We have disrupted the natural water cycle for centuries in an effort to control water for our own prosperity. Yet every year, recovery from droughts and floods costs billions of dollars, and we spend billions more on dams, diversions, levees, and other feats of engineering.These massive projects not only are risky financially and environmentally, they often threaten social and political stability. What if the answer was not further control of the water cycle, but repair and replenishment? Sandra Postel takes readers around the world to explore water projects that work with, rather than against, nature'srhythms. In New Mexico, forest rehabilitation is safeguarding drinking water; along the Mississippi River, farmers are planting cover crops toreduce polluted runoff; and in China, "sponge cities” are capturing rainwater to curb urban flooding. Efforts like these will be essential as climate change disrupts both weather patterns and the models on which we base our infrastructure. We will be forced to adapt. The question is whether we will continue to fight the water cycle or recognize our place in it and take advantage of the inherservices nature offers. Water, Postel writes, is a gift,the source of life itself. How will we use this greatest of gifts?
It's the pesticide on our dinner plates, a chemical so pervasive it's in the air we breathe, our water, our soil, and even found increasingly in our own bodies. Known as Monsanto's Roundup by consumers, and as glyphosate by scientists, the world's mpopular weed killer is used everywhere from backyard gardens to golf courses to millions of acres of farmland. For decades it's been touted as safe enough to drink, but a growing body of evidence indicates just the opposite, with research tying the chemical to cancers and a hof other health threats. In Whitewash, veteran journalist Carey Gillam uncovers one of the mcontroversial stories in the history of food and agriculture, exposing new evidence of corporate influence. Gillam introduces readers to farm families devastated by cancers which they believe are caused by the chemical, and to scientists whose reputations have been smeared for publishing research that contradicted business interests. Readers learn about the arm-twisting of regulators who signed off on the chemical, echoing company assurances of safety even as they permitted higher residues of the pesticide in food and skipped compliance tests. And, in startling detail, Gillam reveals secret industry communications that pull back the curtain on corporate efforts to manipulate public perception. Whitewash is more than an exposé about the hazards of one chemical or even the influence of one company. It's a storyof power, politics, and the deadly consequences of putting corporate interests ahead of public safety.
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