​​​Notes on “The Endangered Earthlings' Handbook”



Chapter 1: 
Like I said in my first message, I had no idea of the life and struggles you have had. There ought to be a picture of you in the dictionary next to the word resilience.  I like the use of the Colombo Finger. Being from Baltimore and an Orioles fan, I do wonder how Sidney Ponson reacted.  A very good introduction to the writing team before you got into your personal history and how you planned to tell it.  Thanks for stressing your focus to find common ground to the readers of this tome.  After all, it is about the solutions.


Chapter 2:  It is not an evil tactic anthropomorphizing the Earth.  Environmental books seem to come in two categories, those that mention the Gaia story and those very technical works that lose the layman’s attention early on.   You have succeeded in avoiding the latter.  Thank you for concisely describing the spheres (Geo, Hydro, Bio & Atmos) and how they interrelate. 

The story of how your feet turned black at the Galveston beach set the stage wonderfully to describe the costs of oil drilling as opposed to the economic benefits.  The examples you cite in Ecuador and offshore drilling give a good cross section of who can be effected by the oil industry. Your recounting of the Deepwater Horizon disaster brought a fresh perspective and really highlighted the direct human toll as well as relating the attempts to correct that mess. 

To me, fracking is the worst idea in the history of bad ideas.  Yeah, let’s pollute watersheds to get a measly amount of hydrocarbons to burn for a few years. (I call them Motherfrackers, use it if you want) You gave a great description of the process and the analogy of fracking bones is brilliant. The effect this has on water supplies from Wyoming to Pennsylvania cannot be understated and you brought that fact home perfectly.  Though you did mention the health effects to folks in Ventura Co, CA, you might want to add a few other examples in any subsequent editions. 

Paul did a great job describing mining and the problems it causes.  Again, the direct human toll from accidents and the damaging health effects to workers(accidents, black lung) that were presented illustrates the tragic costs in the industry before even mentioning the environmental costs.  Good charts displaying the different mining techniques and relating the different costs to ecosystems, hazards (pollutants, fly ash), contamination of soil, water, air, acid rain, habitat destruction and displaced communities.


Chapter 3: Water is life.  No blue, no green.  Thanks for all the term definitions relating to water. Terms like watershed, riparian, littoral and non-point source pollution are mentioned often in numerous articles without relating what they mean…and many readers new to environmental issues stop reading. When you mentioned PFAs, a description of GenX might have been nice so GenXers reading this can say “We’re named after chemicals?”

Citing the water shortages present now in Cape Town, Chennai, Michigan & Bakersfield and your own story as a conservation monitor in 5th grade gives weight to the history and the urgency of the issue. I’m kinda glad I live in MD and not MT.

Is chicken farming non-point or point source pollution?  We have lots of it in Delmarva.  I’m very glad you briefly described the water rights issue and Nestle’s shenanigans. 

Oceans and overfishing. Couldn’t agree more. We are the worst kids ever. There’s a new Netflix documentary on unlawful fishing around the world which expands on what you mentioned about IUU fishing.  I used to love eating seafood. Now I get an occasional sushi dinner.

Invasive species is another problem.  Snakeheads in the Potomac.  Japanese carp in the Mississippi and the Ohio rivers.  Lionfish off the East coast. Zebra mussels in the Great Lakes. Blue crabs off of Spain!  None of this due to climate change.

Speaking of which, thanks for tying climate change to habitat loss of coral reefs, marshes, forests and how that lessens biodiversity, for which we’re in the midst of a crisis already even before climate change has become a factor. Niles Eldredge book, ”Life in the Balance: Humanity and the Biodiversity Crisis” talks about this, https://press.princeton.edu/books/paperback/9780691050096/life-in-the-balance.

Sugsidence is a new word for me. Not in the Oxford desk dictionary or on google.  I have heard the term, subsidence used plenty in describing how the whole Chesapeake Bay is “drowning” and it’s a big problem in Florida and Texas.  I had no idea that Houston has dropped 12 feet!  No wonder hurricane Harvey left so much water.

