Understanding Environmental Issues provides an excellent foundation for developing critical thinking about contemporary environmental concerns and the ways in which these are debated, represented and managed. The book should achieve its aim of stimulating students to engage with how ideas of sustainability and environmental justice can be applied both in policy and in practical action
Professor Gordon Walker, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University
'The arena of environmental issues is a minefield for undergraduate students seeking clarity about key problems and solutions. This is where Understanding Environmental Issues will play a major role, providing a stimulating guide through the wealth of material and complex ideas. In particular the unification of social and physical science in the case studies provides a holistic approach to the subject that is essential for students and a refreshing innovation for environmental textbooks
Anna R. Davies, Trinity College, University of Dublin
Straight outta Uxbridge something special emerged from the grim surroundings of Brunel University, a concrete jungle in the London suburbs, in the 1990s - a passionate, committed group of geographers and geologists with a commitment to innovative pedagogy, to the application of knowledge, and to tackling the big environmental issues of the day. This book, written by a Brunel University team that includes at least two media stars, shows that understanding the environment should involve engagement, and reaching out beyond the campus. It also tackles the big issues of the day, and how we value them and approach them as scholars, citizens and activists. A useful set of thematic chapters introduce students to key environmental issues - the food and waste streams, climate change, natural hazards, and urban environments. Highly recommended
Simon P J Batterbury
School of Resource Management and geography, University of Melbourne and ECI, University of Oxford
As I write this brief review of Understanding Environmental Issues a highly damming report from Ofsted 'Geography in Schools - Changing Practice' has just been published. As the Independent reported 'Children are being let down by boring geography lessons which fail to teach them about global issues such as climate change' (17/1/08) in a report entitled 'Geography classes 'ignore key issues''. Probably related to this has been a fall in numbers of 11% of both GCSE and A level students since 2003.
What's to be done about this state of affairs?
Well for a start teachers - both geographers and others - should read this book to be informed and enthused to teach stimulating and up to date lessons on matters of environmental concern. Similarly although the market for the book is the undergraduate student - as with other excellent such books - there is a clear market in the talented A level student here - arguably even for the interested layman as well - and dare I say also parents who might begin to understand the great vehicle that geography is for environmental education!
The book's strengths are to do with the pedagogic backgrounds and commitment of the authors and the spread of expertise revealed. I do like section 1 where some of the big ideas and concepts are explored followed by section 2 where case studies are written by partnerships of scientists and social scientists. The case studies provided are of worldwide environmental significance and the final chapter on Mexico City touches on many of the concepts and cases written about earlier in the text.
A key objective was to stimulate interest and action by the readers - I think it will achieve that and not just for an undergraduate audience. I found it was written and illustrated in an accessible way. Highly recommended
Professor Ashley Kent
Institute of Education University of London
Understanding Environmental Issues will stimulate critical thinking and debate about the inextricable links between the physical and socio-political determinants of our planet's future
Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning,Tufts University
In a world where concrete environmental systems are in a state of change at the same time our understandings of these systems are in upheaval, teaching environmental issues has become impossible without meaningful integration of earth systems and political-economic relationships. Buckingham, Turner, and their collaborators accomplish this extremely difficult task and make a range of complex and iterative synergies clear, immediate, and compelling: hydrology and water rights; agronomy and land control; carbon loading and carbon trading; systems of flows and systems of meaning. A terrific teaching text
Professor Paul Robbins
University of Arizona