Environmental Encyclopedia

ISBN 13: 9780787654863

Environmental Encyclopedia

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9780787654863: Environmental Encyclopedia
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Book by Gale Group

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There are a surprisingly small number of encyclopedias covering environmental science and environmental issues. The expanded and updated edition of Gale's Environmental Encyclopedia does little to improve on the quality of such offerings.

Entries range from 100 to more than 2,000 words. Some are complemented by black-and-white photographs and diagrams. Each entry is signed, and topical coverage includes a broad range of environmental perspectives, including scientific, political, and social issues. Most of the entries are followed by a brief bibliography. However, these bibliographies are inconsistent, some pointing to a large number of standard and useful sources, others leading the user to an odd selection of works that do not represent comprehensive or core treatments of the issue at hand.

Additional sections include a brief (five-page) "Historical Chronology" of environmental events, a five-page chronology of "Environmental Legislation in the United States," organizations mentioned within the bibliographies accompanying encyclopedia entries, and an index to entries and terms.

The factual information presented in the encyclopedia is generally accurate, although the entries are inconsistent in their tone. That is, although the entries on more scientific topics are quite good and objectively presented, the social issue and biographical entries have a less objective, more chatty tone. In large part, this stems from an editorial perspective that often takes sides with the environmentalists. The result is a work that is not appropriate as the only source for beginning students.

There are other choices for coverage of the human and social aspects of environmental issues. Encyclopedia of Environmental Issues (Salem, 2000) and Encyclopedia of Global Change: Environmental Change and Human Society (Oxford, 2002) are useful for the high-school level and up, while The Encyclopedia of the Environment (Grolier, 1999) and The Environment Encyclopedia (Marshall Cavendish, 2001) offer attractive presentations for school and public libraries. Issue-based treatments should be supplemented by more scientifically oriented works, such as Encyclopedia of Environmental Science (Oryx, 2000) or The Environment A to Z (CQ, 2000). The present work is appropriate only for comprehensive environmental collections. RBB
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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