complexity the evolution of earths biodiversity and the future of humanity

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Sparing Nature

Author : Jeffrey K. McKee
ISBN : 0813535581
Genre : Nature
File Size : 44. 14 MB
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Are humans too good at adapting to the earth's natural environment? Every day, there is a net gain of more than 200,000 people on the planet--that's 146 a minute. Has our explosive population growth led to the mass extinction of countless species in the earth's plant and animal communities? Jeffrey K. McKee contends yes. The more people there are, the more we push aside wild plants and animals. In Sparing Nature, he explores the cause-and-effect relationship between these two trends, demonstrating that nature is too sparing to accommodate both a richly diverse living world and a rapidly expanding number of people. The author probes the past to find that humans and their ancestors have had negative impacts on species biodiversity for nearly two million years, and that extinction rates have accelerated since the origins of agriculture. Today entire ecosystems are in peril due to the relentless growth of the human population. McKee gives a guided tour of the interconnections within the living world to reveal the meaning and value of biodiversity, making the maze of technical research and scientific debates accessible to the general reader. Because it is clear that conservation cannot be left to the whims of changing human priorities, McKee takes the unabashedly neo-Malthusian position that the most effective measure to save earth's biodiversity is to slow the growth of human populations. By conscientiously becoming more responsible about our reproductive habits and our impact on other living beings, we can ensure that nature's services will make our lives not only supportable, but also sustainable for this century and beyond.

Flowers

Author : William C. Burger
ISBN : STANFORD:36105122862324
Genre : Nature
File Size : 56. 99 MB
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The author describes the essential role that flowers play in the environment and their importance to the survival of both animals and humans.

The Sixth Extinction

Author : Elizabeth Kolbert
ISBN : 9781408851210
Genre : SCIENCE
File Size : 64. 51 MB
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A major book about the future of the world, blending natural history, field reporting and the history of ideas and into a powerful account of the mass extinction happening today

Half Earth Our Planet S Fight For Life

Author : Edward O. Wilson
ISBN : 9781631490835
Genre : Science
File Size : 50. 29 MB
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Half-Earth proposes an achievable plan to save our imperiled biosphere: devote half the surface of the Earth to nature. In order to stave off the mass extinction of species, including our own, we must move swiftly to preserve the biodiversity of our planet, says Edward O. Wilson in his most impassioned book to date. Half-Earth argues that the situation facing us is too large to be solved piecemeal and proposes a solution commensurate with the magnitude of the problem: dedicate fully half the surface of the Earth to nature. If we are to undertake such an ambitious endeavor, we first must understand just what the biosphere is, why it's essential to our survival, and the manifold threats now facing it. In doing so, Wilson describes how our species, in only a mere blink of geological time, became the architects and rulers of this epoch and outlines the consequences of this that will affect all of life, both ours and the natural world, far into the future. Half-Earth provides an enormously moving and naturalistic portrait of just what is being lost when we clip "twigs and eventually whole braches of life's family tree." In elegiac prose, Wilson documents the many ongoing extinctions that are imminent, paying tribute to creatures great and small, not the least of them the two Sumatran rhinos whom he encounters in captivity. Uniquely, Half-Earth considers not only the large animals and star species of plants but also the millions of invertebrate animals and microorganisms that, despite being overlooked, form the foundations of Earth's ecosystems. In stinging language, he avers that the biosphere does not belong to us and addresses many fallacious notions such as the idea that ongoing extinctions can be balanced out by the introduction of alien species into new ecosystems or that extinct species might be brought back through cloning. This includes a critique of the "anthropocenists," a fashionable collection of revisionist environmentalists who believe that the human species alone can be saved through engineering and technology. Despite the Earth's parlous condition, Wilson is no doomsayer, resigned to fatalism. Defying prevailing conventional wisdom, he suggests that we still have time to put aside half the Earth and identifies actual spots where Earth's biodiversity can still be reclaimed. Suffused with a profound Darwinian understanding of our planet's fragility, Half-Earth reverberates with an urgency like few other books, but it offers an attainable goal that we can strive for on behalf of all life.

