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You Are Here: Exposing the Vital Link Between What We Do and What That Does to Our Planet
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You Are Here: Exposing the Vital Link Between What We Do and What That Does to Our Planet

3.7  ·  Rating details ·  166 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
The relationship between the globe's crises and our everyday actions is becoming less and less clear despite the increased media and political attention on the environment. The flick of a light switch is linked to the polar ice caps melting. "The Sunday" newspaper is fundamentally connected to the disappearing rainforests. The seemingly insignificant things that we do have ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published September 23rd 2008 by HarperOne (first published 2008)
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(showing 1-30)
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Mar 29, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2011
My biggest complaint would be that I've read better books on the same subject. Not only is the information not new, but the advice given seems inadequate in light of the severity of the situations depicted.

"Five million people die unnecessarily each year because of illness related to lack of potable water. Half of them are children under the age of five. To bring it home, think about this: one child dies from lack of clean water every twelve seconds."

Kostigen then proceeds to tell you to turn o
Kate Muybueno
Apr 29, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: earth-earthlings
barely touched upon our dietary choices and how that is the biggest effect we have on the planet. very incomplete and disappointing.
Oct 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Thomas M. Kostigen begins his eye-opening new book on the world's environmental challenges in the Middle East, where pollution and neglect are steadily destroying the ancient sites that are the foundation of the Abrahamic faiths. I've seen this with my own eyes (there's a shocking crack in the retaining wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem big enough to climb through -- if you were a bit more nimble than me and didn't mind causing religious riots...) In "You Are Here: Exposing the Vital Link Be ...more
Todd Martin
Mar 15, 2010 rated it liked it
“You Are Here” by Thomas M. Kostigen is a global tour of man’s impact on the environment from global warming to the problem of waste. The book is wide in scope and easy to read, but doesn’t present anything new in terms of solutions (recycle, take public transportation, reduce water use, etc.). While a good overview of environmental issues, Kostigen fails to prioritize them based on urgency or potential consequences. For example he seems to think that the problem of waste disposal is equivalent ...more
Nov 10, 2008 rated it liked it
Another in the long list of of books detailing just how shitty we are to the planet. Kostigen does a good job detailing the plight and connecting "us" to it. My only slight is that I just didn't like him as the author. He was in the book more than i would have liked. Each chapter took on one particular place on Earth that illustrates the extremes to which we might find ourselves.I particularly liked the section about Mumbai and the one on the Great Lakes.
Lisa Houlihan
May 04, 2009 marked it as abandoned-notforme
I wanted to like this. I read Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolver and Mark Bittman and I am a literal treehugger, so when I saw this at the library I picked it up, expecting their quality of writing, thinking, organization, and insight. In the first chapter (beyond which I did not read), Kostigen leaps about in his narrative more than I do in ordinary, unedited, nonpublished speech.

I expected structure and follow-up to his ideas. I didn't find much of either. I could have overlooked more of h
Michael Arden
May 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
The author travels to several focal points on today's environmental front and manages to tie in what is happening in these trouble spots with our everyday habits that, it turns out, have global consequences. He visits Mumbai, India, where people have to recycle virtually everything in order for the city not to become literally flooded with garbage. He catches a glimpse of our possible future when he stops in Linfen City, China, one of the most polluted spots on Earth due to multiple coal fired m ...more
Sep 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011-books-read
This book makes you really think about how we are all connected on this planet and how everything each of us does, choices we make, affect each other.

It's written well, highly informative and thought provoking. The only reason I didn't give it five stars is because after reading it I felt very depressed and defeated. I didn't feel there was enough info on how each of us can really make a difference. Maybe there was and I focused on the negative, I don't know. I just know it scared the pee out of
Kristal Cooper
Jul 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great information that everyone should have! Unfortunately, I can see how this book would be hard to get through unless you’re really into the subject. If you’re tempted to put the book down, please skip to the Great Lakes chapter. It’s highly digestible, memorable, and has lots of simple actions you can undertake to help. I particularly liked the idea of advertising virtual water use. I know it would make a difference in my consumption.

An anecdote that I must share… This afternoon I was outsid
Nov 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
Once again, I pick up a book to become convinced on the reality of man-made global warming, and I'm left sorely disappointed. Skeptic books are very much seeped in science, while climate alarmist writers like Kostigen, Suzuki, etc. only state their ideology as 100% fact, with no need for debate. Would have rated this book lower but he did have some interesting stuff on conservation, actual airborne pollution, recycling, etc. Too bad his arguments for these otherwise valid points always revert to ...more
Dec 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Learned so much by reading this book - a topic I've been deeply passionate about since 1989!!!!!!!!!

