Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Monday's green books series: Disappearing Destinations

Sorry for the one day delay (who knew babies don't like to sleep during the night??), but it was worth waiting. Our book for this week will take you on a very different journey to some of the most beautiful places in the world, from Machu Picchu, Peru to Venice, Italy. You might not like what you see, but this book presents you

Our book for today is:

Disappearing Destinations: 37 Places in Peril and What Can Be Done to Help Save Them

Authors: Heather Hansen and Kimberly Lisagor

Heather Hansen has worked on staff at Boston magazine, the Sunday Independent (Johannesburg, South Africa) and the Provincetown Banner, where she wrote extensively on people and the environment. She won the Harper's magazine award for Distinguished Magazine Writing in 1999, and has contributed to two books by Gail Sheehy: Middletown, America and Hillary's Choice. Heather has political science and English degrees from Mount Holyoke College and a masters in journalism from UC Berkeley. She lives in Boulder, Colorado.

Kimberly Lisagor is a freelance journalist who has written about travel and the environment for Outside, Mother Jones, Men's Journal, NationalGeographic Adventure, USA Weekend, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times and others. She is the author of Outside's Wilderness Lodge Vacations(W.W. Norton & Co., 2004), which won the Lowell Thomas Award for best guidebook and an Award of Excellence from the North American Travel Journalists Association. She lives in San Luis Obispo, California.

Publisher: Vintage

Published on: April 8, 2008

What it is about (from the
publisher's website): A beautiful and memorable look at some of the most gorgeous endangered places on the planet. Machu Picchu is a mesmerizing, ancient Incan city tucked away in the mountains of Peru, but it is rapidly being worn down by the thousands of feet treading across its stones. Glacier National Park is a destination long known for the stunning beauty of its ice floes, but in our lifetimes it will have no glaciers due to global warming.

In the biobays of Puerto Rico swimmers can float in a sea shimmering with bioluminescent life, but sediment being churned up by development is killing the dinoflagellates that produce the eerie and beautiful glow. And in the Congo Basin of Africa, where great apes roam freely in lush, verdant rainforests, logging is quickly destroying the vast life-giving canopies.

These places - along with many others across the globe - are changing as we speak due to global warming, environmental degradation, overuse, and natural causes. From the Boreal Forests in Finland to the Yangtze River Valley in China, 37 Places to See Before They Disappear is a treasure trove of geographic wonder, and a guide to these threatened destinations and what is being done to save them.

Why you should get it:
1. I like the approach of responsible tourism presented by the book, which basically means 'travel, don't stay at home, but do it responsibly. Choosing travel responsibly will have a much better impact on the local economies and the environment in these places than staying at home. Kimberly Lisagor gave a great example with regards to the Galapagos that explains this logic on her
Amazon blog.

2. I think the book handles a very important issue that needs to be dealt with ASAP. I have been only in 3 of these 37 destinations (Dead Sea, Israel, Great Barrier Reef, Australia and Amazon Basin, Brazil), but as someone who traveled in many countries around the world, I've seen many places in peril. There are many important cultural and natural destinations worldwide that managed to survive for hundreds of years and are now in peril due to the impacts of irresponsible tourism. Hopefully this book will contribute to more awareness that will lead to more actions.

3. The destinations are narrated by very interesting narrators - the story of each destination is told from the perspective of locals and others, from activists and entrepreneurs to scientists and government officials.

4. This guide is definitely different from any travel guide you have seen. This is not another Lonely Planet or Fodor's, not only because of its unique sustainable approach, but also because it is a call for action that can actually assist in conserving these beautiful places and increase the chances that our children and grandchildren will also be able to enjoy them.

What others say about it:
"The entries are not all somber; destinations are introduced with descriptions of their natural charms. And the authors do spotlight cruise lines and resort operators who are trying to get it right. But the book's principal mission is to show what we stand to lose, how quickly we stand to lose it, and how we might avoid that. " Jerry Haines, Washington Post

""Destinations" takes a journalistic approach, befitting its authors' backgrounds in newspaper and magazine writing." Diane Daniel, Boston Globe

Wants to learn more? check Kimberly Lisagor's Amazon blog, where you can find great pieces on the issue of sustainable tourism. You can also listen to listen to the podcast of Kimberly’s interview on Warm 106.9.

If you're looking for other interesting green books, you are invited to check out our
green books page on our website's green resources section.

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: plant a tree for every book you read!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would suggest using GreenTextbooks.org
Save Money, Save The Planet
GreenTextbooks.org specializes in the recycling of textbooks, DVDs, CDs. Buying used textbooks not only saves you money, but cuts down on greenhouse gases caused by the manufacturing of new textbooks.
With GreenTextbooks.org you're not only saving trees, you are saving some green.