Thrillcraft: The Environmental Consequences of Motorized Recreation

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Thrillcraft: The Environmental Consequences of Motorized Recreation exposes the lasting damage done to our land, water, and air from the growing plague of jet skis, quads, dirt bikes, dune buggies, snowmobiles, and other motorized recreational craft that are penetrating the last bastions of wild America. The increase in thrillcraft use is responsible for wildlife habitat fragmentation, disturbance of sensitive wildlife, soil erosion, spread of invasive weeds, loss of silence, as well as water and air pollution. With more than one hundred shocking color photographs, Thrillcraft vividly documents the destruction caused by these machines on American public lands. Essays by activists, policy experts, scientists, and others support the photographs, explain the harm done by these machines, and critique the cultural foundation of this phenomenon. Thrillcraft bears witness to the mindless destruction of our collective natural heritage and offers a vision for a future when the howl of the wind or wolf can again be heard more often than the howl of a machine.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Monster trucks, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, dirt bikes, dune buggies, jet skis, and SUVs--how we love our carbon-spewing, rip-roaring, earth-bashing motorized craft, but, oh, what havoc they wreak. Never before has the damage done by ORVs to earth, water, air, plants, wildlife, and our own senses and sensibility been so graphically documented as in this supersized, in-your-face album of photographs and essays by scientists, nature writers, and social critics, among them Rick Bass, James Howard Kunstler, and Ted Williams. Edited by ecologist Wuerthner, this forthright condemnation of "motorized wreckreation" details the abuse of public lands and trails, and addresses issues of liberty and responsibility. Writers analyze our fascination with machine power, our estrangement from nature, and the societal frustrations that induce ORV drivers to tear up the landscape. Helmeted, gloved, and mud-splattered thrill crafters, looking like space soldiers on an alien planet, are contrasted with people walking serenely. Given global warming and peak oil prices, the thrill-craft craze seems wanton and fatalistic, and while some readers will find this bold volume insulting, many will find it truthful and affirming."
-- Donna Seaman, Booklist
Library Journal

This exposé on the environmental consequences of thrillcraft-defined here as motorized recreational vehicles including jet skis, dirt bikes, four-wheelers, snowmobiles, and other motor-powered vehicles designed for use in off-road areas-presents an astonishing view of how negative these consequences can be. What may seem like a benign form of recreation at first consideration quickly proves to be an unsustainable "wreckreational" pursuit brought to light through essays from environmentalists, economists, and activists from across the country. Supplementing the text are photographs depicting the environmental damage these vehicles cause and giving a glimpse into the culture of thrillcrafters. The volume is divided into five sections: a chapter delineating the disconnect from nature these thrill seekers have; one tracing the evolution of this culture; one giving specific examples of the environmental impacts these types of recreation have caused; one providing case studies highlighting the environmental degradation in different states; and one showcasing examples of efforts to counteract the thrillcraft culture. This oversized book with pictures as big as the monster vehicles being denigrated is appropriate for academic libraries that have forestry or environmental programs or larger public libraries.
—Diana Hartle

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781933392660
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/14/2007
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 12.20 (w) x 13.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Editor George Wuerthner is a professional photographer and the author of more than two dozen books on natural history and other environmental topics. He is currently the ecological projects director for the Foundation for Deep Ecology. Contributors to Thrillcraft include Rick Bass, Philip Cafaro, Dominick DellaSala, David Havlick, James Howard Kunstler, Richard Mahler, Thomas Michael Power, Paul Sutter, Howie Wolke, and more than 15 others.
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