Friday, October 19, 2007

Book Review: Earth in the Balance by Al Gore

Earth in the Balance (subtitled "Forging a New Common Purpose") is a superbly researched, comprehensive and holostic discussion of worldwide environmental policy, written in an accessible and readable style. Al Gore himself says that, "writing this book was part of a personal journey in search of a true understanding of a global ecological crisis and how it can be solved", and the style in which it is written takes the reader along a logical path of discovery themselves. Gore's style is to lay out the facts for the reader to see themselves and to argue logically what problems these lead to and what solutions might be sensible without preaching.

Gore makes use of diagrams and graphs to illustrate his point, but only where necessary and does well to avoid turning this book into a scientific treatise, particularly when covering subjects such as global climate change, soil erosion, peak oil production and genetically engineered organisms. It is also worth noting that this book was published in 1992, which clearly refutes any accusation that Gore's Nobel Peace Prize was won on the back of "jumping on the bandwagon" - this is a life's passion, not a populist move.

I came upon this book by chance, when a friend left it in my apartment and I found it an interesting and enlightening read. For those who wish to learn more about how environmental and economic issues fit together this is a great book to read, although at the end one may find oneself rather depressed when reflecting upon the isolated and reactionary ways our serving polititians attempt to bungle their way towards dealing with these issues. My only criticism of this book is that towards the latter third, Gore tends to repeat himself, perhaps in an effort to get his message through, but he makes it so compellingly in the first place that repetition is a little annoying.


I would highly recommend this book to budding environmentalists (it certainly proved useful during my degree in conservation) and to eco-sceptics alike so that both parties can form enlightened arguments.

Score: 9.5/10

1 comment:

JMATHEW said...

Earth in the Balance is a great book about environment it was written by Al Gore.I am great fan of him .He explained so cleanly about environment .After I read this book I knew many things .Its a nice book .Try to read it once that will give you more information about environment .
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Johnson Mathew
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