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The water coming out of your kitchen tap is four billion years old and might well have been sipped by a Tyrannosaurus rex. Rather than only three states of water--liquid, ice, and vapor--there is a fourth, "molecular water," fused into rock 400 miles deep in the Earth, and that's where most of the planet's water is found. Unlike most precious resources, water cannot be used up; it can always be made clean enough again to drink--indeed, water can be made so clean that it's toxic. Water is the most vital substance in our lives but also more amazing and mysterious than we appreciate. As Charles Fishman brings vibrantly to life in this surprising and mind-changing narrative, water runs our world in a host of awe-inspiring ways, yet we take it completely for granted. But the era of easy water is over. Bringing readers on a lively and fascinating journey-- from the wet moons of Saturn to the water-obsessed hotels of Las Vegas, where dolphins swim in the desert, and from a rice farm in the parched Australian outback to a high-tech IBM plant that makes an exotic breed of pure water found nowhere in nature--Fishman vividly shows that we've already left behind a century-long golden age when water was thoughtlessly abundant, free, and safe and entered a new era of high-stakes water. In 2008, Atlanta came within ninety days of running entirely out of clean water. California is in a desperate battle to hold off a water catastrophe. And in the last five years Australia nearly ran out of water--and had to scramble to reinvent the country's entire water system. But as dramatic as the challenges are, the deeper truth Fishman reveals is that there is no good reason for us to be overtaken by a global water crisis. We have more than enough water. We just don't think about it, or use it, smartly. The Big Thirst brilliantly explores our strange and complex relationship to water. We delight in watching waves roll in from the ocean; we take great comfort from sliding into a hot bath; and we will pay a thousand times the price of tap water to drink our preferred brand of the bottled version. We love water--but at the moment, we don't appreciate it or respect it. Just as we've begun to reimagine our relationship to food, a change that is driving the growth of the organic and local food movements, we must also rethink how we approach and use water. The good news is that we can. As Fishman shows, a host of advances are under way, from the simplicity of harvesting rainwater to the brilliant innovations devised by companies such as IBM, GE, and Royal Caribbean that are making impressive breakthroughs in water productivity. Knowing what to do is not the problem. Ultimately, the hardest part is changing our water consciousness. As Charles Fishman writes, "Many civilizations have been crippled or destroyed by an inability to understand water or manage it. We have a huge advantage over the generations of people who have come before us, because we can understand water and we can use it smartly." The Big Thirst will forever change the way we think about water, about our essential relationship to it, and about the creativity we can bring to ensuring that we'll always have plenty of it.
From Academy Award-winning producer Brian Grazer and acclaimed business journalist Charles Fishman comes a brilliantly entertaining peek into the weekly "curiosity conversations" that have inspired Grazer to create some of America's favorite and iconic movies and television shows--from 24 to A Beautiful Mind.For decades, film and TV producer Brian Grazer has scheduled a weekly "curiosity conversation" with an accomplished stranger. From scientists to spies, and adventurers to business leaders, Grazer has met with anyone willing to answer his questions for a few hours. These informal discussions sparked the creative inspiration behind many of Grazer's movies and TV shows, including Splash, 24, A Beautiful Mind, Apollo 13, Arrested Development, 8 Mile, J. Edgar, and many others. A Curious Mind is a brilliantly entertaining, fascinating, and inspiring homage to the power of inquisitiveness and the ways in which it deepens and improves us. Whether you're looking to improve your management style at work or you want to become a better romantic partner, this book--and its lessons on the power of curiosity--can change your life.
The behind-the-scenes report on how Wal-Mart has become arguably the most powerful force for environmental change anywhere. In his national bestseller The Wal-Mart Effect, award-winning journalist Charles Fishman penetrated the store's once impenetrable wall of secrecy to chart Wal-Mart's impact on workers, suppliers, communities, and even the way we see the world and delivered to readers a high-resolution portrait of a business that has evolved into a vast economic ecosystem. Since The The Wal-Mart Effect was published in 2006, the store has gone from being one of the most reviled--and scrutinized--corporations in America to being an outspoken proponent of sustainable practices. How did Wal-Mart pull off such a reputation overhaul? In his new introduction to The Wal-Mart Effect, Fishman chronicles the work of Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott whose mission became to reconcile how Wal-Mart shoppers feel about the store with how Wal-Mart is viewed by critics. By providing a forum for Wal-Mart watchdogs to sound off, and through a reexamination of business procedures and motivations, Scott shifted the company's focus to sustainability and the environmental impact of capitalism. Wal-Mart has emerged from this revolution as a powerful and conscientious player in this ever-evolving economy.
Charles Fishman takes us into the heart of the biggest company on earth, ever, to show how the 'Wal-Mart effect' shapes lives everywhere, whether for cleaners in America, bicycle-makers in China or salmon farmers in Chile. Now Wal-Mart's influence is so great it can determine everything from working practices to market forces themselves, Fishman asks: how did a shop manage to do all this? And what will the ultimate cost of low prices be?
The Wal-Mart Effect: How the World's Most Powerful Company Really Works--and How It's Transforming the American Economyby Charles Fishman
An award-winning journalist breaks through the wall of secrecy to reveal the many astonishing ways Wal-Mart's power affects our lives and reaches all around the world.
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