If You Love This Planet

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Overview

"Helen Caldicott has been my inspiration to speak out."?Meryl Streep
Our planet is desperately ill and must be healed. If the human race does not change its present behavior, the ecosphere may be doomed within the next ten years. A renowned anti-nuclear activist for twenty years, Helen Caldicott here turns from the arms race to the race to save the planet, laying out the grim details of ozone depletion, excess energy consumption, pollution, and global warming. The causes: public apathy, corporate greed, and the ...

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Overview

"Helen Caldicott has been my inspiration to speak out."—Meryl Streep
Our planet is desperately ill and must be healed. If the human race does not change its present behavior, the ecosphere may be doomed within the next ten years. A renowned anti-nuclear activist for twenty years, Helen Caldicott here turns from the arms race to the race to save the planet, laying out the grim details of ozone depletion, excess energy consumption, pollution, and global warming. The causes: public apathy, corporate greed, and the cynical manipulation of political leaders.
To save the planet we need to change the way we think and behave. Closer contact with, and appropriate reverence for, nature will help to provide simple answers to seemingly complex problems.If You Love This Planet describes in easy-to-understand language the scientific and medical consequences of the greenhouse effect, ozone depletion, deforestation, species extinction, toxic chemical pollution, nuclear waste, food contamination, and the ever-present threat of nuclear war.
Caldicott, a physician by training, also gives us a prescription for cure—and a cause for hope. We must learn energy efficiency, we must organize politically (voting, she suggests, should be compulsory), and we must hold corporations and governments accountable for their actions. Above all, she says, our fight for the planet will draw its greatest strength from a love for the Earth itself.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Caldicott, an Australian doctor, is a former Harvard Medical School educator, the cofounder of Physicians for Social Responsibility and founder of the Women's Action for Nuclear Disarmament and International Physicans to Save the Environment. She is radical, anticapitalist, and a feminist. She is also clear and persuasive. But her presentation is often slanted--as when she implies that the submersion of 600,000 acres of rainforest would have been a huge loss in an area previously described as ``the size of the United States.'' Her documentation is often suspect: much of it is drawn from general periodicals and portmanteau sources that lead her to state, for example, that 54 percent of the U.S. wetlands are gone when, according to the Waterfowl and Wetlands Research Bureau, the figure, excluding Alaska, is 30 to 50 percent. And she can be strident--as when she writes that we should ``never have more than one light bulb burning . . . unless there are two people . . . in different rooms--then two bulbs.'' Still, her diagnosis of our planetary ills is comprehensive, her etiology fascinating, and her prescription bracing. This book will circulate.-- Linn Prentis, Milford, Pa.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393308358
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 3/1/1992
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Helen Caldicott is an internationally recognized antinuclear activist, cofounder of Physicians for Social Responsibility, and founder of the Women’s Action for Nuclear Disarmament and the International Physicians to Save the Environment. She lives in Australia.

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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2001

    Simply Inspiring

    From the title she picked for this book, to the language and style she has used, Caldicott succeeds in putting her thoughts to paper and stimulates the reader with very simple language. She explains scientifically and medically the greenhouse effect, ozone depletion, deforestation, species extinction, toxic chemical pollution, nuclear waste, food contamination and the threat of nuclear war. I am sure most readers will find her explanations of what they are how they are caused and their consequences easy to understand. Perhaps the reason for this is because she views the earth like she would a patient, seeing that her vocation is medicine. She wrote to the U. S. President about the cold war and the antiballistic - Treaty and was convinced that he used part of her letter in his inaugural address. She wrote another letter this time to Senator Kennedy regarding her concerns about the nuclear war and the importance of the ABM Treaty, he replied, and this motivated her to go back to her country of origin, Australia to see whether she could help improve the conditions there. Her first undertaking was to inform and educate local people in her city about the nuclear testing being done by the French, and was creating radioactive fallout in their neighborhood. She had become an activist. She has approached this book as doctor would a patient. It is therefore divided into four main sections: a) description of signs and symptoms b) diagnosis c) discussion of causes of the illess d) prescription for a cure. In the first section, Caldicott goes into great detail into what she called 'signs and symptoms.' This section is made up of the first five chapters and describes ozone depletion and the greenhouse effect. She then details how the atmosphere is being degraded with chemicals like CFC and gives alternatives to chemical producing agents, and compares trees to lungs. A chart showing chemical accidents that have occurred since 1959 has been included to further illustrate the contamination of the earth's atmosphere. The next section 'diagnosis' is about overpopulation, and how it can be controlled. The writer points out how the human species is suffocating the other thirty million species by over populating the world. 'Etiology' is the title of section three. It covers three chapters and speaks about how first world countries have food in abundance while third world countries are suffering from lack of it. This section covers the power of the U.S. media, and how it could be used as a tool to educate the rest of the world. The fourth and last section is on ' prescription and cure.' As she has done in the other chapters, there are suggestions on how we could save this planet, by doing what a good doctor does for his/her patient, looking for ways to cure them. A truly inspiring, well written and informative 'little' book.

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