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The Big Picture: Reflections on Science, Humanity, and a Quickly Changing Planet Paperback – Mar 30 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Greystone Books / David Suzuki Foundation; Original edition (March 30 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1553653971
  • ISBN-13: 978-1553653974
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.7 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #194,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

We've got lots of nuts-and-bolts accounts of our environmental predicament—leave it to David Suzuki and Dave Robert Taylor to back up and give us the big view that puts things in perspective. A necessary book! —Bill McKibben

(2009-01-15)

Few have the vision to see the 'Big Picture'. Fortunately, David Suzuki does. As well as the ability to fit us with a prescription that enables us all to see it as clearly as he does. If you care for the environment, or simply want to gain more understanding of the natural world, you must read this book! —Ed Begley, Jr.

(2009-01-16)

One reason for David Suzuki's status as most popular living Canadian is obvious: He is able to see The Big Picture and to communicate that vision to a broad audience . . . These essays offer thoughtful analysis of some of the serious problems we humans have created . . . And they also celebrate some of the things we are getting right. With a mix of humour, righteous anger, and suggested solutions to our problems, the essays in this book are provocative, entertaining, and enlightening. —Finding Solutions

(2009-03-28)

Suzuki asks us to think beyond just swapping cloth bags for plastic, and instead consider and change the state of not just our neighborhood, but htat of our primary residence—the Earth. —Winnipeg Free Press

(2009-05-30)

Covering suburban sprawl, sustainable transportation, food shortages, biodiversity, technology, public policy and other issues, The Big Picture not only identifies the problems we face but proposes science-based solutions. —Toronto Star

(2009-06-01)

The Big Picture covers issues from suburban sprawl to food shortages and everything in between, seeing science based solutions to today's most pressing challenges. —Granville Magazine

(2009-07-01)

The Big Picture constructs an environmentalism that celebrates and would protect life on earth. For British Columbia, Suzuki not only puts us 'on the map' but also reconceptualises this place we call home. —BC Studies

(2010-08-26)

About the Author

David Suzuki is an internationally renowned geneticist and environmentalist and a recipient of UNESCO’s Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science and the 2009 Right Livelihood Award. Host of the longrunning CBC television program The Nature of Things, he is also the author of more than fifty books.



Dave Robert Taylor is a journalist, writer, and former Director of Communications with the David Suzuki Foundation. His work has appeared in the Globe & Mail, the Toronto Star, and other newspapers and magazines across Canada. He has also written for television and film and is a past winner of the CBC's Signature Shorts screen writing competition. Taylor graduated with honours from the University of Victoria, where he also completed the post-graduate Harvey Southam professional writing program and was the first person to receive the Harvey Southam Award for his thesis on journalism ethics. Taylor lives with his family in New Westminster, British Columbia.


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Pletko TOP 50 REVIEWER on May 23 2009
Format: Paperback
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"Unless we can find a way to live in balance with the natural systems that sustain us, our species will ultimately reach a dead end.

That's the bottom line...

We live in a fractured world, pummelled by random information, very little of which actually addresses this bottom-line reality...

This book, a selection of essays [first published under the title "Science Matters"] compiled to help readers put some of the fractured pieces back together, represents a modest start in that direction. It's not comprehensive, by any means. In truth, it will probably raise more questions than it answers. But perhaps that's a good thing...[We] need to step back...and try our very best to see the big picture [so as to put everything in proper context]."

The above is found in this down to Earth, easy-to-read book by Dr. David Suzuki and David Taylor. Suzuki is a scientist (geneticist), environmentalist (being recognized as a world authority in sustainable ecology), broadcaster, author, and professor emeritus (being a professor for over thirty years). Taylor is a writer and journalist.

Here generally is what each chapter is about:

(1) Science, research, and ignorance
(2) Interconnections in the Earth`s biosphere. (The biosphere is the zone of our planet where life naturally occurs.)
(3) Planet biodiversity and how to protect it. (Biodiversity is diversity or variety in living things.)
(4) Natural services provided by our planet and human economics. (Natural services or ecosystem services are essential services provided free of charge by the planet like stable climate, clean water, and fertile soils.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D.B. Wilson on May 13 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is a smorgasbord of essays that, at best, provides a kaleidoscopic picture of our current situation but offers nothing more than exhortations to readers to lobby their politicians to act. But act toward what? Dr. Suzuki didn't provide the vision of the sustainable Canada of 2050.

