The "Development Without Damage" series examines the effects of a burgeoning world population on the earth's resources, inequalities of access to resources, and damage to Earth from pollution and development; some possible solutions are explored. In Nature for People, students will learn that even protected wilderness areas are in decline as nature tourism increases every year. Conserving natural areas and benefiting local inhabitants will depend on responsible tour operators, control of tourist numbers, reduction of air travel, and development of "ecotourism." Wildlife watching has become especially popular, but damages fragile environments like coral reefs, dunes, and the Galapagos Islands. One chapter discusses, among other ideas, reducing energy and water use in resorts, restricting humans to designated wilderness areas, and taking action to eliminate plastic bags and waste. Since climate change is the world's greatest environmental threat (increased by air travel), tourists might participate in carbon offsetting or travel by train and bus; aircraft manufacturers can use biofuels and develop more efficient engines. The frightening prospect of reaching an environmental "tipping point" is examined in a final chapter. Though each volume of this set is packed with information, the pages are made attractive with well-chosen color photos and an abundance of sidebars containing interesting details. The text is clear and useful for research and reports, but it is hard to imagine teens picking up these books just for browsing. For serious researchers, some appropriate books and websites are suggested, and the two-page glossary should prove helpful. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
Gr 8 Up–These books investigate the ways in which people use resources and how that usage impacts the environment and society. Chapters cover such topics as “The Global Housing Crisis” (Building Homes) and “Trade and Distribution” (Food and Water). Quotes from experts, case studies, and detailed facts are provided in sidebar entries. The authors provide a balanced perspective, clearly weighing the positives and negatives of resource usage. For example, in a chapter in Nature for People, a statistics-laden sidebar outlines the importance of tourism to developing countries, while the narrative discusses how visitors may cause grave damage to their surroundings. An excellent choice for environmental research projects.