Page 80. " Africans had a far lower material standard of living than Russians did, yet it was the Russians who were prone to sour-faced complaints and self-pity. "

Hertsgaard stated this to emphasize how there are people with little, yet they are happy; and there are people with a lot, but they are sad. This statement also gave us a clearer visual about the African people, and how they lived.

Page 80. " The Africans I knew tended to shrug and make the best of things, smiling, even laughing, amid adversity, if only because it was better than crying. "

This quote helped the reader realize that they shouldn’t think too much of a situation. No matter what the situation, they should be happy and laugh about it because it was better than crying. This statement appealed to my emotions as it was good life advice.

Page 82. " Leno’s favorite, he told me, was the story of the eagle and the snake. "

During his stay in Thailand, Leno told a story that the elders from his village used to tell. The story, as Leno believed, was a prediction of the arrival of the airplane and the automobile. This appealed to me because the story of the eagle and the snake was cute, in the sense it made the book more entertaining to read.

Page 86. " When the revelers were done, they would hop onto motorbikes, two and sometimes three to a machine, and, as if they hadn’t inhaled enough poison already, expertly weave their way through the stalled traffic. "

When Hertsgaard states “poison”, he is referring to pollution. He stated this to describe how bad pollution was in Thailand. This quote appealed to me because Hertsgaard described Thailand’s environmental issues as “poison”.

Page 89. " Everyone I talked to in Bangkok-from sidewalk food vendors and civil servants to businessmen, students, and retired folk-was happy to complain about the traffic problem, but no one was willing to reduce his own driving. "

We need to stop blaming the majority for environmental issues and realise that each one of us play a role. Instead of focusing on other people we should all be realising our individual role and changing that, because we can’t change the majority of people but we can all change ourselves.

Page 91. " Since the 1970s, when the environmental hazards of automobiles first began to be seriously addressed, human ingenuity has struggled to keep pace with human appetites. "
  1. Heartgard points out how humans can not keep their creativity in pace with their appetite after exploring the consequences of something such as automobiles.

Page 91. " A full reckoning of the environmental costs of automobiles may be beyond calculation, if only because human knowledge tends to lag behind the effects of human action. "

Hertsgaard stated this when he was describing how bad cars are for the environment.