Most helpful critical review
21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Not about the enviroment, but about the human race
on 20 August 2005
This book is a solid review of the current state of world with respect to the survival of the human race. It is packed full with stats and all citations are clearly referenced. As such it would seem to be an honest attempt at reviewing the environment.
In reality though this book is not about the environment per se. It is actualy about the human race and whether we are able to support ourselves with the limited resources of planet Earth. Every single environmental statistic analysed in this book is done so with a view to showing that conditions for the human race are getting better. This should surely not come as surprise. How many people really believe the doomongers who say the end of civilisation as we know it is nigh.
However, despite the fact that the stats show, for example, that rainforests are still dissapearing, this fact is not analysed. What is analysed is that their rate of dissapearance is slowing. In some parts the book is even hippocritical. At the beginning it slams well known scientists for using local data as examples that the state of the world is worsening. Yet a few chapters later, Denmark is held up as an example of how green space in built up areas are actually increasing. He conveniently forgets that Beijing is plastering over an area the size of Manhattan with new sky scrapers every year.
In short, this book is a solid study of the human race and its chances of suvival and not an analysis of how the evironment is doing. And yet, the author doesn't evening begin to address this problem: the earth does not have enough water to enable the whole world to live the lifestyle of the Americans. Despite frequent mention of the benefits of democracy and equality, this fundamental inequality is not addressed.