A timely survey of the state of America's environment: how we can take action to achieve a sustainable future.
Nostalgia for a lost natural world and/or ire at industry waste and government failures inform many a book about the environment, but Blatt examines the world's most pressing environmental problems in a balanced, learned tone. A longtime geology professor currently teaching in Israel, Blatt breaks down environmental issues into their components, describing different aspects of the problem, offering solutions and suggesting a prognosis. When it comes to America's attempts to decrease air pollution and protect the ozone layer, Blatt gives surprisingly good grades (A and A-). The world's rapid response to the ozone problem, he says, "is a fine example of what can be accomplished when cooperation prevails among nations." But from failing to ratify the Kyoto Treaty to failing to discourage suburban sprawl (which means, among other things, longer drive times and larger, more energy-inefficient houses), Americans aren't doing enough to stop global warning, he says. We should practice better private conservation-e.g., use shower heads that save water-but what's required is systemic change. Frank but hopeful, serious but readable, this is an excellent environmental science primer. (Dec.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.