3 out of 4 stars
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Did you know that building a dam can alter the earth’s rotation? Sounds far-fetched, yet it is true. You can find many such bewildering facts in The Redesigned Earth, a non-fiction book written by Dr. John T. Tanacredi, a leading scientist and conservationist. Divided into eleven chapters, the book highlights various issues that severely threaten the earth’s ecosystem. The first chapter briefly discusses a few ecological principles, while the subsequent chapters deal with the topics of biodiversity, conservation, and restoration processes. Tanacredi presents detailed discourses on ecotoxicology, sanitary microbiology, terrestrial and aquatic ecology, and environmental risk assessment. The final chapter chronicles six case-studies that underscore the book’s messages.
Before going into a detailed review, I must mention that the readers should have at least a college-level knowledge of ecological principles to navigate through the pages. Readers lacking this knowledge might find the book unsuitable. To the intended audience, however, this is a gold mine of information.
Written in a format that rests somewhere between scientific literature and popular science books, The Redesigned Earth is a thorough and well-researched work. With the latest updates on ecology research and the citations corroborating the information, the book was immensely enjoyable. I was able to brush up my knowledge of ecology, aided by the first chapter that provided a concise summary of the major principles. I also gathered new information on quite a few interesting topics, including the methods of wastewater management and the principles behind environmental risk assessment. The inclusion of numerous diagrams, tables, and graphs ensured a thorough understanding of the text.
Tanacredi incorporated several anecdotes from his life experiences that balanced the textbook-like tone of the narrative. They also helped explain the theories more realistically. The book reflected Tanacredi’s in-depth understanding of the ecosystem functions and a deep-seated love for nature. The most likable part of the book was the concluding chapter. The well-chosen case studies presented here revealed his direct involvement in the conservation and restoration approaches.
If asked for the negative aspects, I would mention a few discrepancies in the detailing of the subject matter. Often, I wished Tanacredi would elaborate on certain principles or explain the technical terms to make the book more appealing to the general audience. On the other hand, minute details such as the exact dimensions of a wastewater treatment tank might seem unnecessary to most readers. Also, the book exceeded the permissible limit of ten errors. Considering these factors, I rate this 3 out of 4 stars.
The Redesigned Earth
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