Yay NRDC! Have been a fan and member for many years. As of this writing, they have managed to score some victories including a new ban on fracking in the Delaware river basin, securing safe drinking water protections in Newark, NJ and helping protect the Northeast Canyons and Seamounts Marine National Monument.

Hypoxic Dead Zones.  The Bay has one main dead zone in the center of the lower bay while algae blooms form downstream from waste treatment plants. It’s better than it was, but not by much. 

Pollution from plastics in the oceans is completely out of control.  Not only do we have the gyre in the North Pacific, but there’s big congregations washing up on the Big Island of Hawaii, Tarawa and Java due mainly to ocean currents. Most of that plastic came from elsewhere.

Thermal pollution from power plants and soil erosion. I saw a lot of runoff today as I was picking up my daughter from school during an intense thunderstorm and thought how much of that will go directly into streams and culverts right into the harbor and bay.  Our trash wheels will be working overtime. https://www.mrtrashwheel.com/.

Acoustic pollution: Good story about the mudskipper and Carmen Miranda Cleaner shrimp.  I also like the analogy you use to radio silence.

Naval sonar and seismic blasting are the worst but shipping by far is the biggest ocean noise contributor.

The only positive I can think of for increased ocean acidification is more jellyfish.  Pre Cambrian seas!

Coral bleaching has been a big problem since the 90s and continues to get worse.  I hope Force Blue Team and others can help put the brakes on. 

This is the first time I’ve seen the term Cryosphere used instead of “the Artic” or “the Polar Seas”.  Thanks for the vivid description to what’s happening there and for the pep talk at the end of the chapter. 

Chapter 4: 
Just so you know, I’ve had climate anxiety for about 30 years now.  We now have double the world’s population there was when I came Into the world.  Eight billion in a about 200,000 years.  I look to the solutions. 

Your Home:   Yep, construction debris.  Saw plenty of it growing up and playing on building lots in the burbs.   You would think with a lumber crisis happening there would be an emphasis on recycling materials, but demolition is done with bulldozers cause’ it’s cheaper.  There is Habitat for Humanity Restore and Second Chance here in Baltimore where they recycle some interior fixings and furniture, especially if it antique, but not much in the way of structural materials.  That’s just single family home and townhouses.  What do they do with all the commercial building waste? 

Your car: Check.  My hybrid probably has a hefty carbon footprint too and yes, I’ve hit a deer to get it because it totaled my old Saturn.  Some animals use underpasses on roads if they realize they can do that and they’re available, but we do need more wildlife overpasses as well.

Your Groceries:  “plastic, plastic plastic…ugh,” Single use plastics are the worst culprits. CommonGood andCo.com is something I will check out.  Mom’s markets have bulk dispensers for soap, shampoo, laundry detergent etc. as well.  There’s some compostable packaging out there for some products, but it’s a tiny fraction.  Speaking of plastic, PBS had a report back last year that fertility rates have dropped 1% a year since the 90s. https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/chemicals-in-plastic-electronics-are-lowering-fertility-in-men-and-women

Trees: Great bullet points about all the benefits.  I don’t think I’ve seen a more comprehensive list before.  Loved Tiny Rocks.

Chapter 5: 
Atmosphere.  We are giving her COPD.  Very good description of the structure and chemistry of our air.  I haven’t seen CFC’s or the Ozone Hole mentioned in a while.    Yay, Montreal Protocol now that President Biden has brought us back on board!.  I guess we need an update on the EPAs view of UVB.

“91% of the world’s population live in place where air quality exceeds WHO guideline limits..”,  that’s me (mostly from secondary pollutants, mostly from cars)

Yeah, I eat burgers.  I did not know that air pollutants came more from cow burps than cow farts.  I have tried Impossible burgers and Beyond burgers and eat Morning Star Griller’s Prime regularly. 

