Sunday, July 21, 2013

If You Love This Planet: A Plan to Heal the Earth

1992, possibly first paperback edition, from Norton
Dr. Helen Caldicott
If You Love This Planet: A Plan to Heal the Earth
Possibly bought newish for $11.95
Slightly worn paperback

This time Caldicott turns her attention towards the environment, making the point that even if we're not destroyed by nuclear power, there are other human-made threats to our lives.  As such, the book is a downer, and it left me thinking at times, "Maybe I just like this planet, because I'm not willing to give up white toilet paper, junk food, or television."  I think everyone should do what they can to help save the planet, but I also think she's intolerant of people who don't want to live as simply as she claims to.  (And I couldn't help thinking about how she contributes to environmental degradation through frequent international travel.)  Also, when I read, after a chapter on overpopulation (Caldicott has three children), a sappy description of how just looking at their baby should be enough to keep parents off drugs and alcohol, I wanted to get Anne Lamott (whose Operating Lessons is coming up in '93) in a debate with her.

All that said, I do still find Caldicott's idealism, intelligence, and bursts of humor appealing.  Like with Missile Envy, take this with a grain of salt (including the outdated stats), and find what you can apply to your own life.  We'll see how Caldicott came to her opinions in more depth with her 1997 autobiography, A Desperate Passion.

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