Gasp! The Swift and Terrible Beauty of Air
When I first received Gasp! The Swift and Terrible Beauty of Air, I couldn't believe that someone could write a 400 some paged book on the subject of air. But after reading this book, I realized that kind of attitude is exactly the basic root of the problem.
Joe Sherman explores everything there is to explore about air, from why a child takes their first breath to the evolution of Earth's atmosphere and all the radical scientists who discovered truths about our air. Most interesting was the explanation of the progression of people considering fresh air as a human being's right and fight for a better quality of air. I had not known that early feminist groups had fought for cleaner air, which makes sense as historically (and presently) women and children often bear the brunt of environmental degradation.
The World Bank, in 1992, estimated the deaths from air pollution every year average between 300,000 and 700,000 people. We need to continue our fight for cleaner air. I think the most important aspect of this book, what I hope it does for everyone who reads it, is that it got me thinking in my day-to day life about the air I breathe – how ridiculous it is that we ignore the quality of the one thing that is keeping us here. I think it made me focus on my actions and the ripple effect they have, how much our actions influence the world for better or worse, and how we need to be aware of this.