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Pacific: The Ocean of the Future by Simon…
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Pacific: The Ocean of the Future

by Simon Winchester

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A well written series of essays about the effect that the largest ocean has on the world overall. There is a mixtre of toics ranging from the sociological through the ecological and ending with a frightening chapter on the growth of Chinese Imperialism in the Pacific. This is not good news for the middle or small nation, and very bad news for the American of the twenty first century. Couple this information about China with actions of North Korea, and the inaction of China in the North Korea and USa standoff, and the way in which Donald Trump is being exploited by the two asian powers, Russia and China becomes obvious. Mr. Winchester's clear prose rolls along very readably, and though the use of non-colour maps sets one's teeth on edge, the result is a very informative book. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Oct 7, 2017 |
I listened to this book which was read by the author. Winchester has a great reading voice and it doesn't hurt that he has a lovely British accent. The writing is good as well so I enjoyed this nonfiction work.

Winchester chooses ten news items set in or around the Pacific Ocean since January 1, 1950. Why that particular date? Well it is the date used by archaeologists in carbon dating to carbon date some object as being so many years Before Present.. Some date had to be picked and an international committee picked that date because it was before large scale testing of nuclear bombs which messed up the natural abundance of Carbon14, the isotope used in carbon dating. Winchester devotes a chapter to each item which range from the first nuclear bomb test in the Pacific to the explosion of Mount Pinatubo in the Phillippines with stops in between dealing with the first fibreglass surfboard, the discovery of large underwater mountain ranges, the bleaching of the Great Coral Reef off Australia and much more. His thesis is that the Pacific Ocean is where momentous things will take place in the future and that if mankind is to survive we should look at the example of the original people who lived there.

Lots of stuff to think about and to learn. ( )
  gypsysmom | Nov 5, 2016 |
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Travelling the circumference of the truly gigantic Pacific, Simon Winchester tells the story of the world's largest body of water, and - in matters economic, political and military - the ocean of the future. The Pacific is a world of tsunamis and Magellan, of the Bounty mutiny and the Boeing Company. It is the stuff of the towering Captain Cook and his wide-ranging network of exploring voyages, Robert Louis Stevenson and Admiral Halsey. It is the place of Paul Gauguin and the explosion of the largest-ever American atomic bomb, on Bikini atoll, in 1951. It has an astonishing recent past, an uncertain present and a hugely important future. The ocean and its peoples are the new lifeblood, fizz and thrill of America - which draws so many of its minds and so much of its manners from the sea - while the inexorable rise of the ancient center of the world, China, is a fixating fascination. The presence of rogue states - North Korea most notoriously today - suggest that the focus of the responsible world is shifting away from the conventional post-war obsessions with Europe and the Middle East, and towards a new set of urgencies. Navigating the newly evolving patterns of commerce and trade, the world's most violent weather and the fascinating histories, problems and potentials of the many Pacific states, Simon Winchester's thrilling journey is a grand depiction of the future ocean.… (more)

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