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The Green Fuse

An Ecological Odyssey
Harte John

Editeur - Casa editrice

University of California Press

Mondo
Mondo
Tibet Orientale

Anno - Date de Parution

1006

Titolo originale

The Green Fuse: An Ecological Odyssey

Lingua - language - langue

eng

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The Green Fuse: An Ecological Odyssey

The Green Fuse  

You might envy John Harte his job--bopping from Indonesia to Alaska, Greece to Australia, Costa Rica to Madagascar--were it not for the downside: Harte, a scientist, devotes himself to the study of damaged ecosystems. When he makes his way to the Brooks Range, it's to analyze growing nitrogen levels in its alpine lakes; when he heads to the Amazon, it's to observe firsthand the consequences of tearing up a patch of rainforest. Plenty of well-meaning jeremiads touch on such matters, but Harte offers a program for doing something about the world's current messes. Remarking on the 1992 Rio Summit, in which the United States made a notably poor showing, Harte suggests that the First World cough up the bucks so that the Third World can clean its backyard, reasoning, "Sure, those incentives will cost the rich natives money, but so will the ... loss of valuable genetic material."

 

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Recensione in altra lingua (English):

Earth won't forget the environmentally destructive acts inflicted by human hand, warns Harte (Energy and Resources/UC Berkeley) in this impressive study of the global ecosystem--and when the bills fall due, the payback will be dear if we don't cease and desist. Harte's thesis isn't exactly late-breaking news: that Earth is one great ecosystem with infinite and intricate interconnections, and that if you mess with one area, the consequences won't end there--kill off some lowly swamp-dwelling bacteria, and the next thing you know, mutation-causing UV radiation is on the upswing. But the author takes great pleasure in, and has a real talent for, tracking these interconnections. A kind of environmental Sherlock Holmes, he sleuths his way through the knotty ecocomplexes of an Alaskan stream, the Tibetan Plateau, the Florida Everglades, Pacific reefs, and a tropical forest. Each study is a self- contained vignette, giving the lay of the land; who or what is menacing the place; and proposals on how the threat could be eliminated. Harte takes lengthy detours to examine all manner of things: global warming (his particular bugbear); the trees around his childhood camp in southern Vermont; salt intrusion; Hebraic philosophy; species loss; agriculture on Mo'orea in French Polynesia; acid rain; yak husbandry among the Ngolog of Eastern Tibet--and therein lies much of his charm. Harte gets around, leaves the topic at hand to wander off on mysterious peregrinations, but always manages to pull the strings together and come full circle, tightly wrapping up each chapter. Mimicking his subject, his writing style displays a unity lurking just behind the diversity. Harte manages his avuncular tone with a sure hand, avoids preachy pratfalls, and keeps us enthralled through a sense of pace, a plentitude of wondrous minutiae, and awesome glimpses of the big picture.


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