Fighting Toxics is a step-by-step guide illustrating how to investigate the toxic hazards that may exist in your community, how to determine the risks they pose to your health, and how to launch an effective campaign to eliminate them.
America has more than 130,000 lakes of significant size. Ninety percent of all Americans live within fifty miles of a lake, and our 1.8 billion trips to watery places make them our top vacation choice. Yet despite this striking popularity, more than 45 percent of surveyed lakes and 80 percent of urban lakes do not meet water quality standards. For Love of Lakes weaves a delightful tapestry of history, science, emotion, and poetry for all who love lakes or enjoy nature writing. For Love of Lakes is an affectionate account documenting our species’ long relationship with lakes—their glacial origins, Thoreau and his environmental message, and the major perceptual shifts and advances in our understanding of lake ecology. This is a necessary and thoughtful book that addresses the stewardship void while providing improved understanding of our most treasured natural feature.
Britain's supremacy in the nineteenth century depended in large part on its vast deposits of coal. This coal not only powered steam engines in factories, ships, and railway locomotives but also warmed homes and cooked food. As coal consumption skyrocketed, the air in Britain's cities and towns became filled with ever-greater and denser clouds of smoke.
In this far-reaching study, Peter Thorsheim explains that, for much of the nineteenth century, few people in Britain even considered coal smoke to be pollution. To them, pollution meant miasma: invisible gases generated by decomposing plant and animal matter. Far from viewing coal smoke as pollution, most people considered smoke to be a valuable disinfectant, for its carbon and sulfur were thought capable of rendering miasma harmless.
Inventing Pollution examines the radically new understanding of pollution that emerged in the late nineteenth century, one that centered not on organic decay but on coal combustion. This change, as Peter Thorsheim argues, gave birth to the smoke-abatement movement and to new ways of thinking about the relationships among humanity, technology, and the environment.
Leadville explores the clash between a small mining town high up in Colorado's Rocky Mountains and the federal government, determined to clean up the toxic mess left from a hundred years of mining.
Set amidst the historic streets and buildings reflecting the town's past glory as one of the richest nineteenth-century mining districts in North America-a history populated with characters such as Meyer Guggenheim and the Titanic's unsinkable Molly Brown-the Leadville Gillian Klucas portrays became a battleground in the 1980s and 1990s.
The tale begins one morning in 1983 when a flood of toxic mining waste washes past the Smith Ranch and down the headwaters of the Arkansas River. The event presages a Superfund cleanup campaign that draws national attention, sparks local protest, and triggers the intervention of an antagonistic state representative.
Just as the Environmental Protection Agency comes to town telling the community that their celebrated mining heritage is a public health and environmental hazard, the mining industry abandons Leadville, throwing the town into economic chaos. Klucas unveils the events that resulted from this volatile formula and the remarkable turnaround that followed.
The author's well-grounded perspective, in-depth interviews with participants, and keen insights make Leadville a portrait vivid with characterizations that could fill the pages of a novel. But because this is a real story with real people, It shows the reality behind the Western mystique and explores the challenges to local autonomy and community identity brought by a struggle for economic survival, unyielding government policy, and long-term health consequences induced by extractive-industry practices.
The proud Westerners of Leadville didn't realize they would be tangling with a young and vigorous Environmental Protection Agency in a modern-day version of an old Western standoff. In the process, Klucas shows, both sides would be forced to address hard questions about identity and the future with implications that reach far beyond Leadville and the beautiful high valley that nurtures it.
Take a random walk through your life and you’ll find it is awash in industrial, often toxic, chemicals. Sip water from a plastic bottle and ingest bisphenol A. Prepare dinner in a non-stick frying pan or wear a layer of Gore-Tex only to be exposed to perfluorinated compounds. Hang curtains, clip your baby into a car seat, watch television—all are manufactured with brominated flame-retardants.Cosmetic ingredients, industrial chemicals, pesticides, and other compounds enter our bodies and remain briefly or permanently. Far too many suspected toxic hazards are unleashed every day that affect the development and function of our brain, immune system, reproductive organs, or hormones. But no public health law requires product testing of most chemical compounds before they enter the market. If products are deemed dangerous, toxicants must be forcibly reduced or removed—but only after harm has been done.In this scientifically rigorous legal analysis, Carl Cranor argues that just as pharmaceuticals and pesticides cannot be sold without pre-market testing, other chemical products should be subject to the same safety measures. Cranor shows, in terrifying detail, what risks we run, and that it is entirely possible to design a less dangerous commercial world.
