"Monster trucks, all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, dirt bikes, dune buggies, jet skis, and SUVshow 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
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.