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LOVING THIS PLANET by Helen Caldicott


Leading Thinkers Talk About How to Make a Better World

edited by Helen Caldicott

Pub Date: Sept. 4th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-59558-806-7
Publisher: New Press

Activist and environmentalist Caldicott (Nuclear Power is Not the Answer, 2006, etc.) publishes 25 transcripts of the interviews she conducts on her regular radio show.

Those selected include celebrities (Lily Tomlin and Martin Sheen), academic researchers (Michael Klare and Vini Gautam Khurana) and activists and think-tankers (Lester Brown and Bill McKibben). Some of the selections analyze different aspects of the nuclear issue, whether military or industrial; environmental lawyer Diane Curran characterizes the industry as the “prodigal son of the weapons industry…totally paid for, a socialized industry.” Toxicologist Janette Sherman-Nevinger provides a major service tracking down, translating for publication and editing non-English language source material on the 1986 Chernobyl disaster. Equally well done is photographer Carole Gallagher's contribution on nuclear testing in Nevada and the effects of fallout and radiation on the population “down-wind.” Like other contributors—e.g., Curran and film director Michael Madsen—Gallagher draws attention to the long-term consequences of nuclear byproducts. It is thus disappointing to find continuing alarmist attention to evacuation planning related to New Hampshire's Seabrook reactor and no discussion of the matter of decommissioning such aging facilities. Khurana's research on electromagnetic radiation and cellphones is both interesting and frightening, and Chris Hedges, fired from the New York Times because of his opposition to the second Iraq War, talks about his views on war and the principles on which he tries to base his life. There are also contributions on deforestation, land use and alternate energy policy.

A nice—but not necessary—collector's item and reference work for readers of a specific bent.