Marc Reisner Cadillac Desert

ISBN 13: 9780140104325

Cadillac Desert

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9780140104325: Cadillac Desert
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This is a history of the American West which recounts one of America's most impressive achievements - the creation of an Eden out of inhospitable desert. "Cadillac Desert" recounts this dramatic saga: from the earliest settlers lured by promises of paradise, to Jon Wesley Powell's advocacy of co-operative irrigation projects; from the ruthless tactics employed by Los Angeles to raid watersheds hundreds of miles away to sustain its phenomenal growth, to the federal government's entry into the water business. Reisner offers a bleak portrait of the future the West faces: over the next fifty years, millions of acres of America's most productive farmland will be abandoned due to the exhaustion of groundwater reserves. Reservoirs will silt up and soil and irrigated water is being contaminated by slat - the downfall of nearly every previous desert civilization.

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11 1.5-hour cassettes

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Dams ostensibly provide indispensable economic development through flood control, irrigation, and recreation. Goldsmith and Hildyard, with examples from throughout the world, demolish the common justifications for large dams. They advocate traditional irrigation as environmentally sound and economically beneficial. Reisner focuses more narrowly on North America in his portrayal of the personalities and agencies (e.g., Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers), and the manipulation and deceit through which water policy in the United States has evolved. This policy, a form of financial vandalism of the future, has made us rich but our descendants insecure. Cadillac Desert describes serious, perhaps fatal threats to the miraculous desert civilization of the West. With different approaches, both volumes take effective aim at the vested interests that perpetuate unsound water resource development. Both volumes contain insights for the specialist and the wider public. James R. Karr, Smithsonian Tropical Research Inst., Balboa, Panama
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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