The Human, the Orchid, and the Octopus: Exploring and Conserving Our Natural World

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Bloomsbury Publishing USA, Aug 10, 2010 - Science - 320 pages
The beloved explorer Jacques Cousteau witnessed firsthand the complexity and beauty of life on earth and undersea-and watched the toll taken by human activity in the twentieth century. In this magnificent last book, now available for the first time in the United States, Cousteau describes his deeply informed philosophy about protecting our world for future generations. Weaving gripping stories of his adventures throughout, he and coauthor Susan Schiefelbein address the risks we take with human health, the overfishing and sacking of the world's oceans, the hazards of nuclear proliferation, and the environmental responsibility of scientists, politicians, and people of faith. This prescient, clear-sighted book is a remarkable testament to the life and work of one of our greatest modern adventurers.

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User Review  - Michael.Bradham - LibraryThing

Potent, truth filled masterpiece from Cousteau and Schiefelbein. Contains many heavy, serious passages concerning how the world became what it is. Many personal stories of risk, along with tragedy ... Read full review

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User Review  - fsmichaels - LibraryThing

I'm a big admirer of Cousteau. The book is a testament to the way an older generation went out into the world on behalf of humanity, for service instead of for personal gain. His own stories are ... Read full review


Foreword by Bill McKibben
Introduction by Susan Schiefelbein
The Drive to Explore
Personal Risk
Public Risk
Irreplaceable Water Irreplaceable
The Holy Scriptures and the Environment
Catch as Catch
Science and Human Values
Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear Energy
Life in a Billion Years
The Human the Orchid and the Octopus
An Update Since the Writing of This Book
Selected Bibliography

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About the author (2010)

Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997) was world-renowned as an ocean explorer, filmmaker, educator, and environmental activist. He won three Oscars and the Palme d'Or for his films, and wrote or coauthored more than seventy-five books. Susan Schiefelbein has won the National Magazine Award and the Front Page Award for her cover stories on social issues. A former editor at the Saturday Review, she went on to write the narration for many of Cousteau's documentary films. She lives in Paris.

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