A crash course in critical thinking, students won t find a list of 10 easy things they can do to save the environment Instead, they will learn global thinking, the vocabulary of the issues, and how to evaluate information Opening with a hook that compares dead bees on the driveway to a Stephen King horror story, this short book grabs attention, chunks information, effectively uses black and white pictures on every two page spread, and concludes with detailed source notes, bibliography, suggested resources, glossary, and index Inspiring further study, it offers this advice to researchers Take the salad bar approach pick from lots of sources p 144 Let this book be one of them.
Richie s Picks Eyes Wide Open GOING BEHIND THE ENVIRONMENTAL HEADLINES by Paul Fleischman, Candlewick, September 2014, 208p.
, ISBN 978 0 7636 7102 0 Oh mercy, mercy meAh things ain t what they used to beWhat about this overcrowded landHow much abuse from man can she stand Marvin Gaye Who would guess that Citizens for Recycling First is a coal industry front group promoting the use of coal ash in industry The Greening Earth Society sounds green, but it s in favor of CO2 emissions Eyes Wide Open is about the global environmental issues that if not dealt with substantively will make Planet Earth uninhabitable for humankind But even importantly, Eyes Wide Open is a book about information literacy It shows how the world really works in the 21st century, and it repeatedly reveals how people are often duped into opposing their own best interests One of the most important concepts presented by Paul Fleischman is the need to understand and recognize vested interests If you owned an energy drink factory, your desire to make a profit would give you a vested interest in opposing laws that would keep your product out of school vending machines You d no doubt belong to a trade group that would hire lobbyists to fight such laws Your trade group would hire public relations PR firms to improve the public s opinion of energy drinks through ads, articles, Facebook posts, tweets, and the talking heads you see interviewed on TV news The information dispersed might or might not be accurate Its goal isn t truth but promoting energy drinks This distinction is crucial Impartial investigators have nothing to gain from their particular findings They test and revise them in a continuing quest for accuracy This is the model science follows Vested interests prime goal is preserving their power, not seeking truth The evidence is all around you When powerful people or institutions are accused of misconduct from army massacres and police brutality cases to clergy sex abuse scandals and cyclist Lance Armstrong s use of performance enhancing drugs the first reaction is almost always to refute the charge, no matter how accurate If the truth is a threat to power, money, or reputation, there s a strong motive to cover it up In a past era, students were expected to memorize a limited body of information and regurgitate it during tests But today, the forever growing wealth of information makes it essential for students to learn how to efficiently search for, retrieve, and evaluate the information they need to answer questions and solve problems Eyes Wide Open provides a common sense framework for understanding why we regularly encounter so much misinformation.
Eyes Wide Open is an apt title for this indispensable book Issues of worldwide population growth, of increases in production of and consumption of stuff, of the race to exploit fossil fuels, of the need to produce larger and larger amounts of food, and the climate changes that result from all these other global issues don t cause us to react in the same way that the 9 11 attacks did Most of us are ignorant of the planet and people damaging processes through which our stuff and energy and food are produced We can go on forever blind to what s really going on, unless we begin to pay attention Throughout EYES WIDE OPEN, Paul Fleischman refers to dozens of other books and information resources, each of which will further enlighten readers about these environmental and information issues One could readily build a comprehensive course of study around these references History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives Abba Eban 1915 2002 , as quoted in EYES WIDE OPENBarring some nick of time miracle cure, our generation and the ones that follow are eventually going to be forced by Mother Nature to wise up and make some hard choices Those who read Eyes Wide Open will have taken a giant step toward understanding these issues and the necessity for action.
Richie Partington, MLISRichie s Picks Note Just named SLJ Best Bks of 2014 This is one of the best books I have read on climate change Maybe the best, in terms of comprehensiveness of the subject For such a relatively tiny book, I can t figure out how Fleischman stuffed so much into it This is a whopping 153 pages for the main text of the book The back matter, which is remarkable in how extensive it is, goes to p 190 I should point out right now that I read the ARC, so page numbers may be off a bit The ARC looks a bit boring I m hoping that the final form will have photos in color as well as well chosen accents to the book The ARC did put me off reading it for a while because it is all black and white UPDATE The photos are still all black and white but are much sharper and clearer which helps a fair amount I m disappointed they didn t have color photos in this book since I think it would have increased teen appeal Unlike the contents of the book which addresses teens directly and shows them how to evaluate whether a source they are reading about whether in print or online, is a valid source and acknowledges how grey life can be Ultimately that is the real theme of the book in many ways, and it is one many adults could use as well However the environmental information in this book is superb I ve been reading about climate change for a while and I learnt things from this book, which often you wouldn t expect because it is merely a book for teenagers That is one of the few fallacies Fleischman forgot to cover in this book but it definitely is true for this book Most adults would be relieved to read such a primer on climate change because like the best of writing, Fleischman makes no assumptions about prior knowledge on a subject Writers for adults can be lazy and assume that adults have basic knowledge and skip over basics leaving adults to mutter about the incompleteness of the book I certainly have done so Fleischman, knowing he was writing for teens covers all the basics and does an excellent job The photos and captions add incredibly to the text itself That is why I m anxious to see what the final copy looks like I really can t think of an aspect of climate change that Fleischman didn t cover He talks about mental fallacies, such as normalcy bias, that makes it hard for people to accept climate change He talks about technology and population increase He talks abut the PR campaigns that the fossil fuel industry have used to foster doubt about climate change He talks about how he became interested in the subject he found first a few, then and dead bees on his driveway which makes it immediate to readers He talks without using jargon, and he defines everything both in the text when using the new word and in a really extensive glossary He doesn t just list books and articles in his bib He probably has websites listed than books, although I didn t count them, so I could be wrong on that I love that he lists sites such as Snopes so readers can check out the truth of what they find He explains how to judge a source to see if it is valid or not Actually, teachers could use this in so many ways to teach kids how to THINK That is really the true value of this book It teaches teens how to think and evaluate for themselves, not just rely on some sources, even this book It is a good thing I ordered copies for the library system before I really read this book I d have been unable to resist buying copies and I think I likely got a good number for the interests of our community I highly recommend this book to everyone Adults, teens, kids with the ability to stick with a higher reading level than they may have routinely gotten In short, I d love to see pretty much everyone read this, to be honest
Little Free Library copy.
