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Green IntelligenceGreen Intelligence

Creating Environments That Protect Human Health

John Wargo

Named a favorite Science Book of 2009 by Scientific American

Gold Medal winner of the 2010 Independent Publisher Book Award in the Environment/Ecology/Nature category

Narrated by Michael Lenz

Available from Audible

Book published by Yale University Press

We live in a world awash in manmade chemicals, from the pesticides on our front lawns to the diesel exhaust in the air we breathe. Although experts are beginning to understand the potential dangers of these substances, there are still more than 80,000 synthetic compounds that have not been sufficiently tested to interpret their effects on human health. Yale University professor John Wargo has spent much of his career researching the impact of chemical exposures on women and children. In this book, he explains the origins of society’s profound misunderstanding of everyday chemical hazards and offers a practical path toward developing greater “green intelligence.”

Despite the rising trend in environmental awareness, information about synthetic substances is often unavailable, distorted, kept secret, or presented in a way that prevents citizens from acting to reduce threats to their health and the environment. By examining the histories of five hazardous technologies and practices, Wargo finds remarkable patterns in the delayed discovery of dangers and explains the governments’ failures to manage them effectively. Sobering yet eminently readable, Wargo’s book ultimately offers a clear vision for a safer future through prevention, transparency, and awareness.


“A great book on one of the most neglected aspects of the human predicament—the toxification of our planet. Green Intelligence tells the tale through a series of case histories full of personal interest, making it an engrossing read as well as a dependable source of information. And it ends with a bonus—sound advice on how to reduce your own exposure to toxics.”

—Paul R. Ehrlich, co-author of The Dominant Animal

“[Wargo's] arguments are empirical, scientifically literate and ultimately convincing.... The result is a powerful indictment of a flawed system.”

New Scientist

“Wargo's proposed strategy for winning the chemical war is sensible: we need to create an environmentally intelligent society, one that is conscious of the ways in which humanity is transforming the chemistry of the environment and our bodies.... His clear-eyed approach offers transparency and a solution to the frenzy of chemical misinformation in our lives.”

The Ecologist

“This volume is a twenty-first century Silent Spring distilled and brought up to date with appealing prose... a disturbing book of revelations about the soup of manmade pollutants that permeates the entire world... Green Intelligence also provides a clear roadmap for the ways forward... Required reading for all citizens and leaders.”

—Thomas E. Lovejoy, Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment

All titles are published by:
University Press Audiobooks
an imprint of Redwood Audiobooks

University Press Audiobooks