Dancing at the Dead Sea : Journey to the Heart of Environmental Crisis, Paperback

Dancing at the Dead Sea : Journey to the Heart of Environmental Crisis Paperback

2 out of 5 (1 rating)


After winning the Global Reuters IUCN media award for excellence in environmental reporting, Alanna Mitchell launches herself on an odyssey that takes her around the world, zeroing in on it's environmental hotspots.

Travelling from Madagascar to the Middle East, from the Arctic to the Galapagos Islands, her goal is to explore how humanity can flourish without destroying the planet.

She begins with a term of study at Oxford University where she studies Darwin's theories.

Darwin challenged the idea that the earth and its species were created for man's benefit and succeeded in overturning the accepted view.

Today, we are at a similar crossroads, one where we need to come to terms with the fact that all creation is not here for us, that we are but one species dependent on other species and planetary life-support systems for our own existence.

As his theories of evolution changed the whole way of Victorian thinking, so Alanna sets out to persuade us that we can accept a similar seismic change and learn to treat our environment in a way that will prolong, rather than shorten its shelf life.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Conservation of the environment
  • ISBN: 9781903919637



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Maybe this is intended for kids, though a book that has a blurb by Richard Leakey will make even kids have reservations about scientific accuracy. Oh, suppose the basic facts are wrong--I didn't get very far--but if you know even a medium bit about global environmental problems, this will seem way too elementary. Say if you read mags such as New Scientist semi-regularly, the environmental section of NYT, New Yorker, etc.I started covering climate change and environmental issues almost 20 years ago, so perhaps my expectations are high: tell us something new, dammit. Galapagos? Gosh. I've read so much over the years about rainforests and dams, the disasters revealed in Russia and Eastern Europe in the 1990s--doesn't every adult know this by now? Even the approach of emphasizing endangered animals--very kid-friendly approach. And if you're going to do that, you've got to look at the new tremendous demand from China that is threatening so much animal and marine life. That was the undiscussed theme at the last CITES meeting I attended.For something that doesn't reach very far, I'm probably too critical. But I still have plenty to learn from writers like the New Yorker's Elizabeth Kolbert. Her Field Notes from a Catastrophe is definitely a better place to start than this book. Teenagers can understand it just fine.