Four stars for content, one star for horrible layout and graphic design The frenetic design made me want to throw the book across the room I think for many people, this is not an impediment Today bites seem to be the way many like to receive information I can see how this format may appeal to younger folks and engage them The book is a starter survey of environmental issues with some good resources for looking further in depth them as well.
A lot of the content I was familiar with, some was new Most of my adult life I have been involved with the food issues addressed as well as some of the how profit making interests have influenced so many of our buying choices number one being constant consumption of disposable goods.
I liked the section How to Weigh Information on critical thinking, how to examine issues and ways to identify sources and vested interests behind the scene.
Whatever the book s flaws, I do think we need Eyes Wide Open about what is happening to the planet I wish I was optimistic that reason,unselfishness and compassion will prevail Hope I m proven wrong.
Possibly I think, definitely the best book I ve read this year This is a terrific overview of current environmental issues, in easy and interesting language The presentation is not overwhelming, with just enough design space around the text Captions and bullet points in the margin offer online and text connections to great resources and I spent my whole day moving back and forth between the book and various videos and websites The focus of the book is to be a conscious and wary consumer of information Fleischman would make a great librarian I can t rave enough.
However, despite mentioning a few of the opposing viewpoints and sources for opposing viewpoints, the author seems to have picked his side and didn t stray far from it He discounted the legitimate scientists and scientific research that disagree with the environmental frenzy and global warming by using phrases like most legitimate scientists believe in global warming and many of the studies that refute global warming are paid for by special interest groups Please be aware, these are not exact quotes from the book The point is by couching the phrases in many and most the author gave the impression the pool of reputable scientists conducting legitimate research with findings very different than that predicted or expected by the rest of the scientific community could be ignored or written off.
An inordinate amount of time, in my opinion, was spent on the need to find greener energy sources I would have liked to see pages devoted to conservation of resources and water conservation It was there, but not that much Remember your audience Aimed a young adult market, the one thing most of them can start working on right now is reducing their own imprint on the environment If you re going to discredit recycling as requiring a lot of energy and therefore being less effective, perhaps espouse the reduce and reuse parts of the 3 R s Kudos though on the coverage of the international initiative or lack of initiative to reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses and decrease carbon build up in the atmosphere Also, excellent coverage of the tension between the developing countries and the already established post industrial age countries like the U.
S and the different needs and desires of both in terms of standard of living and energy consumption However, there are a few statements that caused me to read and reread passages, becausewell, quite frankly there seemed to be a few weird conclusions and cause and effect relationships I ve never seen substantiated For example on page 124 Rwanda possessed exhausted land, stripped forests, and Africa s densest population attempting to survive on ever smaller and steeper plots These conditions led to the genocide of 800,000 people in 1994 I d like to find a source for that I suppose Hitler, Mao, Stalin, etc.
, were also dealing with environmental issues How about the French revolution The Civil War While economic factors always contribute to a war, and the environment can certainly play a factor in the economic conditions of a country, how many of these conditions can concretely be blamed on human action or inaction especially those environmental issues occurring pre industrial revolution The inclusion of this fact in the book has me questioning what other overly simplified rationalizations, or hypotheses expressed as fact may occur in the book Nevertheless, I thought this was a good book with lots of good information in it It is very readable, and should appeal to its teen audience I sincerely wish the author had suggested possible courses of action for its audience members to take, rather than just telling them to seek out additional information Note I received an electronic review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.
Completely awesome read it whatever your age Paul Fleischman Offers Teens An Environmental Wake Up Call And A Tool Kit For Decoding The Barrage Of Conflicting Information Confronting ThemWe Re Living In An Ah Ha Moment Take Years Of Human Ingenuity Add Abundant Fossil Fuels The Result A Population And Lifestyle Never Before Seen The Downsides Weren T Visible For Centuries, But Now They Are Suddenly Everything Needs Rethinking Suburbs, Cars, Fast Food, Cheap Prices It S A Changed World This Book Explains It Not With Isolated Facts, But The Principles Driving Attitudes And Events, From Vested Interests To Denial To Big Country Syndrome Because Money Is As Important As Molecules In The Environment, Science Is Joined With Politics, History, And Psychology To Provide The Briefing Needed To Comprehend The St Century Extensive Back Matter, Including A Glossary, Bibliography, And Index, As Well As Numerous References To Websites, Provides Further Resources Very well researched, poorly written.
What a fantastic resource for teens A little dated, unfortunately, but it has a companion website that is updated frequently Not only does it introduce climate news, but that takes a backseat to teaching kids how to read news actively rather than passively How to judge what they re told, gauge truth from fiction, and come to their own conclusions Yes, it s based in the microcosm of climate, but the information on how to properly judge news stories is universal I am going to use this in the research class I teach at my library.