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Ecology, a science scarcely a century old, aims to give its practitioners an approach to understanding how whole natural systems--for example, watersheds, deserts, and estuaries--work. Few books translate this aim as well asEarth from Above, a stunning collection of photographs that affords its viewers a window into the world's workings. It is something of a commonplace, for instance, that the large-scale logging now being visited on the world's rainforests is causing untold damage to tropical ecosystems. In French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand's hands, this problem is translated from arid fact to alarming image, giving immediate meaning to the statistics that underlie today's environmental headlines; his photographs of the ruins of rural Madagascar, where forests are being cleared at a rate of 1,500 square kilometers (580 square miles) annually, are a sad case in point.

Arthus-Bertrand, working with the support of UNESCO, has wandered the globe to gather this collection of more than 200 photographs, presented in a folio format. The images are uniformly striking, whether of stalagmite-like fans of algae spreading into the Mediterranean Sea, farmers working their fields in northern India, or destroyed Iraqi tanks littering the deserts of Kuwait. The accompanying text, captions, and short essays by some of France's leading scientists and social critics lend specific depth to the images, which will cheer few readers--but that will shock, and educate, and, with luck, inspire closer attention to the world around us. --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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ISBN-10:  0810934957
ISBN-13:  978-0810934955
Author:  Yann Arthus-Bertrand
Publisher:  Harry N. Abrams
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review by . May 15, 2005
This work has outstanding color photos from every corner of the earth. The introductory focus is on the importance of ecology  in the long term functioning of economic systems. The "Peak of the  Furnace" is a blazing scene taken in France. There are spectacular  photos of deserts, water scenes, landscapes and forestry. This book would be invaluable for any student in crafting a school project  in world history, culture or geography.
review by . December 14, 2004
EARTH FROM ABOVE is a massive tome that can be carefully read or just used as a beautifully constructed volume of aerial photographs by the French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand. The overwhelming result of this volume is a statement that simply cannot be ignored: our planet is in danger from both natural causes and the hideous manipulations of insensitive man on his environment.    Arthus-Bertrand shows aerial photographs of great beauty - as photographs ("There is beauty …
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