Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Big Necessity

I'll keep this clean, (yes I do mean the pun) and just share the jacket description.
Produced behind closed doors, disposed of discreetly, and hidden by euphemism, bodily waste is something common to all and as natural as breathing, yet we perfer no to talk about it. But we should-even those of us who take care of our business in pristine, sanitary conditions. For it is not only in develpoing countries-where diarrhea kills more children the AIDS, tuberculosis, or malaria-that human waste is a major public health threat: population growth is taxing the most advanced sewage systems as well. Even in America, nearly two millions people have no access to an indoor toilet. Yet the subject reamins unmentionable.
The Big Necessity takes aim at the taboo, revealing everything that matters about how people do-and don't-deal with their own waste. Moving from the deep underground sewers of Paris, London and New York-an infrastructure diasater waiting to happen-to an Indian slum where ten toilets are shared by 60,000 people, Rose George stops along the way to explore the potential saviors: China's five million biogas digesters, which produce energy from waste; the heros of third world sanitation movements; the inventor of a humble car loo; and the U.S. Army's personal lasers used by soilders to zap their feces in the field.
With razor-sharp wit and crusading urgency, mixing levity with gravity, Rose George has turned the subject we like to avoid into a cause with the most serious of consequences.

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