Blog Tour Book Review: Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth by Greg Matloff, C. Bangs & Les Johnson

Harvesting Space for a Greener EarthTitle: Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth written by Greg Matloff, C. Bangs & Les Johnson
Genre: Nonfiction
Publisher: Springer
Page count: 268
Format: Paperback
Rating – 5/5

What was our planet like in years past? How has our civilization affected Earth and its ecology? Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth, the Second Edition of Paradise Regained: The Regreening of the Earth, begins by discussing these questions, and then generates a scenario for the restoration of Earth. It introduces new and innovative ideas on how we could use Solar System and its resources for terrestrial benefit.

The environmental challenges that face us today cannot be resolved by conservation and current technologies alone. Harvesting Space highlights the risk of humankind’s future extinction from environmental degradation. Population growth, global climate change, and maintaining sustainability of habitats for wildlife are all considered, among other issues.

Rather than losing heart, we need to realize that the solutions to these problems lie in being good stewards of the planet and in the development of space. Not only will the solutions offered here avert a crisis, they will also provide the basis for continued technological and societal progress. Tapping the resources of near-Earth asteroids will lead to methods of diverting those asteroids that threaten Earth. Space-based terrestrial power generation systems will work synergistically with Earth-based conservation.

This book needs to be read urgently and widely, if we are to save ourselves from environmental disaster, reduce the risk of catastrophic cosmic impacts, and build a prosperous and sustainable future for all the creatures of Earth.


Hello everyone! Thank you for visiting my stop on the blog tour for Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth, a text I was really excited about reading. I’d like to thank the authors as well as TLC Book Tours for providing a review copy as well as granting me the opportunity to read what I think is such an important book.

Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth is made up of three sections, each containing a plethora of valuable information, some of which may be review if you were like me and took an astronomy class for fun in college but all of which is interesting and essential. The first section focuses on discussing our solar system and the formation of our earth; the second section discusses the history, failures, and successes of humans; and the last section discusses and proposes what we can do to ensure the health of longevity of our home, earth.

I found many of the proposals for conservation and the use of space technology to divert catastrophes and exploit space resources to be really interesting and I can see how they could be beneficial to us and the earth. One thing that I thought was really interesting was the proposal of using space for the byproducts of human civilization for example, waste. The theory is that since space does not have an atmosphere like earth and such that we wouldn’t be polluting it or “harming” space in any way.  Not only that but we would also be avoiding the pollution of our atmosphere which we see from the review of human impact on the earth in section 2. One thing I really take to heart from this book is the fact that many of us need to wake up. Something that was mentioned a bit in the book was the fact that the earth is our one home and that it’s a fragile, lonely creature (insomuch as there is no duplicate of earth that we can turn to in the event that this one can no longer house us). Living our everyday lives going to work and coming home playing games or reading books or whatever we do, it’s easy to forget what the earth is going through and consider our own contributions to the problems we are facing. This book is a wake up call and a proponent for change and innovation that we all must take to heart! I see this book making a great impact and I think it should be considered for inclusion in higher education courses or even high school courses. The information is written in a way that easily understandable, interesting and with beautiful, evocative illustrations. One thing I was really impressed with was that although the text gave factual, authoritative information it was also able to convey the care and passion that the authors have for the subject which was surprising and beautiful to me in a text like this.

This was such a great book for me to read at this point in my life and I’m convinced that everyone should read this book if only to become more familiar with the problems facing the earth and how serious these problems actually are. Reading a nonfiction book like this with the appearance of a textbook is really out of my normal comfort zone and I’m so glad that I read it. The authors of this book have done a wonderful job of discussing not only these problems, but in giving us an overview of earth before humans and earth after the human touch. The differences are so startling and so heartbreaking. I think reading this book really puts the earth’s plight into perspective and the fact that the need for change, really is a desperate need.

I recommend giving this book a read, I think everyone can learn something from it whether it be something from the history of our solar system, the history of human impact on the earth or the problems facing us and possible solutions for our future.

