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Hardcover | $35.00 Short | £24.95 | ISBN: 9780262025720 | 272 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 48 illus.| October 2004
Paperback | ISBN: 9780262524674 | 272 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 48 illus.| August 2006

Essential Info

Of Related Interest

America's Environmental Report Card

Are We Making the Grade?


Americans today are increasingly concerned about the state of the environment. Polls show that a remarkable 63 percent would roll back recent tax cuts to finance environmental protection and that fully 95 percent want environmental education included in the public school curriculum. America's Environmental Report Card offers answers to some of our most pressing environmental questions, providing a timely reminder of what we need to accomplish to achieve a sustainable environment. It lays out the scientific facts about water and air pollution, energy, global warming, and the ozone layer in a lively, conversational style, enhanced by illustrations, and charts a course of action for protecting the environment.

America's Environmental Report Card focuses on the environmental issues that polls show are most important to Americans today. It looks at water pollution and the safety of the water supply (20 percent of Americans refuse to drink tap water, at least partly because they doubt its safety), the dangers of floods (increased by the clearing of forests for farms and timber), the leaching of garbage buried in landfills, and pesticide runoff in irrigation waters from agriculture. It examines the ways we generate energy and the resulting global warming, air pollution (much of the 2,500 gallons of air we inhale each day contains exhaust fumes, lead, and asbestos), and ozone depletion and its relationship to skin cancer, and offers a detailed account of nuclear energy production and the radioactive waste it generates. Most important, it outlines ways to deal with these problems—workable and reasonable solutions that individuals, industry, and government can effect without unreasonable hardship, solutions that map the course to a sustainable future.

About the Author

Harvey Blatt is the author of America's Environmental Report Card: Are We Making the Grade? (MIT Press). He taught geology at the University of Houston and the University of Oklahoma for many years and is now Professor of Geology at the Institute of Earth Sciences at Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


“A wonderful primer for the general reader. I’m not aware of any book that provides such a useful overview of environmental science.” , Jim Motavalli, E/The Environmental Magazine

“Geologist Blatt carefully examines the many serious issues confronting the Earth's environment, and honestly assesses the efforts and accomplishments of the United States in addressing them. A useful primer on environmentalists' concerns and government responses.” , H. J. Kirchhoff, The Globe and Mail

“Frank but hopeful, serious but readable, this is an excellent environmental science primer.” —Publishers Weekly


"A wonderful primer for the general reader. I'm not aware of any book that provides such a useful overview of environmental science."
Jim Motavalli, editor, E/The Environmental Magazine

"This book is an environmental mirror held up for the American public to study and reflect upon. It highlights and presents in a straightforward manner what should be seen and acknowledged by all citizens as the greatest challenge to our future and our security. The environmental report card that Blatt presents goes far beyond 'how we are doing' to urgent discussions of how we got here and what decisions we have to make to ensure a livable environment for our own and coming generations. America's Environmental Report Card should be required reading for politicians at local, state, and federal levels, regardless of party affiliation or positions on environmental policy."
James W. Jordan, Department of Environmental Studies, Antioch New England Graduate School