Inheritors of the Earth

Inheritors of the Earth

How Nature Is Thriving in An Age of Extinction

Book - 2017
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"It's accepted wisdom today that human beings have permanently damaged the natural world causing extinction, deforestation, pollution, and of course climate change. But in "Inheritors of the Earth", biologist Chris D. Thomas shows that this obscures a more hopeful truth--we're also helping nature grow and change. Human cities and mass agriculture have created new places for enterprising animals and plants to live, and our activities have stimulated evolutionary change in virtually every population of living species. Most remarkably, Thomas shows, humans may well have raised the rate at which new species are formed to the highest level in the history of our planet. Drawing on the success stories of diverse species, from the ochre-coloured comma butterfly to the New Zealand pukeko, Thomas overturns the accepted story of declining biodiversity on Earth. In so doing, he questions why we resist new forms of life, and why we see ourselves as unnatural. Ultimately, he suggests that if life on Earth can recover from the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs, it can survive the onslaughts of a technological age."--Jacket flap.
Publisher: New York : Public Affairs, 2017
Copyright Date: ♭2017
ISBN: 9781610397278
1610397274
Branch Call Number: 576.84 T3617i 2017
Characteristics: viii, 300 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm

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sjt
Feb 09, 2018

Can't help but wonder if the previous commenter read the book. I found it to be a realistic depiction of the way things are, without excuses for human destruction, but with a vision for doing better by our fellow passengers on earth from here forward. There is nothing to be lost by listening to this optimistic voice, and perhaps much to be gained. He argues for putting resources toward where they can help increase prospects for diversity and healthy systems, instead of throwing them away on futile attempts of restoring those systems to a mythical ideal, or to an unrealizable pre-human state. If the previous commenter wishes that that human influence on the "natural" world come to an end, fine, and he may just get his wish, but neither he nor the rest of us will be around to see it. I also cherish experiences with other species and earth geologies where humankind is not noisy, smelly and a pox on the landscape, but I believe it will take a constructive and realistic approach to retain and increase the prevalence of such spaces. That's what the author shares in this book. Read it and decide for yourself. It's well-written and amusing too.

One more note: the Library Journal review above is incorrect in saying that the author argues that the number of species on Earth is increasing. That would indeed be ridiculous at this moment in time. He says there may be, in the very long term, an increase in species, based on the fact that DIVERSITY is increasing everywhere, through the human assisted migration of "alien" species.

w
whalepeace
Jan 01, 2018

A ridiculous piece of nonsense that ignores that humankind and its industrial civilization is toxifying the planet, degrading the human genome, and causing the Sixth Great Mass Extinction, ridding the Earth of large mammalian lifeforms to a world without tigers, lions, elephants, giraffes, great whales.

This book is the Pollyanna view of global warming, the destruction of the biosphere. As if there is a lighter side to the Sixth Great Mass Extinction and the suffering of the animals and other lifeforms.

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