It's A Matter Of Survival

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"The greenhouse effect is us, and it is specifically us in the Western world" This is one of the messages at the beginning of Anita Gordon and David Suzuki's startling view of our future on Earth. More than any other time in history, the 1990s have marked a turning point for human civilization. Not only are we facing ecological disasters that will affect our ability to survive, but the crisis is forcing us to reexamine the entire value system that has governed our lives for the past two thousand years.

Anita Gordon and Suzuki warn us of the transition we will need to make if we are to arrive safely in the next century. More than a book on the environment, this is a book about us as a species: our shortsightedness, our failure to read the warnings, our inability to grasp the significance of our actions-and the tough decisions we have to make in order to save ourselves.

The power of the book lies in the consensus of the many voices, those of scientists and other scholars, that speak through it. The components of our predicament--global warming, soil erosion, acid rain, species depletion, ozone damage, rainforest destruction, overpopulation--are quantified with authority. And never before has such a strong consensus been expressed in a single warning. The message we receive is that our actions are taking place in a political and economic world that demands radical change.

In an effort to counteract this blueprint for disaster, Gordon and Suzuki present a resounding rebuttal of technological optimism and the belief that continued economic growth is a prerequisite for environmental reform. The intellectual fog of sustainable development is incisively dispelled, and in its place the authors suggest practical contributions that individuals as well as governments can make toward creating a "conserver society."

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Editorial Reviews

Toronto Sun

Suzuki's new book, It's a Matter of Survival,
co-written with Anita Gordon, is quite simply a call to arms in the eco-wars. Their premise: We may have as few as ten years left to ensure the planet's ecological survival.
— Gary Dunford

E. O. Wilson
It's a Matter of Survival is the best piece of extended environmental journalism I've seen to date. Few specialists--the 'experts,'' myself included--would have tried for this much-needed panoramic view. It is an excellent book.
Toronto Sun - Gary Dunford
Suzuki's new book, It's a Matter of Survival,
co-written with Anita Gordon, is quite simply a call to arms in the eco-wars. Their premise: We may have as few as ten years left to ensure the planet's ecological survival.
Toronto Sun
Suzuki's new book, It's a Matter of Survival,
co-written with Anita Gordon, is quite simply a call to arms in the eco-wars. Their premise: We may have as few as ten years left to ensure the planet's ecological survival.
— Gary Dunford
Library Journal
With this book, Mitchell, who is Senate Majority Leader and Chairman of the Committee on Environmental Protection, establishes himself as one of the leading environmentalists in Congress. In the first part, ``Into the Greenhouse Century,'' he examines the major ecological crises confronting the world, including acid rain, the greenhouse effect, overpopulation, and tropical forest destruction. In the second half, ``Saving the Planet,'' he details the steps that must be taken to avoid the worst effects of the current environmental damage. This is a highly readable, disturbing, yet ultimately hopeful book. Much grimmer in tone than Mitchell, Suzuki and Gordon paint a picture of a world almost beyond recovery. They cover much the same ground as Mitchell, quoting many of the same experts, but their solutions are much more radical. They advocate strict controls on automobile use, restrictions on all carbon-based fuels, and stringent limits on population growth. Well written, cogent, and tightly argued, this book presents a convincing case for radical environmental reform. Both volumes are recommended for environmental collections.-- Randy Dykhuis, OCLC, Dublin, Ohio
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674469716
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/1992
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 290
  • Product dimensions: 0.65 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Anita Gordon is the originator, executive producer, and co-writer with David Suzuki of the acclaimed radio series It's a matter of survival and the producer of the popular radio science program "Quirks & Quarks."

David Suzuki, a well-known geneticist and science broadcaster, is Professor of Biology at the University of British Columbia.

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Table of Contents



Part I Toward the Year 2040

One Beyond Your Worst Nightmare

Two How Did We Come to This?

Part II Sacred Truths

Three Nature Is Infinite

Four Go Forth and Multiply...

Five ... And Dominate the Earth

Six That's the Price of Progress

Seven Growth Is Progress

Eight There at Our Disposal

Part III Toward the Year 2040

Nine Buying Time

Ten A Sense of Place

Notes and Sources


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