Friday, April 20, 2007

Wasteland Reading List

As many of you may know, this operation of ours got started from reading some books. Now, hold on a second, I know what you're saying: "Aaron, Wes, come on. Why would I sit and read a bunch of books when I can just wait for your awesomely entertaining, funny, informative, thought provoking movie to come out?" First of all, I don't think that "awesomely" is a word, secondly, the movie will not be done for some time, and I imagine that you can read all of these books twice before it comes out. Finally though, all of the information that we have, and will acquire comes originally from the pages of these books. If you have any suggestions, go ahead and leave them in the comments.

Garbage Land by Elizabeth Royte

This is the one that started it all. Wes read this book a few years ago, gave it to me, I read it and we both agreed that there was an interesting movie here. This is the story of a woman named Elizabeth who decided she wants to follow her trash to find out where exactly it goes after she puts it on her curb. What she finds is at times funny, and at other times frightening as she travels all over the east coast following her garbage.

Wasteland Rating: ***** (out of 5)

The Overspent American by Juliet Schor

This book gave us a really interesting perspective on our story. We realized we couldn't really tell the story of garbage in America without first examining where all that garbage comes from. It explains how and why Americans buy so much, but is incredibly well written, well informed and always entertaining. Read in conjunction with Garbage Land a cycle of buying and disposing begins to emerge.

Wasteland Review: ***** (out of 5)

Bronx Ecology by Alan Hershkowitz

Dr. Hershkowitz is a scientist at the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and this book documents his attempt to build a fully integrated environmentally safe paper recycling plant in the Bronx in New York City. The book has patches that may not be of interest to someone who is, say, not an expert in water studies, or a chemical engineer. The last half of the book, however, which talks about the plant's ultimate demise is a fascinating read, and gives a great insight as to why being a practical environmentalist is so difficult. Local government, corruption, big business and special interest get in the way of something that could truly provide for the community.

Wasteland Review: *** (out of 5)

Toxic Exports by Jennifer Clapp

I just received this book in the mail from Jennifer this week, so I will have to get back to you on this.

Wasteland Review ***** (out of 5)*

*Review based solely on Jennifer's fantastic interview she gave to Wes and me up in Canada.

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