Friday, 11 November 2011

A Review of the book “Elegant Solutions For Addressing Climate Change"

A Review of the book “Elegant Solutions For Addressing Climate Change" by Samantha Jewel

Self Published and launched as an eBook in October, 2009 in Orange NSW at the Carbon Conference and then as hard copy at Trinity Grammar in February 2010.

It is available as a downloadable eBook for $19.95 or by donation from the website

This review is authored by Rick Tudor, Headmaster of the prestigious Melbourne institution, Trinity Grammar; Rick has championed the book since its inception as a climate academic who wrote his thesis on climate disruption some thirty seven years ago and sees the books as visionary.

“Elegant Solutions” is a thoroughly engaging, highly informative, easily readable book posing achievable solutions for addressing the climate issue through the food we eat and the way we grow it. It canvasses areas of research, details segments of critical information and presents vital ideas in a palatable, understandable style. Text, illustrations, schematic diagrams and internet links are collectively effective in conveying important messages. 

Climate change is one of the most important phenomena of the 21st Century. 

It has the capacity to change millions of lives in an uncontrollable manner and will affect the viability of much of the macroscopic and microscopic fauna and flora that comprise our complex and delicate global ecological matrix. 

The author commences her work with a call to arms in the face of the persistent march of climate change. She follows this with clever explanations of the role of carbon as an important component of the soil. Preserving organic carbon within soil profiles is a key emphasis in her discussion. Theoretical understanding is facilitated by the author’s easy, conversational style of writing, and her clarity and simplicity of explanation. Practical applications of the theory are presented through descriptions which are both readily absorbed and clearly visualised. 

The world of microbes is introduced to the reader through a utilitarian viewpoint. Indeed, the question as to how a healthy biological system could survive and thrive without microbial activity and support is squarely placed as a central focus. The role of minerals and vitamins is also elucidated, and their importance is emphasised. 

The journey into the soil is not only signposted through the roles of micro organisms, minerals, vitamins and most importantly organic carbon, but it also leads to a detailed description of roots, and the microscopic flora that is closely associated with these subterranean plant structures. As with the organisms living above the soil, this micro flora essentially has to live in a state of balance, if it is to perform its life-promoting role. 

The final chapters of the book give emphasis to agricultural techniques which encourage sustainability. The embellishment of building surfaces with extensive plant coverage is examined and its benefits are emphasised. Selective purchasing is also promoted for those who shop for fruit, vegetables, cereals or other organically based materials. Techniques involving community actions which lead to a higher degree of sustainability, are outlined in an attractive, engaging manner. 

“Elegant Solutions” is a ‘must’ for all those who have a concern for and interest in, the sustainable nature of our world. In fact it is a ‘must’ for those who don’t have this interest. This work is highly suitable for both adults and those studying at secondary school level. 
For such students, this work will stimulate understanding, provoke questioning and develop sensitivities in the treatment of a world whose sustainability is severely threatened.