I can remember when I was in high school and college, a lot was mentioned about the “cloud” of nitric oxide hovering over New York City.  I’ve heard it’s been reduced, but I’m sure the PM2.5 rate is high like ours.  I know I’m not getting enough oxygen.  I yawn plenty while I’m at work in D.C. and not just because of the politicians.  “Record Clean” air?  Grrrrr.  You could do another whole book on what the Trump administration did to the EPA…and the Post Office….andd right, right!  Solutions!

Yes, the National Parks are not immune from air pollution. Air pollution + climate change = vicious cycle.  Good mention of all the wildfires in recent years and how they could have been prevented as well as what’s happened in Brazil & India.  I get nervous when I hear about wildfires. I have friends in Chico, CA, the Bay area and the PNW and June is the time of year when you’re on pins and needles. 

Leather.  Haven’t bought any in 5 years.  Need new options for belts and wallets.  I must adapt. 

One question on the atmosphere.  Is there data on plastics in the air?  How much of it are we breathing in?

Wow, air pollution deaths are almost up there with handguns and highway fatalities.

 Chapter 6: 
Yeah, we’re a virus.  It’s not all Barry White’s and Tequila’s fault either, but they have made their influences known.  Sci-fi novel? Cool! 

DMT or DTM?(pg.157)  Either way, it’s spelled trouble since the Industrial Revolution and Jenner’s vaccine.   Thanks for explaining the stages.

The whole segment on Food is great.  It reinforces points on population and greenhouse gases said in Chapters 2 thru 5.  Thanks for breaking down the percentages on 2,870 calories a day.

Animal ag is beating out palm oil now for rainforest destruction? It’s amazing what 1.5 acres can do.  I like the reminder of 37,000 pounds of plant based food can be produced on the same lot.  I told you where I am with burgers.  A Reducetarian , that is what I hope to be.

“Oh the Places You’ll Go” is sadly now out of print.  I remember the old Grape Nuts commercials too.  In addition to pine needle tea (need recipe), you can make a syrup from black walnuts that can get you through a winter.  Nice story about where you learned about the Donner Party.  I first heard about that at a film festival.

Plastic.  Unless you have never had contact with today’s modern civilization, it’s impossible not to touch plastic through the course of the day. You could write a whole other chapter on what it’s used for and where it goes.  There’s lots of lobbying for the plastics industry by the American Plastics Council and others.  Glad you mentioned the “recycled” plastic sent to China and poorer countries and its impact.  The quote about the albatross chick says it all.  I remember when the National Aquarium here managed to rescue and rehabilitate a Pygmy Sperm whale which had swallowed so many plastic bags, it was starving to death.  That was back in the early 90s.  D.C has a bag law with a 5 cent surcharge for every bag used since 2009.  Baltimore postponed their own bag law until July 9, 2021 due to Covid.  Yay France and the others in the bullet points at the end of the chapter.

Chapter 7: 
You give a really good breakdown of the five previous extinctions, though I had thought that massive volcanic eruptions in what’s now Siberia was the main culprit of the End-Permian extinction. The Anthropocene is going to be short compared to other epochs!  Two hundred species a day?!  I remember back in the 80s when it was 1 or 2 per day…

The Domino effect is a real thing with key species.  There’s worries here in the Chesapeake that if Menhaden, a feeder fish for many other species, were to crash and the consequences.

Insect populations are definitely being effected like Monarch Butterflies and bees of many species due to pesticides.  Hasn’t seemed to bother the Brood X Cicadas this time around, but the fireflies are a little late this year. We spray our yard for ticks since my wife got Lyme disease almost 10 years ago and it still affects her health. 

“Half the total number of animals that once shared the Earth with humans are already gone.”

