The Earth Around Us: Maintaining A Livable Planet

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Avalon Publishing, Mar 31, 2008 - Social Science - 300 pages
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Soil contamination . . . public lands . . . surface and groundwater pollution . . . coastal erosion . . . global warming. Have we reached the limits of this planet's ability to provide for us? If so, what can we do about it?These vital questions are addressed in The Earth Around Us, a unique collection of thirty-one essays by a diverse array of today's foremost scientist-writers. Sharing an ability to communicate science in a clear and engaging fashion, the contributors explore Earth's history and processes--especially in relation to today's environmental issues--and show how we, as members of a global community, can help maintain a livable planet. The narratives in this collection are organized into seven parts that describe: Earth's time and history and the place of people on it Views of nature and the ethics behind our conduct on Earth Resources for the twenty-first century, such as public lands, healthy forests and soils, clean ground and surface waters, and fluctuating coastlines Ill-informed local manipulations of landscapes across the United States Innovative solutions to environmental problems that arise from knowledge of the interactions between living things and the Earth's air, water, and soil Natural and human-induced global scale perturbations to the earth system Our responsibility to people and all other organisms that live on Earth. Never before has such a widely experienced group of prominent earth scientists been brought together to help readers understand how earth's environment works. Driven by the belief that earth science is, and should be, an integral part of everyday life, The Earth Around Us empowers all of us to play a more educated and active part in the search for a sustainable future for our planet and its inhabitants.
 

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Contents

RECORDS OF TIME AND HISTORY
1
Set Piece on Geologic Time from Annals of the Former World
18
Stories of Land Stories from LandLauret B Savoy
28
Part II
57
Why Believe a Computer? Models Measures and Meaning in
70
A Historical Look at GovernmentSponsored
83
Common Ground for Geology and Theology
99
A Proper Scale for Our Environmental Crisis
112
Dredging to Keep New YorkNew Jersey Harbor Alive
232
Geology and Community
244
INVENTIVE SOLUTIONS
255
Maintaining a Clean Water Supply in Olmsted
268
High Level Nuclear Waste in
283
Bioremediation of Contaminated Soil
300
Part VI
307
A Record of Climate Change from Owens Lake Sediment
322

Part III
121
The View from an Experimental Forest
136
Are Soils Endangered?Ronald Amundson
144
Water for Thirsty Texans
154
New York Citys Water Supply
166
Sustaining Healthy CoastsJeffrey L Payne
181
LOCAL MANIPULATIONS
197
The Follies of Lotus BayJill K Singer
221
Lessons from the Past for Future Climate Tamara Nameroff
336
Ozone Depletion and the Health of
349
Part VII
357
An Example from Hawaii
368
Stakes Options and Some Natural Limits to a Sustainable World
386
What Else Should My Neighbor Know?Caryl Edward Buchwakt
398
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About the author (2008)

Jill S. Schneiderman is professor of geology at Vassar College, where she teaches courses in geology, environmental studies, and women’s studies. She is the author of numerous scientific papers on subjects ranging from the formation of mountain ranges to the geological history of the Nile and Yangtze deltas to Pleistocene climate fluctuations in New York state. She has worked on environmental issues as a science advisor to the Democratic leader of the U.S. Senate.

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