Our Precarious Habitat was written to inform the general reader who wishes to know how science and technology affect his daily life, and to enable him to evaluate environmental issues objectively in their political context at the community, state, and national level. It is also directed to the college student in environmental and health courses.
Since publication in 1970 of the first edition of Our Precarious Habitat, public concern about the environment has grown to the extent that "ecology" is now a household word. But along with this have grown the emotionalism and confusion that have always surrounded the subject. We are all aware that there are hazards to our health and well-being in present-day life. No one would argue that air pollution or chemical pesticides washed into a community water supply are beneficial, but to what extent are the environmental changes and stresses created by our industrial society actually harmful to us, and how may they be controlled?
In this balanced, realistic study of existing and potential threats to man in the United States and the world at large, Dr. Benarde discusses a wide range of inter-related topics in the context of the environment as a system. Among these are: the ecology of health and disease; chemicals in our foods; pesticides; waste-disposal systems; air, water, and noise pollution; radiation; population; and the political aspects of pollution. The author has extensively revised the new edition to take into account the many changes in environmental theory, policy, and practice since the first edition was published.