The key to sustainability is the rapid curtailment of human population growth. Dr. Suzuki is silent on this prerequisite for sustainability in "The BIG Picture".

Does Dr. Suzuki really see the BIG picture when he writes "... if my family were starving and I saw an endangered plant or animal we could eat, I'd have to kill it and bring it back to my family for food (p. 98)." Dr. Suzuki was wrong to make this statement. And it implies that he doesn't really see the BIG solution.

For Amazon customers to get The BIG Solution, and an honest sense of hope and direction, I urge them to read books by authors Richard Heinberg (on the oil depletion protocol) and George Monbiot (on contract and converge).

This book lacks endnotes, references or bibliography for the curious reader; uses Imperial units; and has an incomplete index.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
If you care for this precious, blue planet... May 23 2009
By Stephen Pletko - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
XXXXX

"Unless we can find a way to live in balance with the natural systems that sustain us, our species will ultimately reach a dead end.

That's the bottom line...

We live in a fractured world, pummelled by random information, very little of which actually addresses this bottom-line reality...

This book, a selection of essays [first published under the title "Science Matters"] compiled to help readers put some of the fractured pieces back together, represents a modest start in that direction. It's not comprehensive, by any means. In truth, it will probably raise more questions than it answers. But perhaps that's a good thing...[We] need to step back...and try our very best to see the big picture [so as to put everything in proper context]."

The above is found in this down to Earth, easy-to-read book by Dr. David Suzuki and David Taylor. Suzuki is a scientist (geneticist), environmentalist (being recognized as a world authority in sustainable ecology), broadcaster, author, and professor emeritus (being a professor for over thirty years). Taylor is a writer and journalist.

Here generally is what each chapter is about:

(1) Science, research, and ignorance
(2) Interconnections in the Earth`s biosphere. (The biosphere is the zone of our planet where life naturally occurs.)
(3) Planet biodiversity and how to protect it. (Biodiversity is diversity or variety in living things.)
(4) Natural services provided by our planet and human economics. (Natural services or ecosystem services are essential services provided free of charge by the planet like stable climate, clean water, and fertile soils.)
(5) Climate change and global warming
(6) Global transportation (including car culture)
(7) Food: feeding humans on our planet in the 21ST century
(8) Technology and consumerism
(9) The media and social change
(10) Sustainable planet public policy

As you can see, this book does not just look at our environmental problems but actually looks beyond them to detail the forces that prevent real beneficial change from occurring. The result is a book that examines many spheres such as the scientific, psychological, sociological, environmental, technological, medical, and political. Also included is some of the latest research.

In my case, there were a couple of things said that I did not agree with. But overwhelmingly, Suzuki made some excellent and interesting points.

This book may get some people angry because some people may not have thought about our environmental predicament as thoroughly as Suzuki has.

Finally, the only problem I found is that this book has no references or notes. Informal references are included in the main narrative itself but I would have liked to have seen some formal references as well as footnotes to back up some figures that were included.

In conclusion, this is a much-needed book. I leave you with its very last paragraph:

"But ultimately, you take away all our scientific knowledge and all our technologies, all of our art, and all of our culture, and we are still another species. We need air to breathe, water to drink, and food to eat just like every other organism on our little planet. We are but a small, shiny cog in the big wheel of life on Earth. And as shiny and fascinating as we are, we need the humility to recognize that fact, because in the end, the Earth doesn't need us.

But we certainly need it."

**** 1/2

(first published 2009; preface; 10 chapters; final words; main narrative 270 pages; acknowledgements; index; about the authors; about The David Suzuki Foundation)

<<Stephen Pletko, London, Ontario, Canada>>

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The Big Picture: Reflections on Science, Humanity, June 18 2013
By Sheryl A. Carlsen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Big Picture is an excellent overview of our changing environment. It raises one's awareness of the implications of our actions and the need to make important changes.


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