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David de Rothschild's Global Warming Survival Handbook reviewed
A review of David de Rothschild's book
I recently published a hub here about how rude and unfair Alex Jones had been on his show when he had the opportunity to interview adventurer and environmentalist David de Rothschild about his book The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook . Like so many conspiracy theorists, Jones chose not to see De Rothschild as an individual, who might have his own views on the world, but to condemn him from the start simply because he is from the Rothschild elite banking family.
That David is a Rothschild does not mean, or should not mean, anything more than that - yes, he bears the name and comes from a fabulously wealthy background, however, that does not mean he cannot think for himself and doesn't mean he has to agree with everything his family believe or have done.
The show was Alex Jones at his worst, and I found myself siding with De Rothschild rather than the host.
David de Rothschild's book
The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handook
I decided I would actually get a copy of David's book to see what he really has to say for himself. He didn't get much of a chance on the show under the non-stop verbal attack from Jones.
I believe in looking for the good points in everyone and in their work and wanted to know what De Rothschild was saying. I bought a copy of The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handbook by David de Rothschild and this is my review of it.
It was published by Melcher Media in 2007 in conjunction with the Live Earth concerts and has the additional subtitle 77 Essential Skills to Stop Climate Change - or Live Through It .
The cover shows a polar bear on a life-raft surrounded by ocean and SOS as the message in a bottle. "Official Companion to the Live Earth Concerts" is emblazoned above the scene in an orange sun to symbolise global warming. The polar bear image is somewhat misleading because they can swim, although they do need land to swim to and the one in the illustration only has sea.
The book takes the view, as its title suggests, that global warming is a reality and that the time for debating this is over. We all need to make changes in our lives to help reverse it and to help save the planet and our future on it.
De Rothschild says: "The time has come to stop being part of the problem and to become part of the solution." I agree with him on that.
Whether you believe that humans are responsible for accelerating global warming, and I am not personally convinced that we make much difference, or feel that it is a natural cycle that is happening in our solar system, does not make most of the information in this book any less worthwhile. Naturally I don't agree with the author on everything but with a lot of it I do.
I think it is important to look for points of agreement with other people and their work rather than dismissing them without giving them a chance and pre-judging them as Jones and many of his followers have done with David.
The climate is changing and humans are ruining the environment and rendering other species severely endangered or actually extinct. We cannot deny these facts. Wildfires are on the rise and as I write Greece has just been devastated by fire that has destroyed homes and the environment there.
I have seen the effects of such fires for myself where I live in Tenerife and even though such fires may have been started by arsonists the fact that the countryside's vegetation is so tinder dry is evidence that the world has become hotter.
In my own view, we all do need to make changes in our lives, we all do need to stop doing things that waste resources, we all do need to be more in touch with the natural world and we all do need to recycle more and more. This is just good old common sense and respect for our planetary home and the other humans and wildlife we share the globe with.
De Rothschild's book is packed with common sense and easy to read. It is illustrated too and is small enough to carry around easily. It is as big as my hand - a real handbook.
After an introduction in which David de Rothschild talks about the weather and how it has become a controversial topic, he starts out by listing 10 Easy Steps to Help Fight Global Warming." They are to wear warmer clothing if you are chilly, to use energy-saving bulbs, not to leave electrical appliances on stand-by, to cut out using plastic bags when shopping by bringing your own reusable bag, to support local shops, not to use styrofoam and disposable cups and plates, to use public transport, to ride a bike or walk, to take shorter showers rather than long baths, and finally, to plant fruit and vegetables and trees and flowers.
I am well aware that there is a lot of current debate about the safety of the compact fluorescent light bulbs because of the mercury they contain, but apart from that, I agree with all the suggestions made there and are things I already do.
So what other advice does De Rothschild offer? Well, he advises against thinking big when it comes to cars, houses and electrical appliances to cut down on energy being used, and that makes sense to me too.
He offers tips on how to go about making positive changes in your life and suggests you approach achieving a goal on a gradient scale and to reward yourself as you progress for any points of success along the way. Later on in his book he suggests that throwing a party and celebrating is a good idea.
We all need some fun and enjoyment in our lives and David de Rothschild writes with a lot of humour in his book. As he says: "Laugh a little - saving the planet is going to be tough, but it doesn't have to be boring."
De Rothschild talks about how planes and the number of flights people are taking are causing big problems. Chemtrail-believers may be surprised to find out that David de Rothschild is in agreement with them that the artificial cirrus cloud cover that blankets the skies is not a good thing at all. He says that it traps heat and is generated by the exhaust emissions from planes, but he calls the persistent trails that cause it contrails not chemtrails.
De Rothschild advises using worms to recycle your vegetable waste into compost, which you can then use to help grow your own food crops. He recommends homegrown tomatoes as so much better than any you can buy in the shops and I would agree on that too.
He points out that comercially grown tomatoes waste energy in having to be transported many miles and that they are artificially turned red with ethylene gas as well as being refrigerated. De Rothschild is concerned about the fruit and vegetable types we have lost and says that America has lost 81% of its tomato varieties over the last century.
In a chapter entitled "Befriend Your Farmer," David has a lot to say about good old-fashioned farmers and how we should support them. He advises that it is a good idea to buy direct from farmers and to support local markets. He supports organic farming and is one himself.
De Rothschild thinks that it is important for people to connect with and enjoy nature and this is something I totally agree with him on having been fascinated by the natural world since I was a toddler. He advises to get out there and really experience a forest, a mountain, a field, a sunset or a dive in the ocean. I would advise the same!
David de Rothschild suggests that planting trees or supporting organisations that do is another wise thing to do, and again, in tune with nature,he recommends building a bat house and putting up bat boxes. These little animals are disappearing in many parts of the world so need all the help they can get.
De Rothschild devotes one section of his book to discuss the danger of extinction that so many species face and tells us that by 2050, scientists think that as much as one-third of plant and animal species may become extinct.
He suggests that saving rainwater is a very good idea and I would agree. I remember my granddad and father always had water butts in their gardens to do just that.
David de Rothschild thinks that vegetarianism is the way forward and he also speaks out against leather boots saying that whilst "The Fonz" may have been very "cool" the formaldehyde and other chemicals added to the hides are decidedly not!
On the recycling front, David talks about how one person's rubbish could be just what their neighbour needs and he suggests using the Internet to buy and sell or exchange our unwanted goods. The author also points out some of the many ways that newspaper can be used again such as padding material in fragile packages and shredded as something that can go in the compost heap.
The Live Earth Global Warming Survival Handook includes a glossary of technical terms and a detailed Resources list, which includes Adventure Ecology, the movement and website that De Rothschild founded.
Alex Jones and conspiracy theorists may not approve but I would say that there is a lot of excellent information in David de Rothschild's book and can highly recommend it.
David de Rothschild links
New Facebook fansite for David de Rothschild
- Adventure Ecology
- David Mayer de Rothschild - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia