still extremely detailed). I definitely recommend this book for young people (middle school & high school) because I think it's something they should be aware of. A great book for adults too. It's something worth discussing.
Page 174: "I'd swap a burger for a salad every once in a while. This is how water-saving actions here affect people, places, and things 'there.'" Elsewhere in the book he suggests maybe not flushing the toilet to conserve water (of course there are toilet water conservation kits that may be a better and aromatically preferred choice).
Page 199: "I can--we can--make a simple difference by investigating where our clothes come from and whether they are made sustainably. It isn't easy figuring it out." Then he goes on to talk about plastic. One thing I struggle with is if it isn't easy for someone who writes a book on the topic to figure it out, he is not being very helpful by telling people to investigate where our clothes come from.
He concludes on page 207: "We can just as easily change its [the Earth] course again--for the better. Embracing knowledge and creating awareness can reshape our lives and make the future more certain."
Maybe this is my main problem with the book; change is NOT going to be easy and fixing the problems we have created is not going to be as simple as having a salad once in a while or not flushing the toilet sometimes. It is going to take a change in the way we live, interact, and act "civilized."
He links my toothpaste to the gangster-run logging camps and palm oil industry of Borneo. He explores the world's dirtiest city, Linfen City, China and how it affects global climate change and investigates a garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean twice the size of Texas! Why is this the first time I'm hearing about this?!
He travels to these ugly places, deals with shady guides, guards and gatekeepers to open our eyes. He urges us to live simply and be conscious of what we use.