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Earth: A Tenant's Manual

Popular Science

By: Frank HT Rhodes

376 pages, 81 b/w photos, 12 tables

Cornell University Press

Paperback | Jul 2012 | #198337 | ISBN-13: 9780801451171
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £18.50 $24/€21 approx

About this book

In "Earth: A Tenant's Manual", the distinguished geologist Frank H. T. Rhodes, President Emeritus of Cornell University, provides a sweeping, accessible, and deeply informed guide to the home we all share, showing us how we might best preserve the Earth's livability for ourselves and future generations.

Rhodes begins by setting the scene for our active planet and explaining how its location and composition determine how the Earth works and why it teems with life. He emphasizes the changes that are of concern to us today, from earthquakes to climate change and the clashes over the energy resources needed for the Earth's exploding population. He concludes with an extended exploration of humanity's prospects on a complex, protean, and ultimately finite world.

It is not a question of whether the planet is sustainable; the challenge facing life on Earth--and the life of the Earth--is whether an expanding and high-consumption species like ours is sustainable. Only new resources, new priorities, new policies and, most of all, new knowledge, can reverse the damage that humanity is doing to our home--and ourselves. A sustainable human future, Rhodes concludes in this eloquent, sobering, but ultimately optimistic book, will require a sense of responsible stewardship, for we are not owners of this planet; we are tenants.

Surveying the systems, large and small, that govern Earth's processes and influence its changes, Rhodes addresses the negative consequences of human activities for the health of its regulatory systems but offers practical suggestions as to how we might effect repairs, or at least limit further damage to our home.


Part I. Earth Present: The Third Planet
1. The Third Planet
2. The Home Planet
3. The Rocky Planet
4. The Blue Planet
5. The Veiled Planet
6. The Hazardous Planet
7. The Ancient Planet
8. The Bountiful Planet
9. The Finite Planet

Part II. Earth Past: The Changing Planet
10. The Singular Planet
11. The Uninhabitable Planet
12. The Living Planet
13. The Warming Planet
14. The Polluted Planet
15. The Crowded Planet

Part III. Earth Future: The Sustainable Planet
16. The Sustainable Planet
17. Water as Sustenance
18. Air as Sustenance
19. Soil as Sustenance
20. Food as Sustenance
21. Energy as Sustenance
22. Materials as Sustenance
23. Prospects for Sustenance
24. Policies for Sustenance

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