Review: Nature’s Extremes–Inside the Great Natural Disasters That Shape Life on Earth (Time Magazine Hardcover)

5 Star, Nature, Diet, Memetics, Design

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Amazon Page

Better than Inconvenient Truth, A Tremendous Contribution,

July 8, 2006
Editors Of Time Magazine
The ideal combination for anyone seeking to understand what Al Gore calls An Inconvenient Truth is the video by Gore and this book. I would supplement that with J. F. Richard’s High Noon 20 Global Problems, 20 Years to Solve Them and E. O. Wilson’s The Future of Life.

Unlike the Gore book, which is admirable in its content and purpose, but got lost with an explosion of varying font sizes and color schemes that block knowledge transmission rather than aid it, this book by TIME has the investigative journalistic rigor and the editorial maturity that I look for in Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) products–tailored knowledge helpful in making major public policy decisions.

The structure of this book is perfect: Inside the Planet; The Water Planet; The Land Planet; and Above the Planet. There is an index and the maps and graphics are world-class. The content is presented in a straight-forward analytic fashion. CIA should do work this good.

I have often wished that TIME might adjust its editorial mind-set to be the de facto Public Intelligence Agency for the planet. This book addresses threat number three of the ten threats identified by the High Level Threat Panel of the United Nations. The other threats, in order, are poverty, infectuous disease, [environmental degradation], inter-state war, civil war, genocide, other atrocities (e.g. trade in women and children, kidnapping for body parts or forced labor including prostitution), proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and crime. I would be quite thrilled if TIME committed to doing books on each of these threats, and creating an interactive Public Intelligence Website that tied the books together and to the actual budgets of the United States and other nations, in that way showing how our USA national budget is badly mis-directed, and perhaps inspiring other nations once we get our priorities right ourselves.

This book is a joy to read, intelligent, a real keeper.

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