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Air Power and the Environment: The Ecological Implications of Modern Air Warfare
edited by Joel Hayward
Montgomery, AL: Air University Press, 2013 .
In 2013, the American Library Association selected this book as one of that year’s "Notable Government Documents", an annual award list “designed to recognize excellence and raise awareness of information resources produced by all levels of government and promote their use”.
Books on ecology, of which there is an increasing number, tend to be rather negative; that is, they focus on the great harm that humans have done to the physical environment. I am pleased that, along with evidence of both harm and remediation, this book contains chapters of a different nature (weak pun intended). Several of the scholars who contributed chapters have highlighted the fact that military forces now take far more care of the environment than ever before and that many, even in less-developed regions such as central Africa, have developed strategies to minimize all harm and even to do environmentally beneficial activities. Humans live in constantly changing physical environments and are often vulnerable, along with all other living things, to not only natural change, but also man-made changes. It is heartening that some military forces, utilizing the speed, reach, and intelligence-gathering capabilities of air assets, are providing highly positive contributions to conservation efforts and the maintenance and protection of ecological protection zones. It is a positive story and it brings richness and variety to this book.
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