Paying his own way, Mark Hertsgaard set out on a world tour in 1991 wondering what people thought of environmental problems. Earth Odyssey is his result, a sweeping and provocative work of travel and serious reporting that covers 19 countries and reveals, with often stark reality and vision, the legacy and prospects for our global environment.
Hertsgaard focuses on and reveals much of his story through the people who guide him and whom he meets along the way. After touring a state-owned paper factory in Chongqing, China, and seeing billowing clouds of chlorine and foaming rivers, Hertsgaard hears his guide and interpreter Zhenbing mourning for his country. In Sudan, Hertsgaard visits areas of extreme famine and poverty, where "the environment is no abstraction" to the people who live there. Through interviews with Vaclav Havel, Jacques Cousteau and Al Gore, as well as research and philosophy about the roles of industry and technology, the global environmental picture is etched skilfully chapter by chapter. When at Africa's Lake Turkana, Hertsgaard delineates in clarity and detail the evolution of our species and the history of technology to build perspective on our current lifestyles, values and environmental problems.
Earth Odyssey is not only a good book but an important one--even essential--grasping the true human predicament as we face a worldwide environmental breakdown. --Byron Ricks, Amazon.com [via]