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A paradigm shift is roiling the environmental world. For decades people have unquestioningly accepted the idea that our goal is to preserve nature in its pristine, pre-human state. But many scientists have come to see this as an outdated dream that thwarts bold new plans to save the environment and prevents us from having a fuller relationship with nature. Humans have changed the landscapes they inhabit since prehistory, and climate change means even the remotest places now bear the fingerprints of humanity. Emma Marris argues convincingly that it is time to look forward and create the "rambunctious garden," a hybrid of wild nature and human management.In this optimistic book, readers meet leading scientists and environmentalists and visit imaginary Edens, designer ecosystems, and Pleistocene parks. Marris describes innovative conservation approaches, including rewilding, assisted migration, and the embrace of so-called novel ecosystems. Rambunctious Garden is short on gloom and long on interesting theories and fascinating narratives, all of which bring home the idea that we must give up our romantic notions of pristine wilderness and replace them with the concept of a global, half-wild rambunctious garden planet, tended by us.
The Attacking Ocean
The past fifteen thousand years--the entire span of human civilization--have witnessed dramatic sea level changes, which began with rapid global warming at the end of the Ice Age, when coastlines were more than seven hundred feet below modern levels. Over the next ten millennia, the oceans climbed in fits and starts. These rapid changes had little effect on those humans who experienced them, partly because there were so few people on earth, and also because those people were able to adjust readily to new coastlines. Global sea levels stabilized about six thousand years ago, except for local adjustments that caused often significant changes to places such as the Nile Delta. The curve of inexorably rising seas flattened out as urban civilizations developed in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and South Asia. The earth's population boomed, quintupling from the time of Christ to the Industrial Revolution. The threat from the oceans increased with our crowding along shores to live, fish, and trade. Since 1860, the world has warmed significantly and the ocean's climb has accelerated. The sea level changes are cumulative and gradual; no one knows when they will end. The Attacking Ocean, from celebrated author Brian Fagan, tells a tale of the rising complexity of the relationship between humans and the sea at their doorsteps, a complexity created not by the oceans, which have changed little. What has changed is us, and the number of us on earth.
Wild at Heart: America's Turbulent Relationship with Nature, from Exploitation to Redemption
Nature on the brink? Maybe not. With so much bad news in the world, we forget how much environmental progress has been made. In a narrative that reaches from Native American tribal practices to public health and commercial hunting, Wild at Heart shows how western attitudes towards nature have changed dramatically in the last five hundred years.The Chinook gave thanks for King Salmon's gifts. The Puritans saw Nature as a frightening wilderness, full of "uncooked meat." With the industrial revolution, nature was despoiled and simultaneously celebrated as a source of the sublime. With little forethought and great greed, Americans killed the last passenger pigeon, wiped out the old growth forests, and dumped so much oil in the rivers that they burst into flame. But in the span of a few decades, our relationship with nature has evolved to a more sophisticated sense of interdependence that brings us full circle. Across the US, people are taking individual action, planting native species and fighting for projects like dam removal and wolf restoration. Cities are embracing nature, too.Humans can learn from the past, and our choices today will determine whether nature survives. Like the First Nations, all nations must come to deep agreement that nature needs protection. This compelling book reveals both how we got here and our own and nature's astonishing ability to mutually regenerate.
Atlas of a Lost World: Travels in Ice Age America
From the author of Apocalyptic Planet comes a vivid travelogue through prehistory, that traces the arrival of the first people in North America at least twenty thousand years ago and the artifacts that tell of their lives and fates.In Atlas of a Lost World, Craig Childs upends our notions of where these people came from and who they were. How they got here, persevered, and ultimately thrived is a story that resonates from the Pleistocene to our modern era. The lower sea levels of the Ice Age exposed a vast land bridge between Asia and North America, but the land bridge was not the only way across. Different people arrived from different directions, and not all at the same time.The first explorers of the New World were few, their encampments fleeting. The continent they reached had no people but was inhabited by megafauna - mastodons, giant bears, mammoths, saber-toothed cats, five-hundred-pound panthers, enormous bison, and sloths that stood one story tall. The first people were hunters - Paleolithic spear points are still encrusted with the proteins of their prey - but they were wildly outnumbered and many would themselves have been prey to the much larger animals.Atlas of a Lost World chronicles the last millennia of the Ice Age, the violent oscillations and retreat of glaciers, the clues and traces that document the first encounters of early humans, and the animals whose presence governed the humans’ chances for survival. A blend of science and personal narrative reveals how much has changed since the time of mammoth hunters, and how little. Across unexplored landscapes yet to be peopled, readers will see the Ice Age, and their own age, in a whole new light.
The Common Buzzard (Poyser Monographs)
Soaring majestically on thermals with broad wings raised, the Common Buzzard is a familiar sight for many people across Eurasia. In fact, thanks to a remarkable ability to adapt to local conditions, it is now one of the most abundant hawks in the world. The Common Buzzard can exploit a variety of nest sites, and has an eclectic diet that ranges from earthworms and voles to woodpigeons and even deer carcasses.This is a species rich in paradoxes. Why does a hawk evolved for hunting small mammals thrive on invertebrates and carrion? How can a raptor renowned for dramatic territorial displays occur at such high densities? And why does such a large bird that can travel long distances spend so much time in small areas? Sean Walls and Robert Kenward delve deep into the ecology of the Common Buzzard to provide answers to these questions and many more, as well as examining the conservation conundrums raised by this bird.Bringing together a wealth of research on the species' origins, feeding behaviour and breeding, along with information on movement and survival from the authors' own studies, The Common Buzzard provides an invaluable insight into exactly what has enabled this marvellous raptor to return to old haunts to impress, inspire and connect people with nature.
The Biophilia Effect: A Scientific and Spiritual Exploration of the Healing Bond Between Humans and Nature
Arvay, Clemens G.
This is a book that celebrates our interconnection with nature and shows how to deeply engage the natural world wherever you live to dramatically improve your health. Clemens G. Arvay presents fascinating biomedical research into nature's healing effects on our bodies, practical tools and activities, inspiring stories, and more in this accessible guide to the remarkable benefits of being in nature.
The Healing Code of Nature: Discovering the New Science of Eco-Psychosomatics
Arvay, Clemens G.
Human beings are inseparable from the natural world, co-evolving with all of life. In order to thrive, we need to nourish this bond. In The Healing Code of Nature, biologist Clemens G. Arvay illuminates the miraculous ways that the human body interprets the living “code” of plants, animals, and our larger natural habitat for healing and sustenance. Here is a book as inspiring as it is fascinating, offering a new vision for the future of medicine and the way we relate to our environment.
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