Nearly forty years after the outbreak of the “Minamata Disease,” it remains one of the most horrific examples of environmental poisoning. Based on primary documents and interviews, this book describes three rounds of responses to this incidence of mercury poisoning, focusing on the efforts of its victims and their supporters, particularly the activities of grassroots movements and popular campaigns, to secure redress.Timothy S. George argues that Japan’s postwar democracy is ad hoc, fragile, and dependent on definition through citizen action and that the redress effort is exemplary of the great changes in the second and third postwar decades that redefined democracy in Japan.
In this compelling study, Rena Steinzor highlights the ways in which the government, over the past twenty years, has failed to protect children from harm caused by toxic chemicals. She believes these failures—under-funding, excessive and misguided use of cost/benefit analysis, distortion of science, and devolution of regulatory authority—have produced a situation in which harm that could be reduced or eliminated instead persists.
Steinzor states that, as a society, we are neglecting our children's health to an extent that we would find unthinkable as individual parents, primarily due to the erosion of the government's role in protecting public health and the environment. At this pace, she asserts, our children will inherit a planet under grave threat. We can arrest these developments if a critical mass of Americans become convinced that these problems are urgent and the solutions are near at hand.
By focusing on three specific case studies—mercury contamination through the human food chain, perchlorate (rocket fuel) in drinking water, and the effects of ozone (smog) on children playing outdoors—Steinzor creates an analysis grounded in law, economics, and science to prove her assertions about the existing dysfunctional system.
Steinzor then recommends a concise and realistic series of reforms that could reverse these detrimental trends and serve as a blueprint for restoring effective governmental intervention. She argues that these recommendations offer enough material to guide government officials and advocacy groups toward prompt implementation, for the sake of America's—and the world's—future generations.
Is Italy il bel paese—the beautiful country—where tourists spend their vacations looking for art, history, and scenery? Or is it a land whose beauty has been cursed by humanity’s greed and nature’s cruelty? The answer is largely a matter of narrative and the narrator’s vision of Italy. The fifteen essays in Nature and History in Modern Italy investigate that nation’s long experience in managing domesxadtixadcated rather than wild natures and offer insight into these conflicting visions. Italians shaped their land in the most literal sense, producing the landscape, sculpting its heritage, embedding memory in nature, and rendering the two different visions inseparxadable. The interplay of Italy’s rich human history and its dramatic natural diversity is a subject with broad appeal to a wide range of readers.
Hailed in the Foreign Service Journal as “a landmark book that should command the attention of every serious student of American diplomacy, international environmental issues, or the art of negotiation,” and cited in Nature for its “worthwhile insights on the harnessing of science and diplomacy,” the first edition of Ozone Diplomacy offered an insider’s view of the politics, economics, science, and diplomacy involved in creating the precedent-setting treaty to protect the Earth: the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer.The first edition ended with a discussion of the revisions to the protocol in 1990 and offered lessons for global diplomacy regarding the then just-maturing climate change issue. Now Richard Benedick—a principal architect and the chief U.S. negotiator of the historic treaty—expands the ozone story, bringing us to the eve of the tenth anniversary of the Montreal Protocol. He describes subsequent negotiations to deal with unexpected major scientific discoveries and important amendments adding new chemicals and accelerating the phaseout schedules. Implementing the revised treaty has forced the protocol’s signatories to confront complex economic and political problems, including North–South financial and technology transfer issues, black markets for banned CFCs, revisionism, and industry’s willingness and ability to develop new technologies and innovative substitutes. In his final chapter Benedick offers a new analysis applying the lessons of the ozone experience to ongoing climate change negotiations.Ozone Diplomacy has frequently been cited as the definitive book on the most successful environment treaty, and is essential reading for those concerned about the future of our planet.
The Poisoned Well offers vital strategies for citizens, community organizations, and public officials who want to fight the battle against pollutants.
Russell E. Train, was chairman emeritus of the World Wildlife Fund, has led a remarkable life in conservation and environmental politics. Though many of his contributions have been unsung, Train was the catalyst for many of the nation's most important positive environmental policies that remain with us today. In the current political climate, where party divisions are so sharp and environmental concerns are so often shunted aside, Train's journey as a life-long Republican and an ardent conservationist is an inspiring story.
Much of the important environmental policy Train helped to devise and implement occurred during two Republican administrations, those of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Train served as undersecretary of Interior early in Nixon's administration before becoming chair of the president's Council on Environmental Quality (1970-1973). He then moved on to many accomplishments as head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from 1973 until 1978. At the end of the Ford administration, Train left government to become president of World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in the U.S. where he played a key role in developing that institution into the major conservation organization it is today.
Politics, Pollution, and Pandas is a fascinating, behind-the-scenes account of the politics of the environment over much of the last half century, as told by one of its master architects.