Habitat loss has been horrendous in the last century.  We are down to about 1-2% of old growth forests in MD and yes, plenty of foreign species have been introduced like Nutria and Starlings.  No Kudzu yet, but lots of bamboo and ivy.  With climate change, I’m wondering when we’ll see Burmese Pythons and Tegus here as well.

Rising waters are happening everywhere. Here, Florida, the Maldives, Waikiki, Louisiana….  Thanks for mentioning the Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel. Usually you hear about the others mentioned.

Acidification of the oceans from CO2 and overfishing were mentioned earlier, but thanks for hitting those nails some more.

“..freshwater fish are the most endangered group of animals on the planet,”  A little louder for the fisherman out there.  I hope you like Snakehead and catfish.

Six generations? 

While reading this chapter, I wonder if Vaquitas, Red Wolves or Monarch Butterflies will be around when my kids are my age.

Chapter 8:  T
hank Paul for separating and describing weather and climate.

“History has repeatedly shown us that data & facts alone do not inspire humans to change their beliefs or entice them to act.”  So true.  Visualization is key.

Thanks for the centigrade to Fahrenheit comparison on temperatures and using body temps as an analogy.

Yes, papers rejecting AGW are declining, but we’re not seeing enough press coverage about that. 

Yes, except for Mt. Tambora, the planet has been warming steadily since the Industrial Revolution.  That’s amazing Paul was in Alaska to witness a volcanic eruption.  I remember very little TV coverage of it.

The future cities predictions look dire.  London like Barcelona; Portland to San Antonio; San Francisco to Lisbon?  Baltimore is supposed to be more like Mississippi in coming years.

Great data on all the agricultural effects on crop yields, food transport and decreased protein and mineral content in plants.  Good examples on damage from drought, fire and hurricanes from the headlines.  Cement accounts for 7% of global emissions?  Wow. 

My weekly trip to the deli counter tells me where meat prices are going.  Tofurkey is getting competitive now.

Thanks for illustrating all the causes of sea level rise.  Subsidence and thermal expansion are key factors in the Chesapeake region.

On your list of who are the most vulnerable you could also add seasonal agriculture workers and those involved in the fisherman

Yes, WE will be paying.

Chapter 9:  
Gaia Hypothesis, yes!

Animals are sentient. “My Octopus teacher” is a good case in point.  Orcas(and more cetaceans), elephants and some crocodilians show lots of familial bonding.

I really enjoyed your college experiences and the Mr. Johnson story.

“The greatest suffering we humans endure is inflicted by fear.”  Never a truer statement.

I’m working on my forgiveness skills too.  We all are.

The revival story had me rolling. ”You need ta take this little girl back where you got ‘er.”

Lots of life changes for you.  “and then? And then? And then?”  I get it.

Which restaurant in Canton did you manage?  I have had several friends who raised snakes.  I get the feeding them live food bit.

You’ve had quite a journey so far.  You like Tullimore Dew?  I’m more of a Balvenie guy. 

Let’s build that bridge.

Chapter 10: Yay!

This is definitely the fun part.  It was a good idea to describe how the solutions were to presented and mentioning the crossover possibilities.

Climate Change Solutions:  Maybe the next NCA report will suggest a detailed plan and less déjà vu.  I like the analogy of ecosystems and automobiles.  Organized in a state of balance. 

The examples of disturbance are good, though I might add habitat loss due to construction, agriculture, industry, etc..

“What can individuals do?”, a great place to start.

Inspiring your neighbor’s kinda works around here.  Since installing our own solar panels, we’ve had a fair number of people ask about them, but I haven’t seen new panels going up nearby.  We live in a heavily forested part of town and most homes that have the sunshine have some panels already.  People recycle though, lots of hybrids and electric cars, rain barrels and we have a farmer’s market.  Raising chickens in the back yard is becoming a thing again here and elsewhere.

Speaking of food waste, you can also mention how much leftover food gets thrown out from hotels and events that can’t be given away to shelters and community pantries.  Yes on sustainable sources of meat.  Farm to table arrangements are becoming more popular.

