Download Breathing Space: The Natural and Unnatural History of Air by Mark Everard PDF

By Mark Everard

Air is essential to human existence—it protects us from radiation, keeps weather and climate styles, disperses seeds and pollen, and serves as a substitute power resource. regardless of all of this, air is still missed in environmental coverage, with its ownerless, without boundary lines nature making it tough to crusade and legislate.
Breathing Space is the 1st publication to correctly combine air into the broader environmental discourse. Mark Everard assesses the atmosphere’s constitution and its position inside of our total atmosphere and argues persuasively for the need of governments’ and activists’ popularity of air as a necessary source, in addition to the dire desire for greater all over the world guidelines on air law. This paintings is lengthy late and a must-read for students, environmental activists, and an individual environmental coverage.

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Extra resources for Breathing Space: The Natural and Unnatural History of Air

Sample text

Clearly, humans can, and some do, function without speech and/or hearing. But the richness of communication and expression of emotion 29 2 · Living in a bubble of the argon atoms of a breath you take today. The same is true, given the inert nature of argon, of the air exhaled by every great person, despot or nonentity that has ever lived, including both their first and their dying breaths. The very act of breathing binds us to all people and living things from the past and into the future. As the genetic biologist and broadcaster David Suzuki put it, air is a ‘universal glue’ that joins all life.

The key issue here is that recognition of the significance of air for all life is a pan-global phenomenon, encountered throughout human history. an idea at least as old as recorded history and one that probably existed long before that. Before modern chemical understanding and the use of the term to describe pure chemical substances distinguished by a unique atomic number, the word ‘element’ had other meanings that spanned the biophysical and the metaphysical. The classical elements – often consisting of earth, air, fire and water, but varying with culture – occur in a diversity of beliefs and philosophies, comprising the simplest essential parts of physical and living matter and imbuing it with its fundamental properties and powers.

And, of course, an ‘aria’, derived from the same source, is a melody or tune conveying a general mood in an individual. In terms of creativity, we speak of ‘blue skies thinking’, signifying a breathing space in which new ideas can emerge. Conversely, classic songs such as ‘Stormy Monday’ and ‘Stormy Weather’ use weather sys­tems as a metaphor for tempests raging in the mind or for strong emotions. Other songs, such as ‘The Air That I Breathe’, relate to freedom, as do many alluding to being free as a bird.

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