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The Human, the Orchid, and the Octopus:…
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The Human, the Orchid, and the Octopus: Exploring and Conserving Our…

by Jacques Cousteau

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Potent, truth filled masterpiece from Cousteau and Schiefelbein. Contains many heavy, serious passages concerning how the world became what it is. Many personal stories of risk, along with tragedy, mixed with opinion of risk assessment. Stories of all kinds creatures from his travels. Cousteau lets us in on his ideal dream of the future (one of the wildest dreams I ever read).

“In managing those risks fearlessness helps keep our minds clear, but relying on fearlessness alone would amount to foolhardiness. As we can’t reduce the frequency of nature’s surprises, we increase the thoroughness of our preparations.”(page 65)

In depth insight into the fishing industry. Distinguishing between applied science and pure science. Also learned the history of nuclear energy and bomb use along with politics, motivations involved. Cousteau was in it, he stood and fought.

A lot of history, research, current events, future predictions, and a look back at those predictions he made.

Cousteau justified to me that exploration is necessary due to vast amounts of environmental coverups (or outright ocean dumpings). He knows because he did everything and he been everywhere. He went out there, experienced for himself, and fought to spread awareness to the world. Much respect to Jacques Cousteau and Susan Schiefelbein. ( )
  Michael.Bradham | Dec 5, 2013 |
I'm a big admirer of Cousteau. The book is a testament to the way an older generation went out into the world on behalf of humanity, for service instead of for personal gain. His own stories are fantastic and I wish there were more of them - I wasn't so taken with his more general discussions of things like nuclear power, for example. But still obviously such an inspirational man. Well worth looking at. ( )
  fsmichaels | May 16, 2011 |
My son is a well-read, well-informed world traveler at sixteen years old. His blank look when I told him I was reading an advanced copy of a new book by Jacques Cousteau and Susan Schiefelbein is just one of the many reasons I am excited about the long overdue publication of this book. Cousteau died in 1997, and the absence of his influence in the past decade is echoed in my son’s generation’s lack of recognition. From the foreword by Bill McKibben:

For those of us who come of age in the 1960s or ’70s, the picture of Jacques Cousteau is fixed forever in our minds. A slight but wiry man, yellow tank peeking over his shoulder, falling backward off the stern of the good ship Calypso as he prepared for yet another dive down among the rays or the jellyfish or the sea cows or the parrot fish - down, literally, into his world, “the undersea world of Jacques Cousteau.” His voice became just as familiar, with its somehow slightly wistful but still infectious Gallic intonation. “In ze wisdom of ze dolphins lies ze test of human wisdom.”

Always passionate, frequently logical, sometimes preachy, The Human, The Orchid and The Octopus presents Mr. Cousteau’s unique perspective on personal exploration, the environment and our power to influence it. It sits well on my bookshelf next to volume 1 of The Ocean World of Jacques Cousteau that my father gave me years ago, a tribute to one of the world’s great explorers and visionaries.

Longer review at: http://www.duskbeforethedawn.net/2007/10/09/bookrev-the-human-the-orchid-and-the... ( )
3 vote lketchersid | Jan 7, 2008 |
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Explorer, diving pioneer, filmmaker, inventor, and activist, Jacques Cousteau was blessed from childhood with boundless curiosity about the natural world. As the leader of fascinating, often dangerous expeditions all over the planet, he discovered firsthand the complexity and beauty of life on earth and undersea--and watched the toll taken by human activity. In his last book, written over the last ten years of his life and finally available in the United States, Cousteau describes his philosophy about protecting our world for future generations. Weaving stories of his adventures throughout, he and collaborator Susan Schiefelbein address the risks we take with human health, the overfishing and sacking of the world's oceans, the hazards of nuclear proliferation, and the environmental responsibility of scientists, politicians, and people of faith. Cousteau's lyrical, passionate call for action is even more relevant today than when this book was completed in 1996.--From publisher description.… (more)

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