The Earth Around Us: Maintaining A Livable Planet

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Henry Holt and Company, 2000 M03 27 - 250 pages
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Soil contamination...public lands...surface and groundwater pollution...coastal erosion...global warming. Have we reached the limits of this planet's ability to provide for us? If so, what can we do about it?

These vital questions are addressed by Jill Schneiderman in The Earth Around Us, a unique collection of thirty-one essays by a diverse array of today's foremost scientist-writers. Sharing an ability to communicate science in a clear and engaging fashion, the contributors explore Earth's history and processes--especially in relation to today's environmental issues--and show how we, as members of a global community, can help maintain a livable planet. The narratives in this collection are organized into seven parts that describe:

- Earth's time and history and the place of people in it

- Views of nature and the ethics behind our conduct on Earth

- Resources for the twenty-first century, such as public lands, healthy forests and soils, clean ground and surface waters, and fluctuating coastlines

- Ill-informed local manipulations of landscapes across the United States

- Innovative solutions to environmental problems that arise from knowledge of the interactions between living things and the Earth's air, water, and soil

- Natural and human-induced global scale perturbations to the earth system

- Our responsibility to people and all other organisms that live on Earth

Never before has such a widely experienced group of prominent earth scientists been brought together to help readers understand how earth systems function to produce our physical and biological environment. Driven by the belief that earth science is, and should be, an integral part of everyday life, The Earth Around Us empowers all of us to play a more educated and active part in the search for a sustainable future for people and other living things on our planet.

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Contents

Part I RECORDS OF TIME AND HISTORY
1
Part II SCIENTIFIC JUDGMENTS AND ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
57
Part III RESOURCES RECONFIGURED
121
Part IV LOCAL MANIPULATIONS
197
Part V INVENTIVE SOLUTIONS
255
Part VI WHOLE EARTH PERTURBATIONS
307
Part VII GLOBAL PERSPECTlVES
357
Source Notes
410
Index
443
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About the author (2000)

Jill S. Schneiderman is an associate professor of geology at Vassar Collge, where she teaches courses in geology, environmental studies, and women's studies. She is the author of numerous scientific papers on subjects ranging from the formation of mountain ranges to the geological history of the Nile Delta. A congressional science fellow during the 104th Congress, she worked on environmental issues as a science advisor to the Democratic leader of the U.S. Senate.

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