Beautiful book with gorgeous photos and lots of good information about species that live in the Salish Sea. It's not a comprehensive biology book, butBeautiful book with gorgeous photos and lots of good information about species that live in the Salish Sea. It's not a comprehensive biology book, but rather will give you a taste of who lives here and how they fit into the ecology of the area....more
I loved this book. Derrick Jensen has a signature style for questioning assumptions and he uses it here to great effect, to dig deep into the ways weI loved this book. Derrick Jensen has a signature style for questioning assumptions and he uses it here to great effect, to dig deep into the ways we assume humans are superior, and the articulate the resulting benefits we allocate to ourselves at the expense of the rest of life on the planet.
His simplistic and overly sentimental portrayal of indigenous cultures bothered me; while it is certainly true that humans knew how to live more lightly on the Earth before agriculture and industrial civilization began, Jensen seems to believe indigenous cultures did and can do no wrong.
While certain specifics in the book might be questionable, the overall sentiment is an incredibly important perspective on humanity and our outsized impacts on the planet we call home, the way we treat other beings, and how we live in the world. And learning to question assumptions is always a good thing.
I really enjoyed this book. It's not the most riveting writing - he's extremely detail oriented and tends to use the same sentence structure repeatedlI really enjoyed this book. It's not the most riveting writing - he's extremely detail oriented and tends to use the same sentence structure repeatedly, etc. and it's not told as a "story" but rather as an information dump - but all that said, it's fascinating stuff. The main thesis is something many of us already know and that is that technology is part of the heat-engine that is human industrial civilization and as such, will always - always! - contribute to the problem, and in aggregate, will do so more than it helps solve the problem. So all technology, at least in its current incarnations, in aggregate, will lead us closer to the end game of a livable planet. Much of the book is spent discussing why this is the case, and some of the book is spent offering solutions. Overall, the author has a plan, similar to what you'd expect: no technology unless we can recycle, reuse all waste, or in such small quantities that the earth system can absorb it safely. Not gonna happen. One gets the impression the author doesn't really believe it will happen either, but feels obligated to lay it out... just in case? Yeah. Right.
Two very valuable things one comes away with are: a breakdown of the analysis required to understand and analyze a given technology's impact, which he recommends we do in-depth at all stages of a technology's development (including at the idea stage); and, a long list of questions to help you think more deeply about the content in each chapter, which serve as great inspiration for questioning *everything* our industrial civilization does. Good stuff.
I read this book because I have been feeling distinctly "anti-technology" lately, which, as a computer geek by training and career has put me in an uncomfortable spot. But I saw it coming, and well, I can't go back in time and change my college major. Plus, I do so love to watch NASA and similar organizations using all their wonderful technology to clarify the crisis we're in and help us understand the Earth system.
So many people seem to think we can technology our way out of this problem we have created for ourselves. This book lays out the proof for why that is a futile path. ...more
This book, along with This Changes Everything, should be required reading for everyone.
A fascinating and well-written insight into food production, sThis book, along with This Changes Everything, should be required reading for everyone.
A fascinating and well-written insight into food production, some of which I found surprising, some frustrating, some shocking. I knew little bits and pieces of what's in this book, but am glad to have had the satisfying experience of having it all placed into the big picture, so I now feel like I have a much better understanding of many issues. While this book is downright frightening in some ways, the author does a great job of offering both solutions to some of the problems he describes, as well as hopeful visions of the possibilities for a more food-secure future... if we will only act, and do the "right thing". Much of what needs to be done is in alignment with the list of things I ended up with after reading This Changes Everything, a reminder that everything is connected: food, climate, human health, population, fossil fuels... etc.
I just read about a word "Ellipsism": A sadness that you'll never be able to know how history will turn out. I do hope that I live long enough to know whether humanity gets its act together to fix all these problems, so that I know how history turns out... at least this part of history.