The electric power industry has been transformed over the past forty years, becoming more reliable and resilient while meeting environmental goals. A big question now is how to prevent backsliding.Pollution, Politics, and Power tells the story of the remarkable transformation of the electric power industry over the last four decades. Electric power companies have morphed from highly polluting regulated monopolies into competitive, deregulated businesses that generate, transmit, and distribute cleaner electricity. Power companies are investing heavily in natural gas and utility-scale renewable resources and have stopped building new coal-fired plants. They facilitate end-use efficiency and purchase excess electricity produced by rooftop solar panels and backyard wind turbines, helping to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.But these beneficial changes have come with costs. The once-powerful coal industry is on the edge of ruin, with existing coal-fired plants closing and coal mines shutting down. As a result, communities throughout Appalachia suffer from high unemployment and reduced resources, which have exacerbated a spiraling opioid epidemic. The Trump administration’s efforts to revive the coal industry by scaling back environmental controls and reregulating electricity prices have had little effect on the coal industry’s decline.Major advances therefore come with warning signs, which we must heed in charting the continuing course of sustainable electricity. In Pollution, Politics, and Power, Thomas O. McGarity examines the progress made, details lessons learned, and looks to the future with suggestions for building a more sustainable grid while easing the economic downsides of coal’s demise.
An interdisciplinary environmental humanities volume that explores human-environment relationships on our permanently polluted planet.
While toxicity and pollution are ever present in modern daily life, politicians, juridical systems, media outlets, scholars, and the public alike show great difficulty in detecting, defining, monitoring, or generally coming to terms with them. This volume’s contributors argue that the source of this difficulty lies in the struggle to make sense of the intersecting temporal and spatial scales working on the human and more-than-human body, while continuing to acknowledge race, class, and gender in terms of global environmental justice and social inequality.
The term toxic timescapes refers to this intricate intersectionality of time, space, and bodies in relation to toxic exposure. As a tool of analysis, it unpacks linear understandings of time and explores how harmful substances permeate temporal and physical space as both event and process. It equips scholars with new ways of creating data and conceptualizing the past, present, and future presence and possible effects of harmful substances and provides a theoretical framework for new environmental narratives. To think in terms of toxic timescapes is to radically shift our understanding of toxicants in the complex web of life.
Toxicity, pollution, and modes of exposure are never static; therefore, dose, timing, velocity, mixture, frequency, and chronology matter as much as the geographic location and societal position of those exposed. Together, these factors create a specific toxic timescape that lies at the heart of each contributor’s narrative. Contributors from the disciplines of history, human geography, science and technology studies, philosophy, and political ecology come together to demonstrate the complex reality of a toxic existence. Their case studies span the globe as they observe the intersection of multiple times and spaces at such diverse locations as former battlefields in Vietnam, aging nuclear-weapon storage facilities in Greenland, waste deposits in southern Italy, chemical facilities along the Gulf of Mexico, and coral-breeding laboratories across the world.
No natural resource issue has greater significance for the future of Texas than water. The state's demand for water for municipal, industrial, agricultural, and recreational uses continues to grow exponentially, while the supply from rivers, lakes, aquifers, and reservoirs is limited. To help Texans manage their water resources today and plan for future needs, one of Texas's top water experts has compiled this authoritative overview of water issues in Texas.
Water in Texas covers all the major themes in water management and conservation:
Illustrated with color photographs and maps, Water in Texas will be the essential resource for landowners, citizen activists, policymakers, and city planners.
Flowing through the heart of the North China Plain—home to 200 million people—the Yellow River sustains one of China’s core regions. Yet this vital water supply has become highly vulnerable in recent decades, with potentially serious repercussions for China’s economic, social, and political stability. The Yellow River is an investigative expedition to the source of China’s contemporary water crisis, mapping the confluence of forces that have shaped the predicament that the world’s most populous nation now faces in managing its water reserves.Chinese governments have long struggled to maintain ecological stability along the Yellow River, undertaking ambitious programs of canal and dike construction to mitigate the effects of recurrent droughts and floods. But particularly during the Maoist years the North China Plain was radically re-engineered to utilize every drop of water for irrigation and hydroelectric generation. As David A. Pietz shows, Maoist water management from 1949 to 1976 cast a long shadow over the reform period, beginning in 1978. Rapid urban growth, industrial expansion, and agricultural intensification over the past three decades of China’s economic boom have been realized on a water resource base that was acutely compromised, with effects that have been more difficult and costly to overcome with each passing decade. Chronicling this complex legacy, The Yellow River provides important insight into how water challenges will affect China’s course as a twenty-first-century global power.
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