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Cause and effect

Environmental Issues. The Global Consequences. By David Money Hodder and Stoughton Pounds 10.99, 0 340 60 989 3. Environmental Issues is an A- level textbook which looks in detail at environmental problems of current concern. It explores five interlinked themes: changes in the atmosphere, oceans and biosphere, the problems of harnessing energy and the consequences of population growth.

The factual background of each theme is presented in sufficient detail to challenge generalisations, myths and dogmatic assertions and a strength of the text is its emphasis on encouraging student discussion of the evidence provided.

The division of each of the five themes in a series of two-page topic spreads will enable teachers to select particular issues for consideration. This lay-out also provides a concise text and a clear set of illustrations for each topic.

Teachers will be able to supplement the text with further examples of the environmental impacts and issues discussed, for example, by referring to the recent Siberian oil spillage and the Royal Commission Report on Pollution and the Environment.

Environmental Issues shows that with any environmental problem there is usually a range of causes and the identification of appropriate action is likely to be difficult. It should help to open up the environmental debate at A level and contribute to the Rio Earth Summit's call for the promotion of education, public awareness and training in environmental issues.

Geoffrey Squire is a senior lecturer in Faculty of Education at the University of Reading.

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