By: Anna Lewington
304 pages, 300 colour illus
Provides an astonishing amount of information about the plants we encounter every day - plants that feed us, protect us, cure us, transport us, clothe us, entertain us, and more. Also focuses on how best to manage the plant-human support system.
A totally revised version of Lewington's heavyweight tome, first published in the early 1990s, is being marketed as the Eden Project's 'bible' and inspiration to its instigator, Tim Smit. The many ways by which we benefit from plants are coupled with warnings about unsustainable use and alarming arrays of chemical treatments. Diversion of two rivers to irrigate cotton plantations and pesticide poisoning are blamed for the destruction of the Aral Sea and chronic health problems affecting a million people in the former Soviet Republic of Karakalpakia, for example. Plants as clothing, beauty products, food, housing, furniture, modes of transport and medicine are authoritatively and comprehensively covered, along with campaigning issues such as forest destruction by the timber industry and 'unfair' European rules protecting their sugar beet producers with massive subsidies.
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