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Book Review on Mirage by Cynthia Barnett - Essay Example

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Book Review on “Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S.” [ your name ] [ course name / number ] [Publish Date] Introduction Fresh water supply has been dwindling worldwide in lieu of wasteful human consumption and interference with natural processes…
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Book Review on Mirage by Cynthia Barnett
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Download file to see previous pages S. through a combination of historical storytelling as well as exploring the issues from a technical perspective. The author is a renowned journalist with expertise in freshwater supply problems in the eastern United States. The book reflects the author’s ideas that greed and an overarching urge to develop new frontiers led Americans to exploit the eastern water system to sustain new activities such as larger populations and agriculture. Analysis and Evaluation Barnett traces the evolution of the current freshwater supply problem and blames human greed squarely for the resulting squalor. The author tends to blame historical titans such as Walt Disney and the Rosen brothers for wasteful development but it must be realized that these developments can be best analyzed in terms of their historical context. The development of the railroad and agricultural land in Florida closely resembled activities taking place nationwide in the Gilded Age. Expecting people from the late nineteenth century to anticipate modern problems of prodigal water use is asking for a bit too much. The wasteful attitude of the Floridians in general has also been brought into question such as the useless consumption of freshwater spurred by golf courses all over the state. Even with an abundant water supply, Florida faces water shortage by 2020 due to water expenditure on agriculture, urbanization and golf courses. The role of water as a political tool has been questioned as well by the author (Barnett, 2007, p. 44): “Those who control water control the destiny of a place and its people.” Barnett’s stance that most of Florida’s current water problems emanate from wasteful consumption is largely justified and can also be proven in fact. The author adeptly traces the political relationships between freshwater supply and globalization, population booms and real estate development. The role of the Army Engineer Corps has been presented as both positive and negative – the drainage of the Everglades produced ecological problems and changes in weather patterns (Barnett, 2007, p. 58) but the associated structures helped saved the lives of people living in Florida. This remains a unique perspective on the issue and tends to trigger an ontological egg and chicken debate on the role of the Army Engineer Corps. The author contends that the role of the Army Engineer Corps is debatable, yet it cannot be denied that their actions set in motion the current ecological failure of the Everglades and wetlands. Barnett blames both scientists and non scientific factions for causing water supply problems. The non scientific factions are able to bypass laws and continue with real estate and agricultural development while scientific factions are unable to counter these moves (Barnett, 2007, p. 64). A quick look at history and contemporary national and global politics reveals that scientists or green thumbs have been unable to stop the march of consumption (Lind, 2013). The author tends to over assume the role and influence of scientists in any given governmental structure. Tradition proves that scientific opinion has been unable to stem the growth of personal vested interests and Barnett’s stance on the issue is unjustified. The author’s investigation of Bob Graham and his family’s role in the current crisis also deserves praise. Graham’s family has been criticized for exacerbating the situation by sugar farming, cattle ranching and urbanization based ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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