It has a whole chapter about the world's largest landfill, on Staten Island. Having just been there for 5 weeks, I am truly sad I never made it to Fresh Kills, the only other man-made thing you can see from outerspace beside The Great Wall.

Fresh Kills is closed, but some tours operate still. Used this book as the main research behind my environmental education projects for three airports for emplo
Jun 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: informative
Before reading this book I was among the skeptics that believed in "global warming" but thought it wasn't as bad as anyone was saying. After reading this book I can't believe what a difference it has made on me. Every chapter brings us to a different part of the world where there is a disaster on the environment occurring. For example the book discusses air pollution in China, deforestation, ocean pollution, and the lack of water. I actually took some of Kostigen's advice and changed some of my ...more
Jun 02, 2008 rated it liked it
Even though this book is called "groundbreaking" it really isn't--I think by now we all know that wasting water is bad and throwing away our computers and cell phones creates damaging waste. But this book does uniquely portray the places where the impact of these actions is already in full force, thus making it clear that the demise to the planet is not something that will happen in the future but is happening now. It's more of an environmental travelogue--this is your planet on trash.
Jan 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this book - it brought me back to my university days of reading more factual text that made me think. For me it was also a nice break from travel only reading I have been doing lately. This book allowed me to travel to different areas and learn about world problems we have caused there. I nice little read.
Dec 20, 2008 rated it it was ok
This book has a pretty narrow target audience: those who don't really know anything at all about the sad state of our planet but can be convinced to read a book that tells them why they should care. I just kept finding myself's a valiant effort, but I only picked up this book because I already care, and there is nothing here I don't already know.
Louise Chambers
Apr 26, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: ecology
For those of us who are longtime "earth muffins" and "tree huggers", the facts and figures in the book will come as no surprise.

I did learn about the illegal "trade" in toxic waste, such as computers, batteries, and other parts that we in the developed countries are often told are being safely dealt with. That was an eye-opening chapter.
Aug 16, 2011 rated it liked it
Pretty good. I'm a little behind on my nonfiction, so I've had this book a little more than a year. The author's moving around discussing topics and concerns from different regional and cultural locations definately made the issues more personal. I learned some things I didn't know, and as the goal would be- it succeeded in heightening my awareness.
Oct 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I think this book should be read at all. It is not preachy nor political. Instead, the author tries to show how what we do in our daily lives effects the rest of the world. He wants us to know WHY it is important we conserve, recycle, and find alternative sources to energy. It is wonderfully written and I highly recommend it!
Dec 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in going green
This book was very eye-opening. It was educational, but in a conversational tone and was not at all preachy. I actually enjoyed Thomas Kostigen's dialogue, while learning facts and statistics. The stories of his travels were inspiring and thought-provoking. I recommend this book to everyone.
Dec 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Great information! Very readable. The author very successfully links environmental issues to the personal every day living on this planet while giving some simple things to do to help change the health of our planet.

You are Here
Aug 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting book. The information presented in it brings nothing new to someone already familiar with environmental issues but the way the author wrote about them still made a great impact.
May 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
I just think everyone should be required to read this book! All of the exact facts and numbers can make it seem a little like a textbook, but the knowledge gained here may prove to be much more useful than most of what welearned in school.
Skye Abt
It is frustrating, to read about how humans are screwing up the environment, but an eye opener.
Nov 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Okay, well I'm actually "reading" the CD version.

Very informative...
I learned about things and places I didn't even know existed.

A MUST READ (or listen) BOOK!!!!
Dec 16, 2008 rated it liked it
Do Good!
Jul 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
Interesting and made me think of the consequences that my bad habits have on the environment.
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Everyone should read this book.
Dec 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: environmental
This is a very good book. It tells how what we do effects what happens to other people all over the world. Well written.
Oct 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A book we should all read to learn more about the planet and our role in keeping it healthy
Nov 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Makes you really think about the effects of our capitalistic society and gives you ideas on how you can change your habits.
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I am a New York Times best-selling author and a longtime journalist. My debut novel, Golden Dawn, will be published in October.
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“Five million people die unnecessarily each year because of illness related to lack of potable water. Half of them are children under the age of five. To bring it home, think about this: one child dies from lack of clean water every twelve seconds.” 2 likes
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