Arthus-Bertrand photographs our planet from the air – he’s been doing it for 30 years and has produced some of the most telling images of our way of using our earth that ordinary eyes have ever seen. A new production from him deserves the best of respectful attention. Billed as ‘A Next Generation Guide to People and Preservation’, his pictures show us, with irresistible impact the importance of Water and Oceans, People and Cities, Land, Food and Biodiversity, and Climate. And, sure enough, every picture tells a story in this stunning collection. Add a few stark facts – eg. More than 5 million people die from dirty drinking water each year, and you have a great and objective prospect of the way we live now (and terrific value at £12.95 – over 150 pages rather than the usual 32 for the same price).
In these circumstances, then, we can forgive the intrusion of the moralisng text capsules and the often scarcely skilled or relevant ‘illustrations’ that the publishers have thought it necessary to add. The volume remains hugely impressive, its message as durable as it is urgent. Spare nobody or nothing to experience this book – it’s a knockout! Also of interest to older readers.