Friday, November 18, 2005

Andrew Jaffe - Book Review

The book Our Ecological Footprint by Mathis Wackernagle and William Rees is a book that goes into detail about global warming and specifically ecological footprints. An ecological footprint is the impact that humanity has on the globe. The book also includes interesting facts and details about ecological footprints. One particularly interesting fact is that riding your bicycle to work or school every day has an ecological footprint 1/3 of the size of riding a bus.
This book is similar to most books on global warming, but it adds a lot of detail about ecological footprints. It gives a lot of information on these and a lot of ways to reduce them. An ecological footprint is countered by planting enough trees to reduce your carbon output to zero. This is called carbon sink. So if you put out a lot of carbon into the atmosphere you would need to plant a lot of trees to absorb all of the carbon.
This book also has ideas of other ways to reduce carbon releases. One way is to build a giant dome over the factory to hold in the carbon until plants absorb it. This isn’t very practical because the carbon would just build up unless the plant absorbs it. The only flaw in this idea is that once the plants were to die, all of the carbon that was absorbed would be released back into the environment.
This book is very well written if you are interested in global warming and ecological footprints. This book however does have a small amount of unrealistic thoughts that are irrelevant. (building a dome over a city.)
This book also has very useful facts such as the that even though a bus gets lower gas mileage it still has a smaller carbon footprint than a car does. Another interesting fact in this book is the fact that power lines loose 50% of the electricity on the way to your house. The USA uses most of its oil on creating electricity. If someone was to develop a power line that instead of loosing 50% of the power only lost 35% of the power then, the USA would use a lot less oil creating electricity.
This book has highs and lows, but it is overall a good book with good facts on global warming and ecological footprints. And I strongly suggest that you read it to better your knowledge in this field.


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