Global Environmental Awareness on Climate Change: Forest Protection: Wildfire Science Manual, Volume I, Part I
by Dr. Andreas Tertey Gboloo ` Reviewed by John E. Roper
“The future of our climate largely depends on essential carbon-guzzling forests. The forests are the key stores and facilitate in the sequestration of carbon compounds on the planet.”
Gboloo recognizes that protecting our planet from the devastation of wildfires is a daunting task. Our forests are vital for preserving life on Earth, yet millions of acres succumb to the flames annually. With this sobering fact in mind, the author has brought his extensive education and years of related experience, including working in Africa as a United Nations consultant in forest fire prevention and control to bear in creating a comprehensive manual to address the problem.
Before delving into the heart of his subject matter, Gboloo sets the stage by addressing the controversial issue of climate change. Offering ten reasons why dramatic shifts to our climate in modern times cannot be “denied, ignored nor neglected,” he passionately argues for accepting scientific findings on the matter and pleads with those who reject them to think again. He then further prepares his audience for what he will be talking about later on in the book by presenting twenty compelling values of the forests for mankind. These include points such as how forests provide much of the air we breathe, help keep the planet cool, are home to a vast variety of plants and wildlife that provide us with food, continue to be a source of much of the world’s natural medicines, and are currently lived in by approximately 300 million people globally. With this groundwork established, the author then moves into the meat of his manual with a plethora of short subsections that take his readers from basic definitions of science topics such as weather, climate, and the water cycle to more detailed discussions on fire prevention techniques, analyzing costs for thinning forests, etc.
An obvious strength of this work is the depth of research that the author has conducted to support it and undoubtedly the three subsequent volumes he has produced. In true academic fashion, there is a preponderance of points associated with each main premise. Yet unlike so many other books produced by the scholarly crowd, this one was not penned primarily for those with a handful of letters after their names. Instead, it is written in a manner that can be easily understood and appreciated by almost anyone with an interest in the subject.
Gboloo has also included a large number of helpful charts, photos, and other illustrations to both break up the text and aid in the learning process. Because his use of them is so effective and often uniquely suited for each topic, one can easily see how some of them could be pulled from the manual and made into useful and informative shorter works. For example, the section “Desert Growing Trees in the United States” would probably be an excellent small booklet for tourists to the Southwest, while firefighters could undoubtedly benefit from a pamphlet made up of the material found in the section on using fire to manage a fire. The author has crammed an incredible amount of valuable information into his manual. While careful editing could improve the work by eliminating repeated paragraphs and grammatical errors, the wealth of good content still makes this book worth owning. Thought-provoking and timely, Gboloo’s well-researched study should be of high interest to those concerned about protecting the world’s forests.
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