OUR POISONED WATERS

Early on in this excellent examination of the state of one of the earth's most important resources, Dolan (Our Poisoned Sky, 1991, etc.) warns readers not to take on faith doomsday scenarios, and later reminds them that the not-yet-hopeless fight for clean water requires a lifelong commitment. In between, he outlines the tolls of irrigation, salinization, and the burning of fossil fuels (leading to acid rain); he discusses the depletion of aquifers, the ruining of the great European rivers—the Elbe, the Danube, and the Rhine, which have become open sewers—and the Everglades, the US's most threatened wetlands. Dolan spells it all out, without making more sordid than necessary the contributions of greed, stupidity, and unrestrained population growth to the damage. Balanced and objective, this is a good overview of an impending global calamity, driven more by statistics and common sense than fear. (bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 12+)

Pub Date: April 1, 1997

ISBN: 0-525-65220-5

Page Count: 122

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 1997

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Comprehensive, inclusive, and practical.

PROBLEM SOLVERS

15 INNOVATIVE WOMEN ENGINEERS AND CODERS

From the Women of Power series

Profiles of women engineers and coders who overcame obstacles to become leading voices in their fields.

Each profile presents the subject’s challenges and career path while exploring global themes of gender-based disenfranchisement—and empowerment—in STEM fields. The work presents itself as both a guide for girls who want to go into these areas as well as an appeal to those who don’t think they would find them interesting or who might feel discouraged from pursuing them. The chapters, each about 10 pages in length, are based on individual interviews conducted by the engineer author, highlight each woman’s story and accomplishments. The subjects come from a diverse range of backgrounds, highlighting marginalized identities within the field, such as race and disability. Numerous sidebars relating to the women’s backgrounds cover a range of content, some of it broadly useful beyond STEM careers, especially for teens from less privileged backgrounds, such as making a college education financially attainable, understanding the mentor-mentee relationship, escaping an abusive environment, attending college as a young parent, and business card etiquette. The closing chapters offer specific guidance, shepherding readers through preparing for college, different types of engineering and programming jobs, suggested books and movies, and the complexities of advanced degrees. The prose style is friendly, supportive, and informal, making potentially intimidating subject matter less so.

Comprehensive, inclusive, and practical. (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-64160-638-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: yesterday

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Immediately actionable: use less, think more, and do something.

CHALLENGE EVERYTHING

THE EXTINCTION REBELLION YOUTH GUIDE TO SAVING THE PLANET

A youth activist’s blueprint for mitigating climate catastrophe.

Although Sandford, a 17-year-old Extinction Rebellion Youth London coordinator, knows the relevant research, she isn’t concerned with making the case for anthropogenic climate change in her authorial debut. Per scientific consensus, ecological collapse is a pressing reality that demands action, and writing—or reading—a manifesto isn’t akin to activism. Indeed, it’s a form of greenwashing: making a superficial improvement (taking a reusable tote to the grocer) while perpetuating systemic issues (purchasing unsustainable products). To make meaningful change, one must acknowledge complicity and take ultimate responsibility for individual decisions. This concise, personable, and unpretentious book contains three illustrated sections, each concluding with a self-questionnaire to aid readers in gauging their own engagement. The first, on combatting big business, shares primers on boycotting, petitioning, and conscientious consumption relative to agriculture, beauty, fast fashion, and travel. The second, on inadequate governmental responses, urges civic participation and outlines procedures for protesting, striking, and taking nonviolent direct action. The third models self-sufficiency through reclamation and rewilding; scavenging for food and goods; community-building; and consuming art, the natural world, and human experiences rather than commodities. Throughout, Sandford implores readers to constantly interrogate and amend their own beliefs: question what you’re told, choose your own morals, and know that your opinions matter. All merits aside, a bibliography is sorely lacking.

Immediately actionable: use less, think more, and do something. (Nonfiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-84365-464-3

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Pavilion Children's

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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