Use less water and energy. Yes, keep it simple. Faucets off, thermostats adjusted and LED lighting (which is even better now that most work with dimmers).

Meatless is good. Kids like Mac N’ Cheese and other pastas, fruits and P, B & J. 

Reduce and reuse.  We reuse plastic utensils a lot and we all have water bottles and travel mugs.  We use metal straws and I’m seeing paper straws at all the government cafeterias in DC.   I wish so much of recycling wasn’t plastic. I’ve yet to see many delicatessens use alternatives to single use plastic bags. The same for meatless choices.

Good breakdown of the causes of deforestation.  There’s a big spike in lumber prices lately so bamboo might be the material for flooring in the future.  Would you include sprawl in with infrastructure and overpopulation as a cause?

Hemp can save the world. Packaging made from it could replace single use plastics.  I wish they would make more newsprint out of it. There used to be a hemp store in my neighborhood but it’s gone and all the other ones are pushing CBD oil products and salves mainly.  I’d like to see more of the uses marketed locally.

Bamboo.  Our TP is made from it (add that to your list) and it lasts longer than the recycled stuff we we’re using before.  They use it for scaffolding in Asia and it could replace a lot of pine products.  Wood composites may be lumber’s replacement.  Plastic decking is fairly popular around here. My siblings have used it.   I wonder if they can recycle single use plastics besides jugs and bottles into decking?

Recycled paper.  A thousand and one uses including newsprint and kitty litter.

Cork.  Do you like plastic wine bottle stoppers?  I still prefer the cork.  Great list of uses. 

I had not heard of Soy plywood before! 

Nutshells! Besides filtering and composting, Black Walnuts make a tasty syrup too.  I’ve seen a story of using almond shells to make caskets in Spain.

While Straw can make Enviroboard, It’s still a good matting when putting down grass seed.

All of these solutions are wonderful.  The presentations clear and concise and where you couldn’t find more information on a particular material, you invite the reader to join in the effort.  Hopefully, you’ll get some useful responses.

Energy:

Paul describes the current US energy situation fairly, succinctly and provides an expansive list of practical energy solutions.

I like the Smartflower concept, it reminds me of a novel “The Cool War” by Frederik Pohl where there was a solar power station using flower petals arrayed in a coastal Mediterranean hill side. Solar farms are gaining in popularity.  There’s floating farms in Singapore and Hong Kong.  We have panels leased by Tesla(formerly Solar City) and are part of the grid. 

Hydrogen.  In many ways, you’d think this alternative would have received more attention, it being the most abundant fuel source in the universe and all.  There was a lot of noise about it at the dawn of this millennium. Jeremy Rifkin wrote “The Hydrogen Economy” and General Motors were looking at fuel cell powered cars among other ideas. That was nearly 20 years ago.  Still waiting.   I do like the Bloom Box idea.  It’s scalable and expandable.

Speaking of scale, Paul’s description on Wind Power offered great clarity in showing the different options for utilities and home power generation.  In MD we have wind farms in Garrett County on the highest mountains in the state and a new offshore wind facility was recently approved despite concerns by environmental activists (preserving horseshoe crab habitat).  In addition to your concerns on efficiency and health effects is the maintenance costs due to that turbine blades are not easily recyclable. Wind trees are a more attractive option.

Waves.  I would call this Wave/Tidal energy.  More reliable than wind.  Systems can be large or small and built right on the coast or on floating platforms in bays and estuaries.  It’s one of my faves since it provides nearly continuous power except at slack tide with no wind.  There’s a wide variety of tidal and wave power generation options especially portable options coming on the market reasonably soon.

Hemp Batteries.  Better and cheaper than graphene and it’s bulletproof?  Hemp can save the world.

 Food:

Think of all the vacant office buildings that could be converted to vertical farming, especially now.

