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The hard questions.

There are no words one is more likely to read on the cover of an environmental book than "Foreword by Bill McKibben." The collection, A Passion for this Earth: Writers, Scientists, and Activists Explore Our Relationship with Nature and the Environment (Greystone Books, $21), is no exception, and gives ubiquitous environmental spokesperson McKibben the opportunity to write about David Suzuki, whose work inspired the essays. Equal parts TV science broadcaster and environmental activist, Suzuki embodied the idea that the environmental movement needs teeth.


Essays in the book attest to that need, including "Save the Environment--Take Back the Media," by E's publisher and founder, Doug Moss. In it, Moss calls for serious reform, from halting media consolidation, to finding funding outlets for progressive media and a broader acknowledgment that writing about issues is very much "doing something" about them. Ecofeminist Sherilyn MacGregor gives a pointed response to the question of women's role in the movement, by dismissing the idea that a female approach will solve anything. Instead she says to strengthen the "three ships": "citizenship, leadership, and scholarship." And in his essay "The Real Stuff," Richard Mabey argues against Intelligent Design and asks, "Isn't this something to have faith in? The stuff of life, the astonishing, resilient, surreal inventiveness of it all?"

These authors ask the hard questions that many in the environmental movement have shied away from. It's a service to Suzuki, who firmly believed in the necessity of speaking up.

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Title Annotation:A Passion for this Earth: Writers, Scientists, and Activists Explore Our Relationship with Nature and the Environment
Author:Belli, Brita
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jul 1, 2008
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A passion for this earth; writers, scientists, and activists explore our relationship with nature and the environment.

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