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Paradise for Sale: A Parable of Nature
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Paradise for Sale: A Parable of Nature

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  53 ratings  ·  8 reviews
The grim history of Nauru Island, a small speck in the Pacific Ocean halfway between Hawaii and Australia, represents a larger story of environmental degradation and economic dysfunction. For more than 2,000 years traditional Nauruans, isolated from the rest of the world, lived in social and ecological stability. But in 1900 the discovery of phosphate, an absolute requirem ...more
Paperback, 239 pages
Published January 28th 2000 by University of California Press (first published December 1st 1999)
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Ed Lehman
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
When discussing the island and islanders, this book serves as a valuable insight. When it goes into screeds about climate change, soil erosion and environmental degradation in general (not talking about the portions related to Nauru), I had the impression that the author had found a place to publish his Masters thesis...and it isn't a good fit.
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Everybody should read this book to be more concious about the negative consequencies of not taking care of our world. I've learnt a lot about places I didn't even know they exsisted. It's a worthy reading.
Aug 05, 2008 added it
This is the saddest book I have ever read.

When I was a child, my family obtained an atlas. I looked through every page of that atlas. I studied it. The differences in design of each nation's flag intrigued me. Nauru's flag is a saffron line against a field of blue, the equator and the ocean. The island nation is represented by a star, beautiful instructive geographic abstraction.

The design delighted me, but what excited me most was the magic of this place actually existing. Could it be, a world
What happens when a small island country allows a foreign country to mine a resource there? In the case of Nauru, the self-sustaining tropical paradise loses much of its native culture, almost all of its natural beauty, and all of its ability to be self-sustaining. It's a grim story that plays out all over the globe.

"The story of Nauru is the story of all of us." (from page 7)

Definitely worth reading. A tiny island country with a really dramatic history and a bleak future.

Aug 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
Global capitalism takes very little account of the environmental impact of trade. That is not a new idea, but Nauru is a demonstrative example of the fact. The island has been devastated and the short term benefits squandered. This is a depressing read.
The country could have benefited from a better, more long-term plan for development. The story could have benefited from a better writer.
The sections of this book about Nauru are fascinating - a small island with an isolated population suddenly becomes part of the world economy. And, predictably, destruction follows. But, it was a little too textbook for generally reading. I already know about biodiversity loss, climate change, etc etc, so those parts were a little dry.
Well, having just finished this book, I feel incredibly depressed. Human beings are one of the worst things to happen to this planet. We have murdered our environment and it is in its death throes as we speak. Let's all just go and commit hara-kiri right now.

This is why I try not to read too much about the environment and global warming. It's just so incredibly sad.
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Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I would like to recommend this book to all those in our current government who feel Market should trump Nature.
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