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This book's simple mission is to describe Britain's environment today - all of it - and this it does with the kind of methodical clarity we have come to expect from a writer with the skill and experience of John Baines. He stars off portraying our land's basic physical environment and then shows what changes human activity has wrought in it - from woodland to wetland and mountain to sea. He considers deleterious activities like mining and motoring alongside rural conservation measures and 'alternative' energy sources. Everywhere, Baines is utterly objective. For instance, he reports that catalytic converters are only effective on 40% of car journeys (the others being too short), that the Channel Tunnel Rail Link entails the demolition of 60 homes and the noise-pollution of 400 more, and that MORI finds that more people are worried about radioactive waste and dog dirt than any other environmental fouling, but he leaves us to draw our own conclusions. So although the book has a mission we make our own message. This is a truly helpful contribution to environmental awareness, and as the concept of Sustainable Development gains ground in public consciousness it could have few better allies than John Baines.