The Big Picture: Reflections on Science, Humanity, and a Quickly Changing Planet

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Greystone Books, 2009 - Nature - 272 pages
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Whether he's discussing how to reconcile economy with ecology, why a warmer world will result in more poison ivy, why Britney Spears gets more hits on Google than global warming does, or why we might need to start eating jellyfish for supper, David Suzuki points the direction we must take as a society if we hope to meet the environmental challenges we face in our still-young century. Covering suburban sprawl, sustainable transportation, food shortages, biodiversity, technology, public policy, and more, The Big Picture not only identifies the problems we face but proposes solid, science-based solutions. These engaging essays look beyond environmental challenges to examine the forces that are preventing real change from occurring. Together they tell the story of a species struggling to come to grips with its own biological nature, a nature we must ultimately embrace to live in balance with the systems that sustain us.

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This book is superb and I suggest that anyone who has a concern for the fate of posterity must pick it up. It is laid out in such a way that you can pick it up for 5 minutes or even read it cover to cover in one sitting. Suzuki provides a gripping illustration of what our society has become and what is needed to ensure a sustainable future. His personal anecdotes touch on a wide range of themes and tie in nicely with the vast array of topic that is elegantly writ into his book. I give this four stars because I have no other precedent by which to judge his writing, but seriously recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in science, humanity and our planet.  

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About the author (2009)

David Suzuki is an acclaimed geneticist and environmentalist, and the founder and chair of the David Suzuki Foundation. He is the author of more than forty books and is the recipient of the unesco Kalinga Prize for Science, the United Nations Environmental Medal, the unep’s Global 500 award, and has been named a Companion of the Order of Canada. In addition, he holds eighteen honorary degrees and he has been adopted into three First Nations clans. Suzuki lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

David Taylor is a journalist, writer, and former Director of Communications with the David Suzuki Foundation. His work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, and other newspapers and magazines across Canada. He has also written for television and film and is a past winner of the CBC’s Signature Shorts screen writing competition. Taylor graduated with honours from the University of Victoria, where he also completed the post-graduate Harvey Southam professional writing program and was the first person to receive the Harvey Southam Award for his thesis on journalism ethics. He lives with his family in New Westminster, British Columbia.

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