About the Authors

Greg MatoffGreg Matloff
Dr. Greg Matloff,  is a leading expert in possibilities for interstellar propulsion , especially  near-Sun solar-sail trajectories that might ultimately enable interstellar travel. and is an emeritus and adjunct associate astronomy professor with the physics department of New York City College of Technology, CUNY, a consultant with NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, a Hayden Associate of the American Museum of Natural History and a Corresponding Member of the International Academy of Astronautics. He co-authored with Les Johnson of NASA and C Bangs Paradise Regained (2009), Living Off the Land in Space (2007) and has authored Deep-Space Probes (edition 1: 2000 and edition 2: 2005).  As well as authoring More Telescope Power (2002), Telescope Power (1993), The Urban Astronomer (1991), he co-authored with Eugene Mallove The Starflight Handbook. (1989). His papers on interstellar travel, the search for extraterrestrial artifacts, and methods of protecting Earth from asteroid impacts have been published in JBIS, Acta Astronautica, Spaceflight, Space Technology,  Journal of Astronautical Sciences, and Mercury. His popular articles have appeared in many publications, including Analog. In 1998, he won a $5000 prize in the international essay contest on ETI sponsored by the National Institute for Discovery Science. . He served on a November 2007 panel organized by Seed magazine to brief Congressional staff on the possibilities of a sustainable, meaningful space program. In 2011, he co-authored with C Bangs an artist’s book entitled Biosphere Extension: Solar System Resources for the Earth.

C BangsC. Bangs
C Bangs’ art investigates frontier science combined with symbolist figuration from an ecological feminist point of view. Her work is included in public and private collections as well as in books and journals. Public Collections include the Library of Congress, NASA’s Marshall Spaceflight Center, The British Interplanetary Society, New York City College of Technology, Pratt Institute, Cornell University and Pace University.  I Am the Cosmos exhibition at the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton included her work, Raw Materials from Space and the Orbital Steam Locomotive.  Her art has been included in eight books and two peer- reviewed journal articles, several magazine articles and art catalogs.  Merging art and science, she worked for three summers as a NASA Faculty Fellow, and under a NASA grant she investigated holographic interstellar probe message plaques.   Her recent artist’s book collaboration with Greg Matloff, Biosphere Extension: Solar System Resources for the Earth, was recently collected by the Brooklyn Museum for their artist-book collection.  

“The artist C Bangs and astronomer Greg Matloff are long time partners and collaborators whose mutual interests and complementary talents serve them well.  For many years, Bangs has been the artist who provides the graphic interpretation of their scientific books, they have achieved another level; their work has never been so well integrated, as they have found a method where text and image become one, rather than one illustrating the other.  The more esoteric points of Matloff’s research find an accessibility, while Bangs more than ever seamlessly offers us, through imagery, a lyrical telling of their story for the quest to access solar system resources for the Earth.” – Maddy Rosenberg, Central Booking Gallery, NYC

Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth, published by Springer, is due out this year.

Visit Bangs at her website,

Les JohnsonLes Johnson
Les Johnson is a physicist, and the author of several popular science books about space exploration, Living Off the Land in Space, Solar Sailing: A Novel Approach to Interplanetary Travel, Paradise Regained: The Regreening of Earth, Sky Alert: When Satellites Fail, and Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth, as well as three science fiction books, Back to the Moon, Going Interstellar, and Rescue Mode.

He is also the Senior Technical Advisor for NASA’s Advanced Concepts Office at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.  Les is the NASA Co-Investigator (Co-I) for the European Union’s Deploytech Solar Sail demonstration mission planned for launch in 2015. He was the NASA Co-I for the JAXA T-Rex Space Tether Experiment and PI of NASA’s ProSEDS Experiment. During his career at NASA, he served as the Manager for the Space Science Programs and Projects Office, the In-Space Propulsion Technology Program, and the Interstellar Propulsion Research Project. He thrice received NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal and has 3 patents.

Les is a frequent contributor to the Journal of the British Interplanetary Society and a member of the National Space Society, the World Future Society, and MENSA. He serves on the Editorial Advisory Board for the British Interplanetary Society and is Chairman of the Tennessee Valley Interstellar Workshop. Les was the featured “interstellar explorer” in the January 2013 issue of National Geographic magazine and a technical consultant for the movie Europa Report.

Les earned his Master’s degree in physics from Vanderbilt University in 1986 and his Bachelor’s degree from Transylvania University in 1984.

Visit Les at his website,

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2 thoughts on “Blog Tour Book Review: Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth by Greg Matloff, C. Bangs & Les Johnson

  1. Pingback: Greg Matloff, C Bangs, and Les Johnson, authors of Harvesting Space for a Greener Earth, on tour June 2014 | TLC Book Tours

  2. Sounds like there is a lot to learn from this book, and a lot to make readers think. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    Thanks for being a part of the tour. I’m featuring your review on TLC’s Facebook page today.

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