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PBS series: How We Got to Now with Steven Johnson
Dirty water has killed more humans than all the wars of history combined, but in the last 150 years, a series of radical ideas, extraordinary innovations and unsung heroes have changed our world. Johnson plunges into a sewer to understand what made a maverick engineer decide to lift the city of Chicago with screw jacks in order to build America's first sewer system. He talks about John Leal, who deliberately "poisoned" the water supply of 200,000 people when, without authorization, he added chlorine, considered lethal in 1908, into Jersey City's water and made it safe to drink. This isn't only about the world becoming a cleaner place -- the iPhone, the subway, flat screen TVs and even the bikini are the result of the valiant efforts of the unsung heroes of clean.
Every Last Drop by In the developed world, if you want a drink of water you just turn on a tap or open a bottle. But for millions of families worldwide, finding clean water is a daily challenge, and kids are often the ones responsible for carrying water to their homes. Every Last Droplooks at why the world's water resources are at risk and how communities around the world are finding innovative ways to quench their thirst and water their crops. Maybe you're not ready to drink fog, as they do in Chile, or use water made from treated sewage, but you can get a low-flush toilet, plant a tree, protect a wetland or just take shorter showers. Every last drop counts!
Call Number: HD1691 .M84 2014
Publication Date: 2014-04-01
From the Bottom Up by Chad Pregracke was a high school student when he first glimpsed the trash that littered the bottom of the Mississippi, a shocking sight that launched him on a quest to clean up the river. After four discouraging years seeking government help without success, he decided to take his fund-raising private-- and a corporate sponsor decided to take a chance on this naive but unshakably determined young man. Ten years later Chad's one-man project has grown into a $500,000 operation with more than 60 sponsors (including National Geographic). His work has been featured on national news and won numerous honors and accolades, but its grassroots, can-do spirit still thrives aboard the 135-foot barge that serves as home base for his organization, a floating environmental classroom, and an inspiration to people of all ages. This is the story of his personal triumph as an advocate for America's rivers. Chad measures success in tons of garbage removed and thousands of people with a new stake in-- and a new understanding of-- the river environment. But From the Bottom Up is much more as well: a first-person chronicle of Chad's own life along the Mississippi featuring colorful characters, a near-death experience, a haunted swamp, and other flourishes worthy of a modern Mark Twain; and a fascinating portrait of the river itself which explores everything from the natural history of mussels and catfish to Indian lore to the key role of the Mississippi in our country's history.
Call Number: TD223 .P73 2007
Publication Date: 2008-09-16
Pandemic by "From the author of The Fever, a wide-ranging inquiry into the origins of pandemics Interweaving history, original reportage, and personal narrative, Pandemic explores the origins of epidemics, drawing parallels between the story of cholera-one of history's most disruptive and deadly pathogens-and the new pathogens that stalk humankind today, from Ebola and avian influenza to drug-resistant superbugs. More than three hundred infectious diseases have emerged or reemerged in new territory during the past fifty years, and 90 percent of epidemiologists expect that one of them will cause a disruptive, deadly pandemic sometime in the next two generations. To reveal how that might happen, Sonia Shah tracks each stage of cholera's dramatic journey from harmless microbe to world-changing pandemic, from its 1817 emergence in the South Asian hinterlands to its rapid dispersal across the nineteenth-century world and its latest beachhead in Haiti. She reports on the pathogens following in cholera's footsteps, from the MRSA bacterium that besieges her own family to the never-before-seen killers emerging from China's wet markets, the surgical wards of New Delhi, the slums of Port-au-Prince, and the suburban backyards of the East Coast. By delving into the convoluted science, strange politics, and checkered history of one of the world's deadliest diseases, Pandemic reveals what the next epidemic might look like-and what we can do to prevent it"--
"Interweaving history, original reportage, and personal narrative, Pandemic explores the origins of epidemics, drawing parallels between the story of cholera--one of history's most disruptive and deadly pathogens--and the new pathogens that stalk humankind today"--
Call Number: RA643 .S52 2016
Publication Date: 2016-02-16
An Epidemic of Absence by Whether it is asthma, food or pollen allergies, type-1 diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis, or Crohn's disease, everyone knows someone who suffers from an allergic or autoimmune disorder. And if it appears that the prevalence of these maladies has increased recently, that's because it has--to levels never before seen in human history. These days no fewer than one in five, and likely more, Americans suffer from one of these ailments. We seem newly, and bafflingly, vulnerable to immune system malfunction. Why? Science writer Moises Velasquez-Manoff explains the latest thinking about this problem and explores the remarkable new treatments in the works. In the past 150 years, improved sanitation, water treatment, and the advent of vaccines and antibiotics have saved countless lives, nearly eradicating diseases that had plagued humanity for millennia. But now, a growing body of evidence suggests that the very steps we took to combat infections also eliminated organisms that kept our bodies in balance. The idea that we have systematically cleaned ourselves to illness challenges deeply entrenched notions about the value of societal hygiene and the harmful nature of microbes. Yet scientists investigating the rampant immune dysfunction in the developed world have inevitably arrived at this conclusion. To address this global "epidemic of absence," they must restore the human ecosystem.
Call Number: QR181.7 .V45 2012
Publication Date: 2012-09-04