MySpace/OurPlanet: Change Is Possible

Overview

You can change the world. Here's how.

Our climate is changing and human actions are the cause. Maybe you don't know why, or what to do about it. We do. In fact, we wrote a book about it (this book, the one in your hands). We'll harness your green intentions and push you ...

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Overview

You can change the world. Here's how.

Our climate is changing and human actions are the cause. Maybe you don't know why, or what to do about it. We do. In fact, we wrote a book about it (this book, the one in your hands). We'll harness your green intentions and push you beyond turning off the AC every once in a while. It's all in here:

  • how to keep the planet healthy
  • facts and info
  • real-life stories
  • suggestions and challenges
  • eco-tips from MySpace users around the globe.
Everybody who submitted a tip got their username in this book, btw.

Each of us has the power to make a difference—open this book, arm yourself with knowledge, and start now. (Seriously. What are you waiting for?)

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Editorial Reviews

Elizabeth Royte
With simple two-color line drawings…this book is blessedly straightforward. And while it's hard to put a fresh spin on the same old eco tips (shorten your shower; say no to both paper and plastic bags), MySpace/OurPlanet makes its point with a sassy tone and a bold call for systemwide environmental revolution. Not only must individuals do their part, but so must schools, farmers, industry and every level of government. Change is possible, this book insists, so get off your keister and do something…I closed this book feeling not only hopeful but enthused
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly

Printed on post-consumer-waste recycled paper with vegetable-oil-based inks, this guide to saving the planet practices what it preaches as it encourages teens to adopt green habits. Most of the suggestions here are obvious (skip the bottled water; carpool; take shorter showers), and they tend to be repeated. But repetition is not necessarily a bad thing; the presentation here, impressing readers with the need to think through the environmental impact of their actions, uses the examples of MySpace peers to encourage compliance. A steady parade of young environmentalists who collect 400 batteries in two weeks, or who start campaigns for safer cosmetics, or who beat major car companies in designing an alternate-fuel vehicle, and so forth, demonstrates that teens can and do help the planet. Ages 14-up. (Mar.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Children's Literature - Phyllis Kennemer
This handbook of suggestions for keeping the planet green includes facts, testimonials, and admonitions aimed at a teen audience. The book is based on the assumption that "the climate is changing and human activities are the cause." No scientists or other reputable authorities are cited, and no mention is made of opposing viewpoints. Some of the categories included are: "Health and Body," "Your Home, Your Planet," "Free Time," "Social Life," "On the Road," "Money," and "Community." Each section includes "Myths" and "Truths" followed by unedited MySpace entries in which adolescents offer tips based on their own experiences. Most of the suggestions have appeared elsewhere (e.g., use rechargeable batteries, use biofuel, use refillable water bottles, use fluorescent bulbs). Still, the format is inviting and the tone is upbeat (for the most part). Includes a glossary, a list of resources, and a list of MySpace contributors. The book is printed on recycled paper using vegetable-based inks. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
KLIATT - Ellen Welty
I'm not a big fan of sites like Myspace that encourage tabloid blogging—my term for posting every detail about your life on the Internet for everyone to read—so I approached this book with a fair amount of skepticism. I must say that while the tone was a bit breezy at times while discussing a fairly serious subject, and there was no effort to credit sources, I was pleasantly surprised, on the whole. The book is arranged in chapters that deal with specific areas of concern to those young people who are interested in "living green." There are suggestions for things everyone can do that make a difference—sometimes a small difference and sometimes a big one. There are lists of facts in each chapter, such as how much water every American uses every year and how much energy and money a family could save by changing its light bulbs to low energy use bulbs. It would have been nice to have those facts cited, but there is a list of resources at the end of the book for more information. The suggestions are good and the format will appeal to high school-aged readers in particular. Reviewer: Ellen Welty
School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up

Geared toward teens, this collection of MySpace postings focuses on what readers can do in their daily activities, social lives, and communities to help the environment. Each chapter breaks down the setting into its individual components. For example, the chapter "Your Home, Your Planet" gives environmental hints for making one's room, bathroom, kitchen, and yard more eco-friendly. The modern layout, with green foliage on each page and purple and green font, as well as the slang, will be engaging for young adults. Highlighted boxes, located in most chapters, give facts about topics such as recycling, carbon dioxide, alternative fuels, alternative spring break, and television. The recycling box starts with, "Lose virginity: recycle" and contains facts about virgin materials saved by recycling newspapers, aluminum cans, glass containers, and plastic soda bottles. Myths and facts about the environment are explored. This book gives excellent suggestions for helping to help the environment, and is sure to encourage teen activism.-Teresa Moffett, Fulton High School, Knoxville, TN

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061562044
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/11/2008
  • Pages: 176
  • Age range: 14 years
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 8.87 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author

Dan Santat, the author and illustrator of The Guild of Geniuses. He's also developing his own animated television show.

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Read an Excerpt


MySpace/OurPlanet
Change Is Possible

By Mark MySpace Community HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
Copyright © 2008
Mark MySpace Community
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780061562044

Chapter One

Our Planet

1 Degree So Far

The science is clear: It's getting hot in here—but keep your clothes on, and pay attention. This is serious. The average global temperature has increased by 1 degree Fahrenheit over the last century. Even worse, scientists predict that the global average temperature will continue to rise between 2 and 11.5 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100.

One degree? 11.5 degrees? That may not sound like a lot, but the Earth's temperature has not changed so dramatically since the last ice age 20,000 years ago. We're already feeling the impact all over the world. On every continent, hotter average temperatures are melting ice sheets, expanding deserts, and changing weather patterns. The major cause of all this change is greenhouse gas emissions—particularly carbon dioxide (aka CO2), the most common and dangerous greenhouse gas.

What's behind these CO2 emissions? We are. If there is one thing we're all good at, it's making carbon dioxide. Whenever we burn fossil fuels, we release CO2 into the atmosphere. Right now, the level of CO2 in the atmosphere is at a level that has not been equaled in the last 650,000 years. Way to go, humanity.

Global warming is here—and it's going to get worse unless something is done to stop it. (Thisis where you come in.)

Face the Facts

Less than 20 years ago the idea that our planet was warming because of human activity seemed absurd to many people. Less than 20 years ago, people also liked parachute pants, so let's cut them some slack. Today, as the scientific case for global climate change grows, the facts don't lie:

  • Since 1979 more than one-fifth of the polar ice cap has melted.
  • Eleven of the twelve warmest years on record were from 1995 to 2006.
  • in the last 35 years as the average "fire season" has grown two months longer. The California wildfires of 2007 were some of the fiercest on record.

It gets worse. More alarming than the fact that global warming is happening is what will happen next. If nothing is done, scientists predict that:

  • There will be no glaciers left in Montana's Glacier National Park by 2030.
  • The global sea level will be at least 3 feet higher by the end of the century.
  • Roughly a quarter of plant and animal species will be at risk of extinction if temperatures rise more than 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

3 Worst-Case Scenarios

Of course, there's no certainty about when or even if the events below might occur, but they are considered to be "tipping points"—irreversible scenarios after which human effort may be unable to stop climate change:

Worst-case scenario No. 1: A widespread coral bleaching from rising sea temperatures that would damage our planet's fisheries.
Potential time frame: 30 years.

Worst-case scenario No. 2: A rise in sea level of 20 feet from the melting of the Greenland or West Antarctic ice sheets. This would leave coastal regions all over the world flooded as if by a permanent tsunami.
Potential time frame: next two centuries.

Worst-case scenario No. 3: A shutdown of the Atlantic Ocean's thermohaline current, which keeps Europe's temperatures moderate and determines the Atlantic's water temperatures.
Potential time frame: 200 years.

The Skinny: Carbon Dioxide

Carbon dioxide is a naturally occurring gas. You just exhaled some (but don't hold your breath—we need you around). Trees, plants, and oceans drink it in, serving as carbon "sinks" for the CO2 that's in our atmosphere. They also release it, or its molecular parts, in what's known as the natural carbon cycle. Whatever CO2 is in our atmosphere traps the sun's energy as part of the greenhouse gas effect, heating our planet. For all of human history this has been good. Naturally occurring greenhouse gases have kept our planet warm enough for human life.

It's the unnaturally occurring greenhouse gases that pose a problem. For starters, there's way too much of it. Current CO2 levels are 30 times greater than they were before the Industrial Revolution ushered in the widespread use of burning fossil fuels. (For more on the Industrial Revolution, ask a really old person.) These high levels of CO2 are trapping more energy, causing global warming. Pound for pound, we are carbon gluttons.

My Annual Weight-Loss Program (measured in CO2 emissions)

  • Use one 60-watt incandescent bulb at home: 180 lbs.
  • Use one gallon of gas: 20 lbs.
  • Shower for eight minutes a day for a year: 1,368 lbs.
  • Run your air conditioner at 72 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer: 2,263 lbs.
  • Dry your laundry in an electric dryer (annual average): 1,446 lbs.
  • Fly from New York to Los Angeles: 2,000 lbs.
  • Drive 10,000 miles in a Chevy Malibu: 17,000 lbs.
  • Live in America (annual average): 22,000 lbs.

What You Can Do

Climate change is a global problem. But we all have a part to play. Nearly everything we do—driving, watching TV, cooking dinner, dancing naked in the street—has an impact on the environment. (Well, maybe not the last one.) The sum of the CO2 emissions that stem from our actions is our carbon footprint—the amount of carbon we're individually responsible for. By reducing your carbon footprint, you can play a critical role in stopping global warming.

The most basic way for you to reduce your carbon footprint is to decrease the amount of energy you use. Doing that starts with small simple changes in your habits—like the way you get to school or the way you shower. Where it ends is up to you.

But don't be fooled. The level of action any individual can make is micro compared to the macro efforts—by governments, by industries, and by entire countries of people—that need to be made. Your efforts alone will never be enough. That's because environmental revolution is what's called for—system-wide. If global warming is really going to be stopped, our government on local, national, and global levels must get involved. Our corporations must do their part, our farmers theirs. But you're more important than you think you are.



Continues...


Excerpted from MySpace/OurPlanet by Mark MySpace Community Copyright © 2008 by Mark MySpace Community. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 30, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Erikka Adams, aka "The Bookbinder" for TeensReadToo.com

    With "Going Green" being the new catchphrase, it's no surprise there are a bunch of titles centered on teens and the next generation who will inherit this planet. <BR/><BR/>The pithy slogan that is a great catch to draw teen and adult readers alike is this - <BR/><BR/>"You can change the planet. Here's how." <BR/><BR/>True to this phrase, the book is a how-to guide for teens to not only save energy, recycle, and be informed buyers of locally made products, but also teaches the readers how to be educators on all things "Green." <BR/><BR/>One other interesting aspect of this book is its authors - teens and contributors from the social networking site, Myspace. Anyone and everyone who submitted suggestions and tips to the "Our Planet" member page, was quoted and cited within the pages of this book! What a great idea to get teens involved in planning for the future care of this planet and environment.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2008

    A reviewer

    hey i am 14 and i want to help and u should too its the least we can do i am apart of our planet on myspace and i am so excited about reading this book so dont litter!!!!!!

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    Posted June 27, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2010

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