EARTH, THE GREAT RECYCLER by Helen Ross Russell
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EARTH, THE GREAT RECYCLER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Though it might seem that our poor, strained Spaceship Earth is already burdened with more juvenile ecology books than the system will bear, Russell explains the basics of the biogeochemical cycles -- through which earth has been recycling the same ""building blocks"" (elements) for billions of years -- in such lucid, non-technical terms that we'll just have to make room for one more. Her description of chemical changes and use of formulas are never intimidating (no science training is assumed -- even that ""the number one is not written in chemical formulas""), she makes a point of correcting the common oversimplification about plants taking in carbon dioxide and breathing out oxygen, and she is unusually successful at integrating the usual topics -- food chains, photosynthesis, nitrogen-fixing bacteria, air and water currents, etc. -- into the systematic overview. Examples of human intervention with the natural cycles are considered in terms of ecologist Lamont Coles' characterization of pollution as ""a natural resource out of place,"" and the concluding call to action cites exemplary grass roots programs while cautioning against the tokenism with which government and industry have so far responded to the environmental crisis.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1973
Publisher: Nelson