Hydroponics and LED Hydroponics!  95% less water?  A no brainer for areas with little rainfall.  Aquaponics has been used in Asia for a while now. 

Any city with a depressed economy would be a great place to start eco villages maybe on a smaller scale as a proof of concept.

I’m intrigued about Cellular Ag.  Hopefully we’ll see this sooner than later.  Good breakdown of the veggie meat options. I’ve had Impossible and Beyond burgers but still go back to Morningstar Grillers Prime.

Medicine:

“You absolutely must consult your physician…”and “ …check with your doctor first.”  Always have a disclaimer.

We have marijuana dispensaries in MD and CBD oil is everywhere.  CT just approved medical marijuana this week!  I’m trying to find some herbal options for pain for my wife since she has Lyme disease leftovers in her system and cervical spine issues and she’s allergic to non-steroidal anti inflammation drugs.  Sound therapy does work for sure.  She sleeps with ocean waves on Youtube.

Ocean Pollution:

Speaking of ocean, I can’t agree with you more on acoustic pollution.  I’m reading the book, War of the Whales which covered the Navy’s use of sonar and explosives that was jamming the whales communications.  I wish they had used Vibroseis instead. Good points on quieter propellers and reduced speed for ships. You could also add changing shipping routes to the list which is what they did in the Santa Barbara channel because of all the ship strikes on whales 10 years ago.

Thermal pollution: If you use filters for your drinking water, you can certainly use them for used water.  Grey water for plants and shrubs. More trees and riparian buffers (We saw plenty of damage here in the Ellicott City floods of 2016 and 18). Cooling towers. They have them at Three Mile Island, but not at Calvert Cliffs or Diablo Canyon or Peach Bottom. Cooling agents are a welcome solution.

Ghost Nets:

I can’t begin to count the number of sea animal rescue videos I’ve seen with whales, whale sharks, turtles, pinnipeds, birds and dolphins being released from some remnant of the fishing industry.  I shudder to think what may happen with this fishing fleet hanging out outside of the Galapagos Protected Zone and other areas. We’ll need more than the olive Ridley Project on this one.

Plastics:

The Agilyx method shows promise and may be the main way we get out of this mess, but I would rather push for a circular economy and eco-packaging. U.S. government offices use Greenware in their eateries which is made from corn.  Compostable and edible packaging are the best for food packaging options and plastic made from hemp, corn and coffee.

Sewage and Septic:

I like the idea of the Cinderella Company line.  Not sure if it’s practical in big cities with large poor populations, which have the biggest challenges for waste.  The Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s HQ has compostable toilets but they’re not incinerators and they’ve had them for almost 20 years.  Good for a medium sized office complex.  Despite what Matt Damon did on Mars, human poop is not the best fertilizer. Otherwise, eco towers with circulating human waste to feed plants might be the option.

Species Extinction:

Leave half of it alone.  A tall order considering the rate of habitat loss we have wrought on the world.  Migration corridors need to be firmly established for this to work.  The Grey Wolf & the Bald Eagle are the best examples of successes with the Endangered Species Act.  Business interests will ALWAYS try to weaken it.  Trophy hunting and poaching would have to be abolished.  The IAPF, Veterans for Wildlife and WWF are good starts.  

Waste management:

Bears poop in the woods.  Deer poop in my yard! Well…so do birds, squirrels, chipmunks, groundhogs, stray cats, black rat snakes…..

Anyway, a circular economy is the way to go in the future.  Designing one is well underway, we just have to get the investors of the linear economy to invest in the new economy.  I love the biodegradable six pack rings.  There were products that broke down before, but they were still plastic and didn’t catch on and then you have more plastic bits in the environment.

Recirculate. Good concept and they really need to do it with vehicles too.

Regenerate.  I’m typing these notes on a Dell laptop. I’ll have to look into the Optiplex 3030.  If every manufacturer can replicate what they, Levi’s and Nike are doing, most of that waste can be dealt with effectively.  I would look for more examples like these for the next edition of EEH.

