Relating Ishmael To Earth Odyssey

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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In Mark Hertsgaard's book Earth Odyssey, he begins by posing the question, "Will the human species survive the many environmental pressures in on it at the end of the twentieth century?" Many similar questions are addressed in this book, as well as in Ishmael, by Daniel Quinn. The authors of both books agree, and attempt to convince the reader, that these questions presented and the answers relating to them should be brought to the attention of, and discussed by, the citizens of the world. Both books have a common concern, that we as the people of this earth need to be much more aware of, and pro-active against the environmental, and consumer related problems created by the taker cultures that are consuming our planet.

The problem of the rapidly increasing population of this planet is addressed in both books. Along with the ever-increasing population, comes an ever increasing and disturbing difference between lower and upper classes.

Unless we implement a plan to bridge this gap, then this environmentally sound future that we hope to create will remain a dream. According to Ishmael, the population of the world doubles every 35 years, and with this out-of-control population increase, the world's environmental and social problems spin out-of-control along with it. Our insatiable need for continuous improvement and growth is destroying our planet, however very few of us care to recognize the immediate need for action.

Earth Odyssey discusses many topics, including the environmental implications of global warming. In his journey, Hertsgaard visits a paper factory in China. The clouds of chlorine and polluted rivers, cause Hertsgaard's guide Zhenbing great discomfort and he mourns for his country and the fate of the world. The depletion of the ozone causes increasingly warmer climates all over the world; this damage to...