The Story Of Life

Author : Catherine Barr
ISBN : 1847807550
Genre : Juvenile Nonfiction
File Size : 53. 12 MB
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At first, nothing lived on Earth. It was a noisy, hot, scary place. Choking gas exploded from volcanoes and oceans of lava bubbled around the globe. Then in the deep, dark ocean, something amazing happened. This is an exciting and dramatic story about how life began and developed on Planet Earth, written especially for younger children. The authors explain how the first living cell was created, and how the cells multiply and create jellyfish and worms, and then fish with bendy necks, which drag themselves out of the water into swampy forests. They tell the story of the biggest creatures that have ever walked on land - the dinosaurs. Long after that, hairy creatures who have babies, not eggs, take over, stand on two legs and spread around the world, some of them living through cataclysmic events such as ice ages and volcanic eruptions. Everyone living today is related to these survivors. With delightful illustrations including lots of detail and humour, all carefully researched and checked, this book shows the development of life on Earth in a truly accessible and simple way.

The Value Of Species

Author : Edward L. McCord
ISBN : 9780300183481
Genre : Nature
File Size : 42. 14 MB
Format : PDF, Kindle
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In the face of accelerating extinctions across the globe, what ought we to do? Amid this sea of losses, what is our responsibility? How do we assess the value of nonhuman species? In this clear-spoken, passionate book, naturalist and philosopher Edward L. McCord explores urgent questions about the destruction of species and provides a new framework for appreciating and defending every form of life. The book draws insights from philosophy, ethics, law, and biology to arrive at a new way of thinking about the value of each species on earth. With meticulous reasoning, McCord demonstrates that the inherent value of species to humanity is intellectual: individual species are phenomena of such intellectual moment—so interesting in their own right—that they rise above other values and merit enduring human embrace. The author discusses the threats other species confront and delineates the challenges involved in creating any kind of public instrument to protect species. No other scholar has advocated on behalf of biodiversity with such eloquence and passion, and none provides greater inspiration to defend nonhuman forms of life.

Life On The Brink

Author : Philip Cafaro
ISBN : 9780820343853
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 74. 34 MB
Format : PDF
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Life on the Brink aspires to reignite a robust discussion of population issues among environmentalists, environmental studies scholars, policymakers, and the general public. Some of the leading voices in the American environmental movement restate the case that population growth is a major force behind many of our most serious ecological problems, including global climate change, habitat loss and species extinctions, air and water pollution, and food and water scarcity. As we surpass seven billion world inhabitants, contributors argue that ending population growth worldwide and in the United States is a moral imperative that deserves renewed commitment. Hailing from a range of disciplines and offering varied perspectives, these essays hold in common a commitment to sharing resources with other species and a willingness to consider what will be necessary to do so. In defense of nature and of a vibrant human future, contributors confront hard issues regarding contraception, abortion, immigration, and limits to growth that many environmentalists have become too timid or politically correct to address in recent years. Ending population growth will not happen easily. Creating genuinely sustainable societies requires major change to economic systems and ethical values coupled with clear thinking and hard work. Life on the Brink is an invitation to join the discussion about the great work of building a better future. Contributors: Albert Bartlett, Joseph Bish, Lester Brown, Tom Butler, Philip Cafaro, Martha Campbell, William R. Catton Jr., Eileen Crist, Anne Ehrlich, Paul Ehrlich, Robert Engelman, Dave Foreman, Amy Gulick, Ronnie Hawkins, Leon Kolankiewicz, Richard Lamm, Jeffrey McKee, Stephanie Mills, Roderick Nash, Tim Palmer, Charmayne Palomba, William Ryerson, Winthrop Staples III, Captain Paul Watson, Don Weeden, George Wuerthner.

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