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Geosphere: The Land and Its Uses

Overview

People exploit the land for resources such as oil, minerals, and timber, and they convert vast expanses of natural terrain to landscapes that better meet their needs. Forests become tree plantations, wilderness is converted to agricultural land, and even farms are paved over to make cities. Already, about half the ice-free land area on Earth has been converted for human purposes, and that amount is increasing rapidly. Geosphere introduces readers to the concept of sustainability-the idea that economic and social ...
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Overview

People exploit the land for resources such as oil, minerals, and timber, and they convert vast expanses of natural terrain to landscapes that better meet their needs. Forests become tree plantations, wilderness is converted to agricultural land, and even farms are paved over to make cities. Already, about half the ice-free land area on Earth has been converted for human purposes, and that amount is increasing rapidly. Geosphere introduces readers to the concept of sustainability-the idea that economic and social development and environmental protection must be achieved together. Enhanced by color photographs and illustrations, this book details how the idea of sustainability is gaining ground with individuals, communities, and even nations, and shows readers how they, too, can become involved.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Heather N. Kolich
Divided into six parts covering forests, agriculture, mining, power generation, urbanization and waste disposal, this book delivers facts in clear language that elicits "Ah-ha" and "Oh, really?" responses. The bite-sized chapters follow the three-step teaching formula: 1) Tell them what you're going to teach them; 2) Teach it; 3) Tell them what you taught them. Many terms are defined parenthetically in the text, facilitating a smooth reading experience, and an extensive glossary provides a quick reference for others. Maps, graphs, tables and photographs illustrate the impact of humans on the Earth. The section on power generation provides a superbly balanced discussion of the potential and limitations of renewable energy sources. In the Food Production section, solid science gives way to examinations of human behavior, efforts to shape it—such as urging readers to buy only organic foods—and calls for worldwide government intervention and regulation. The mining section focuses on gold mining almost exclusively. While the idea that humans damage the Earth is a theme of the book, Desonie also provides examples of human efforts that have reversed our impact or restored areas damaged by human activities. As might be predicted from a series titled "Our Fragile Planet," the conclusion contains an extended lament that begins, "When it comes to land use, it seems as if there is no one in charge. No one is commanding that we use the land efficiently and well." The rant ends by urging readers to "vote with their pocketbooks," and provides a long list of behavioral changes to make. Reviewer: Heather N. Kolich
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816062171
  • Publisher: Facts on File, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/2008
  • Series: Our Fragile Planet Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Pages: 216
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface     vii
Acknowledgments     ix
Introduction     x
Wild Lands and Forests     1
Land Use and Wild Lands     3
Forests     15
Using Forests     24
Food Production     39
Agriculture     41
The Costs of Modern Agriculture     49
Meat Production     63
Sustainable Agriculture     69
Mineral Resource Extraction     75
Mining     77
Environmental Effects of Mining     89
After the Mine Closes     98
Power Generation     105
Power from Nonrenewable Resources     107
Power from Renewable Resources     114
Urban Areas     127
Urbanization     129
Environmental Effects of Urbanization     139
Sustainable Communities     146
Waste Disposal     153
Solid Waste Disposal     155
Nuclear Waste Disposal     164
Conclusion     174
Glossary     181
Further Reading     192
Index     194
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