The optimistic environmentalist Progressing towards a greener future

David R. 1964- Boyd

Book - 2015

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Subjects
Published
Toronto : ECW Press 2015.
Language
English
Physical Description
xxv, 219 pages : portrait ; 21 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (page 205-216).
ISBN
9781770412385
1770412387
9781770907638
1770907637
Main Author
David R. 1964- Boyd (author)
  • Introduction: the importance of being optimistic
  • Part I: the big picture
  • Nature's comeback stories
  • The renewable energy revolution
  • The circular economy
  • Part II: healthy environment, healthy people
  • Cleaner air
  • Saving the ozone layer
  • Taps, toilets, and farms
  • Global detox
  • Part III: the built environment
  • The greenest city decathlon
  • The future of buildings
  • Electrifying transport
  • Conclusion: from optimism to action.
Review by Library Journal Reviews

Boyd is a Canadian environmental lawyer, professor, consultant, and author (Sustainability Within a Generation). Here he examines improvements made in human and animal well-being, often accomplished through legislation. Unlike Bjorn Lomborg's The Skeptical Environmentalist and Matt Ridley's The Rational Optimist, Boyd's investigation repeatedly acknowledges the serious environmental challenges caused by human activity. His goal is to inspire readers to act instead of scaring them into disengaging. Examples are given of wildlife comebacks, the creation of parks and refuges, reforestation, increasing renewable energy, the spread of the circular economy, the partial saving of the ozone layer, more clean drinking water, declining toxin loads in humans, the greening of cities, and growing sales of electric vehicles. Admittedly, says the author, North Americans will have to consume less, while human population increase must be curbed through women's education and universal access to contraceptives. Boyd is taking bold action himself: he is cochair of Vancouver, BC's Greenest City Action Team. The municipal government is taking steps toward the goal of becoming the world's greenest city by 2020. VERDICT Boyd presents all this information well, and it's a refreshing perspective. Environmentalists, students, and interested readers will find this accessible book a morale booster and a spur to become part of this great transition.—David R. Conn, formerly with Surrey Libs., BC [Page 119]. (c) Copyright 2015 Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Review by PW Annex Reviews

While many environmentalists wring their hands in despair, Boyd (The Right to a Healthy Environment), an environmental lawyer, remains optimistic. A lot has changed for the better in recent decades, he writes, including an explosion of affordable, renewable energy sources and the resurgence of endangered species such as the bald eagle and black-footed ferret. Boyd provides examples of companies, cities, and entire countries working to make the world a better place for coming generations. This isn't about teenagers cleaning up a beach; it's about massive industrial changes at the cost of billions of dollars, toughened government regulations, and impressive technological advances. Boyd describes change on a sweeping scale that filters down to touch individual lives. Far from intimidating, his vision is electrifying and inspiring. Boyd's book is a reminder that "saving the world" isn't an obscure ideal or a nefarious liberal agenda. It's necessary, practical, and possible. And he adds that anyone can get in on the action by buying a stylish, recyclable office chair, installing a rooftop solar panel, or eating organic soy. This solidly researched and informative book is also a pleasure to read, especially in a world where bad news often drowns out the good. (Aug.) [Page ]. Copyright 2015 PWxyz LLC

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Chronicles success stories for environmental problems, from endangered animals pulled back from near extinction and use of renewable energy to new parks to protect land and water and prohibiting use of toxic chemicals.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

In a world besieged by bad news about the state of the planet, this book explores the surprising breadth of our success stories – from endangered species brought back from the brink to the growing use of clean renewable energy and the progress we have made in cleaning up our air and water.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A hopeful, inspiring, and honest take on the environmentYes, the world faces substantial environmental challenges — climate change, pollution, and extinction. But the surprisingly good news is that we have solutions to these problems. In the past 50 years, a remarkable number of environmental problems have been solved, while substantial progress is ongoing on others.The Optimistic Environmentalist chronicles these remarkable success stories. Endangered species — from bald eagles to gray whales — pulled back from the precipice of extinction. Thousands of new parks, protecting billions of hectares of land and water. The salvation of the ozone layer, vital to life on Earth. The exponential growth of renewable energy powered by wind, water, and sun. The race to be the greenest city in the world. Remarkable strides in cleaning up the air we breathe and the water we drink. The banning of dozens of the world’s most toxic chemicals. A circular economy where waste is a thing of the past. Past successes pave the way for even greater achievements in the future.Providing a powerful antidote to environmental despair, this book inspires optimism, leading readers to take action and exemplifying how change can happen. A bright green future is not only possible, it’s within our grasp.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

A hopeful, inspiring, and honest take on the environmentYes, the world faces substantial environmental challenges — climate change, pollution, and extinction. But the surprisingly good news is that we have solutions to these problems. In the past 50 years, a remarkable number of environmental problems have been solved, while substantial progress is ongoing on others.The Optimistic Environmentalist chronicles these remarkable success stories. Endangered species — from bald eagles to gray whales — pulled back from the precipice of extinction. Thousands of new parks, protecting billions of hectares of land and water. The salvation of the ozone layer, vital to life on Earth. The exponential growth of renewable energy powered by wind, water, and sun. The race to be the greenest city in the world. Remarkable strides in cleaning up the air we breathe and the water we drink. The banning of dozens of the world’s most toxic chemicals. A circular economy where waste is a thing of the past. Past successes pave the way for even greater achievements in the future.Providing a powerful antidote to environmental despair, this book inspires optimism, leading readers to take action and exemplifying how change can happen. A bright green future is not only possible, it’s within our grasp.