MAN CHANGES THE WEATHER

Bova's survey of man's effect on weather ranges from a favorable report on modern American cloud seeding projects to a cautionary reminder of how man has unwittingly changed his atmosphere by pollution. The chapters on environmental problems mostly reiterate familiar points at a naive level of analysis (the "activities and good ideas" of students' "Clean Air" auto races "have helped to spur the automobile manufacturers and the government to promote research into better auto engines"); Bova's contribution consists of putting it all in the context of weather modification and in terms of the special dynamics of "city weather." Other accidental weather changes such as those mused by Krakatoa are also mentioned and the status of man's efforts to control lightning, fog, hurricanes and tornadoes (all ably surveyed in Ross' Storms and Man, KR, 1971), are touched upon. The ultimate question of "should we control the weather" is left to readers to decide, although Bova seems to favor a world "where snow will come on schedule and never be allowed in cities, where there will always be fair winds for sailors and sunshine for us all." It's a competent, readable summary and will no doubt spark some lively classroom discussion, though in the face of the chilling possibilities he cites — not only the well known pollution horrors but also government-ordered rainfall to quell demonstrations, or weather warfare in which countries vie to muck up each other's climate — there is something a little unsettling about Bova's sunny detachment.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1973

ISBN: 0201006235

Page Count: 159

Publisher: Addison-Wesley

Review Posted Online: March 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1973

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Small but mighty necessary reading.

THE NEW QUEER CONSCIENCE

From the Pocket Change Collective series

A miniature manifesto for radical queer acceptance that weaves together the personal and political.

Eli, a cis gay white Jewish man, uses his own identities and experiences to frame and acknowledge his perspective. In the prologue, Eli compares the global Jewish community to the global queer community, noting, “We don’t always get it right, but the importance of showing up for other Jews has been carved into the DNA of what it means to be Jewish. It is my dream that queer people develop the same ideology—what I like to call a Global Queer Conscience.” He details his own isolating experiences as a queer adolescent in an Orthodox Jewish community and reflects on how he and so many others would have benefitted from a robust and supportive queer community. The rest of the book outlines 10 principles based on the belief that an expectation of mutual care and concern across various other dimensions of identity can be integrated into queer community values. Eli’s prose is clear, straightforward, and powerful. While he makes some choices that may be divisive—for example, using the initialism LGBTQIAA+ which includes “ally”—he always makes clear those are his personal choices and that the language is ever evolving.

Small but mighty necessary reading. (resources) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09368-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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A fierce, penetrating, and empowering call for change.

BEYOND THE GENDER BINARY

From the Pocket Change Collective series

Artist and activist Vaid-Menon demonstrates how the normativity of the gender binary represses creativity and inflicts physical and emotional violence.

The author, whose parents emigrated from India, writes about how enforcement of the gender binary begins before birth and affects people in all stages of life, with people of color being especially vulnerable due to Western conceptions of gender as binary. Gender assignments create a narrative for how a person should behave, what they are allowed to like or wear, and how they express themself. Punishment of nonconformity leads to an inseparable link between gender and shame. Vaid-Menon challenges familiar arguments against gender nonconformity, breaking them down into four categories—dismissal, inconvenience, biology, and the slippery slope (fear of the consequences of acceptance). Headers in bold font create an accessible navigation experience from one analysis to the next. The prose maintains a conversational tone that feels as intimate and vulnerable as talking with a best friend. At the same time, the author's turns of phrase in moments of deep insight ring with precision and poetry. In one reflection, they write, “the most lethal part of the human body is not the fist; it is the eye. What people see and how people see it has everything to do with power.” While this short essay speaks honestly of pain and injustice, it concludes with encouragement and an invitation into a future that celebrates transformation.

A fierce, penetrating, and empowering call for change. (writing prompt) (Nonfiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09465-5

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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