The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters
An utterly original exploration of the world of human waste that will surprise, outrage—and entertainProduced behind closed doors, disposed of discreetly, and hidden by euphemism, bodily waste is something common to all and as natural as breathing, yet we prefer not to talk about it. But we... show more
An utterly original exploration of the world of human waste that will surprise, outrage—and entertainProduced behind closed doors, disposed of discreetly, and hidden by euphemism, bodily waste is something common to all and as natural as breathing, yet we prefer not to talk about it. But we should—even those of us who take care of our business in pristine, sanitary conditions. For it’s not only in developing countries that human waste is a major public health threat: population growth is taxing even the most advanced sewage systems, and the disease spread by waste kills more people worldwide every year than any other single cause of death. Even in America, 1.95 million people have no access to an indoor toilet. Yet the subject remains 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 disaster 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 heroes of third world sanitation movements; the inventor of the humble Car Loo; and the U.S. Army’s personal lasers used by soldiers 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.
Publish date: October 14th 2008
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
Pages no: 238
Edition language: English
, Social Issues
An interesting book on an icky subject. This is not a history book and so covers human poop disposal as is currently done (or not done as the case may be) in various countries. After a while it gets repetitive.
Rating: 4.75* of fiveThe Book Report: The crapper. The toilet. The convenience. The Porcelain God. Of them all, it's the last one that's the most correct. We should worship the waste-disposal vessel in every American home, because it and the infrastructure that supports it, invisibly to the end use...
Or as we call it, “The Poo Book.”If you are expecting a Mary Roach approach, forget it. While there are more than a couple of yucks in George’s book, they provide spice and not substance. This is a sober examination of a crucial public health matter. George offers plenty of supportive stats, without...