Water:

Yep. Waste is #1.  Baltimore has been replacing water lines (some over 100 yrs old) for more than 20 years and will be continuing for a while yet.  Sewage too.  Just putting new flush mechanisms on your existing toilet will have an impact on your water bill and the environment.  A very good list of daily things to do around the home.  We have a rain barrel and we only water if we need too and always in the late afternoon or evening when the lawn is in shade.  We monitor our usage too, but the bills have been a little funky of late.  Some of us are paying for other people’s bills because the new meters with wifi connections are working properly.  Like the sewer system, there’s somewhat of a stink about this.  A

We are very aware what washes into the watershed. One of the bright spots in Baltimore’s attempt at aiding the cleanup of that waste is the installation of water wheels at most of the ends of the creeks that empty into the harbor.  The first one, Mr. Trash Wheel, was installed in 2014 at the end of the Jones Falls.  He now has company not only here but several other wheels are planned or under construction in California and Panama.  Check out https://www.mrtrashwheel.com/

DIY cleaning solutions:

A great list of stuff. We need borax and microfiber cloths.  We buy a lot of natural cleaning products too but I’m still trying to find a good alternative to paper towels.  Thanks for including naturalhomebrands.com

Not sure how many folks can afford a home electrolizer for water but it’s good that the option is out there.  Zeromass water may be the solution for you folks out west

Air:

The air is certainly better here than say, 50 years ago.  Most of the industrial pollution is gone due more to economics than regulation.  Vehicles and power generation make up the bulk of our air pollution today.  We’ve had purifiers in the house for over a year now. But, we need more regulation.  Trump tried to kill the Clean Air Act, Biden is working to get it back to what it was.

Indigenous living:

The indigenous peoples have much to teach us. From intercropping to crop rotation, which Thomas Jefferson practiced, there is many techniques and practices that can aid water management, forestry and agriculture.  Land is being returned to native peoples lately, a continuing trend I hope. 

“Living well is all about good relations with Mother Earth and not about living by domination or extraction”. Pretty much sums it up.

The farming practices mentioned here are great for rural areas, but what about the burbs?  I see water harvesting as the next big thing out west.  Look no further than the rooftops in Bermuda where they collect their rainfall.  Make that harvesting community oriented so Nestle doesn’t try to squander it.

Only 1,200 new drugs approved by the FDA?  You’d think there were thousands more with all the TV advertising going on.

“We will be known by the tracks we leave.”  So true.

Our Village:

For urban living, Baltimore and other towns have quite few food deserts.  An eco-village(s) would work well here with the right investment. You can get a home here with less than 900 sq ft if you want something built before 1910.  Many older townhomes are even smaller.  Tiny homes could work here too, again with the right investment, but prices for these in MD range from $15,000 to almost $50,000 and none are in the city despite the vacant lots. Off Grid Box for neighborhood environments might be a better way to go.

You have lots of eco-village solutions for the reader to choose from so there’s no end to what they could find workable for their community.

Epilogue:

A good review of the history of the human presence by Steven.  Thanks to Rachel Carson for bringing our destructive ways to our attention, but I would argue that the conservation movement from the late 19th century got the ball rolling on that by getting land set aside for “future generations”.  Unfortunately, now those generations are pilfering what’s left if they can.  The argument is made!  Climate change is here.  I just hope we can be as mighty as we need to be for our future generations.

Overall, an incredible job.  Most of the environmental tomes I’ve read over the years cover specific issues or are written for a more academic audience.  You’ve managed to encapsulate all of the threats upon our world in clear, unambiguously inspirational way while being highly entertaining and providing easy to find options for the concerned reader.  I see revised editions of this book in your future as the solutions out there will propagate like well, weeds.  But that’s a good thing.

I hope these ramblings help.

Paul Loeschke, Environmentalist, Baltimore, MD