Green Reading

We’ve all bought recyclable bags, turned off our lights for global energy-saving ceremonies, replaced our appliances with newer energy-saving models, and favored organic produce and cosmetics over conventional mass-produced items. There’s a whole load of buzzwords to go with the “green movement”: energy efficiency, sustainable development, carbon footprint, climate change, and all that jazz, but very few people actually understand what ecology is.

Get a Grip on Ecology by David Burnie is a handy compendium of green knowledge that explores ecology — the fascinating study of the network of relationships between living things and the environment, printed on recycled paper in green and black ink. I actually spotted it at a bargain bookstore, thought it looked interesting, then cheapo me thought it was too expensive and wishlisted it on BookMooch instead. A copy soon came up and was sent to me a few weeks later.

According to the book, the word Ecology was coined in 1866 by German naturalist Ernst Heinrich Haeckel, combining the words oikos (Greek for home or household) and logos (study of). A professor of zoology, Haeckel started a whole new branch of science by looking at the way different species interacted with their living environment.

The book is actually pretty comprehensive, divided into six chapters covering the disruption of nature caused by technology and the population boom, important personalities in ecology, key theories, and relevant facts and figures, all disguised in fun to read, bite -size pieces embellished with two-tone cartoon illustrations.

Here’s a look inside:

It’s quite a lot of information for one sitting (I conked out on the last few chapters) — unless you’re giving an environmental talk the next day — but it’s a thorough primer on Ecology, and you’ll surely “get a grip” on the subject after you’re done.


Get a Grip on Ecology, paperback with dustjacket, 4/5 stars

Book #56 for 2010


4 thoughts on “Green Reading”

  1. Just realized I had a book from “Get a Grip” series. I have the one on EVOLUTION. I liked it. And yes, it’s also printed on what seems to be recycled paper. :-)

  2. Ooh, it’s a series? I wonder what else there is to “get a grip” on… (scampers off to check bookmooch)

    I love the recycled paper part the best — it smells absolutely yummy!

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