WHERE WE STAND: A Surprising Look at the Real State of Our Planet (AMACOM Books; October 9, 2007) by Seymour Garte, Ph.D.
In WHERE WE STAND, Garte makes the case that the environment is in better shape than we have been led believe. He presents evidence that human and environmental welfare have been improving steadily for the past two decades. When crises arise, our urgent efforts to save the planet work. Scientific research, social activism and strong regulatory action have produced changes in the way businesses and people operate and these changes have been largely successful in solving most of the environmental and public health problems that we have faced. Garte combats environmental apathy with illustrations of the environmental movement’s achievements and their goals for the future. Hopeful, balanced, and convincing, WHERE WE STAND will change the way readers view the planet and the future.
Publisher’s Weekly Review of WHERE WE STAND:
Garte, a professor of public health, presents a well-researched, clearly written summary of the health of our planet, with histories of lead paint, ozone and various chemicals as well as analyses of human health and planetary health; the prognosis is surprisingly optimistic, and prescriptions are encouraging. While the environmental problems hyped daily on the news are real and ongoing, things have improved—air and water are cleaner, more food is available, life spans are up and infant mortality is down, diseases are better understood and treated—and will continue to improve if efforts continue. Garte points out the fallacies in standard right- and left-wing approaches—the planet is not in imminent danger of imploding, he says, but neither will it be saved by the free market—and shows how most improvements over the past 40 years have been the result of government intervention. Garte’s reasoned discussion and compelling, honest tone make this a valuable tool for increasing science literacy with regards to the important environmental issues of the day; Garte’s recommendations, to “continue on the paths we have been traveling and finally acknowledge the great progress that we have already made” should put new wind in discouraged environmentalists’ sails, while plentiful references, data and illustrations will give skeptics material to think over. (Sept.)