The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World

Carl Safina, Holt, $30 (416p) ISBN 978-0-8050-9040-6
The environment’s glass is half-full for lyrical conservationist Safina (Song for the Blue Ocean)—even though coral reefs are suffocating under seaweed as parrotfish, which normally consume it, are netted to near extinction; penguins are finding less food to forage for as the Antarctic Ocean’s winter sea ice melts earlier and freezes later, reducing the krill they can feed on; and migrating shorebirds are starving because horseshoe crabs have been overhunted and there aren’t enough eggs to fuel the birds’ annual 20,000-mile roundtrip. These are a few of many cause-and-effect calamities addressed in Safina’s compassionate account of both a year of four seasons around his eastern Long Island beachfront home, and his travels that same year to the Arctic, the Antarctic, the Caribbean, and the islands of the Pacific. He leavens the gloom, however, with this perception: “I’m continually struck by how much beauty and vitality the world still holds”—an optimism that suffuses this sensible and sensitive book. Safina reserves his real anger for capitalists, whose predatory practices, he writes at some length, “continually privatize profits and socialize costs,” brazenly fouling the environment. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 09/20/2010
Release date: 01/01/2011
Open Ebook - 416 pages - 978-1-4299-5035-0
MP3 CD - 978-1-5226-7149-7
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