This month, the book for Paige’s pick is Wisdom for a Liveable Planet by Carl N. McDaniel. The book focuses on a wide span of environmental issues including the location of hazardous waste incinerators, restoration of ecosystems, sustainable agriculture, the importance of local communities in the age of globalization, population growth, economics that reflect the principles of nature, climate change, and education to promote environmentally aware and proactive citizens.
This book likely has a chapter that you can connect with. Each chapter focuses on one of the topics mentioned in the previous paragraph and dives into the stories of one of the environmentalists focused on the issue.
Nearly every single issue mentioned in the book relates back to water. The agriculture chapter talks about the interconnectedness of our food production and the health of our water resources. Agriculture is a type of non-point source pollution which makes it difficult to pin point where the harm is coming from. Green agriculture uses less resources and also results in less polution. Being conscious of where our food comes from can have a major impact on water which is essential for all life.
The chapter on economics brings home the point of how our society relies on the environment. Every one of the goods in our home comes from the environment in one way or another. Although this idea may not be something on the minds of the everyday person, it’s critical to think about our relationship to the environment. One quote that stands out is “what good is a sawmill without a forest, a fishing boat without populations of fish, a refinery without petroleum deposits, an irrigated farm without an aquifer or river?”. Taking care of the environment and living within natural limits is crucial for the longevity of our species and many others. The cod fishery off of Newfoundland is an example of what happens when we take beyond nature’s limit. What once an abundant ecosystem and livelihood for many, is now gone.
Throughout Wisdom for a Livable Planet, there are many examples to inspire change and to make people think critically about our lifestyles. There are examples of where humans have gone too far and have impoverished ecosystems, but there are also examples of where people have come together to create positive change. The book also offers a comprehensive list of further reading for further information on the eight issues presented in the book.