- Taschenbuch: 256 Seiten
- Verlag: Abacus; Auflage: New Ed (3. Juli 2003)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0349115796
- ISBN-13: 978-0349115795
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13,1 x 1,7 x 19,7 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: Schreiben Sie die erste Bewertung
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 784.391 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
- Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen
The Future Of Life (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 3. Juli 2003
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As EO Wilson's important The Future of Life reminds us, our own success as a species has been paid for by the wholesale destruction of other forms of life. The more we learn about our own prehistory, the more we realise that this has been going on for a very long time. On the other hand, the more we understand about the environment, the more we realise that the economic and industrial developments of the last couple of hundred years have given this age-old problem a new and terribly urgent spin.
The facts are incontrovertible. But how do we interpret them? Something exciting is happening. The old head-to-head between the economists and the environmentalists is giving way to a more sophisticated, constructive debate. Arguably, that debate entered the public realm with statistician Bjorn Lomborg's brilliantly argued and controversial The Skeptical Environmentalist, which presented hard data on the state of the environment. Things are bad, Lomborg argued, but they are not insoluble.
EO Wilson's moving and poetic book is, at its core, just as hard-headed. While adopting a much more eco-friendly tone than Lomborg, Wilson is guardedly optimistic, as he describes the ethical, political and economic thinking that may yet save the planet while providing for a just and equitable future for the world's teeming poor. The old head-to-head is dead. The Future of Life is a moving, impassioned and constructive future bible of the new environmentalism. --Simon Ings -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
There's a new Darwin. His name is Edward O. Wilson (Tom Wolfe.)
A giant among pygmies (Bryan Appleyard, INDEPENDENT)
One of the clearest and most dedicated popularizers of science since T.H.Huxley (TIME.)
A grippingly detailed account (INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY)
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Ecosystems are different game. The best way to preserve them is via laws and by outright purchase. He is a big fan of the Nature Conservancy, which takes the very direct approach of buying up the pristine wildernesses of the world. He admits, that doesn't go into much detail about what to do about it, that setting up a nature reserve side by side with villages full of hungry people in underdeveloped countries is not really going to work. The people will invade your preserve and take bush meat despite your best efforts to stop them. Nevertheless, he is on the side of the angels, and the organizations to which he gives copious credit in the book are indeed deserving.
He tiptoes around the biggest issue, that of consumption in the rich countries. Everything we do to support our lifestyles damages the environment. While he is pretty good about talking about the environmental impact of our preference for meat over grains, he does not go into the cost of our proclivity for building large homes located a long way from anywhere. It results in cutting forests for timber, destroying farmland for home sites and roads, and asphalting things over to the point where the ground cannot breathe. Likewise, our gargantuan appetite for stuff demands huge mines to get raw materials and huge consumption of carbon and fouling of the waters to manufacture and distribute everything. Live simply, that the planet may simply live!
The solution that Wilson does embrace is fewer children. In the decade since he wrote the book the Western world has tilted way below replacement level fertility, 2.1 children per woman. He doesn't even talk about which people have children. It is not the people who are likely to read his book. University educated women, whom one hopes are the smartest and society, are the least likely to have large families. We are falling to zero population growth the wrong way, with the people who are smart enough to understand why it is important being the ones who are deciding not to have kids. At a minimum, the issue is more complex than he lets on.
Here's what I like best about the book. Biodiversity is a bit of a hard sell. As Wilson himself notes, whether or not the ivory billed woodpecker is extinct makes no difference whatsoever in the life of anybody living. The preservation of species is largely a moral issue. He would like to say that we have received an endowment from mother nature herself, and certainly from our forebears, and we have an obligation to pass it on as close to intact as we can. Why? So our grandchildren can enjoy walking through a Costa Rican rain forest and marveling at the diversity of colorful frogs and gorgeous orchids just as we can. So they can wake up some spring morning and hear the frogs croaking in a pond near their house.
Beyond that, Wilson does as good a job as I have seen in providing a financial justification for preserving biodiversity. Biodiversity implies that there are a number of species in a habitat, which means that if one of them gets in trouble there are others to fill in the gaps. My example would be the way that several species of oaks have filled in the niche formerly filled by chestnuts in eastern US forests. The chestnuts are gone, a tragedy, but we still have climax forest up and down the East Coast. In fact, we have more and more of it as the forest reclaims marginal farmland that has been abandoned. He also explains at length the value of biodiversity, or at least the availability of a vast number of species, for medical research and as a source for genetic engineering. Credit, too, for a realistic, balanced approach to GMOs.
Wilson starts out with a wonderfully lyrical open letter to Henry Thoreau, but the style gets rather pedestrian once he gets into the meat of his argument. The book should get five stars because he is so clearly on the side of the angels. However, I think this is less than his best work. It is a bit tedious. So for the writing, not the ideas, I give it only four. It is not up to the almost impossibly high standard he set for himself with "Consilience."
Add to that, Earth's life-cycle mechanics being thrown out of whack by global warming and dwindling green cover resources that help regulate it, water scarcity, pollution, and we have a dire pan of worms on our hands. Wilson maintains, however, that our vast accumulated reservoir of technology and abundant earth resource-cycle knowledge can help us through the bottleneck and on to a more rational, thoughtful, and harmonious future with Earth's regulation processes influencing all of our ethical and moral guidelines in our activities on Earth.
On the front cover is a beautiful art rendering of what, at first appears to be an expertly produced flower arrangement. But taking a closer look at it reveals a collage of plants and animals that are extinct or on the verge of extinction and then on pages viii to x is a diagram and list of the cover species and listed by common and taxonomic names.
Next, is the Prologue which is a letter to Henry David Thoreau. It is actually a dialogue of Wilson having a posthumous conversation with Thoreau at Walden's Pond where in part, he explains to H.D.T what state of environmental affairs we are now in- very moving!
Wilson's writing style is very gentle, sometimes poetic, and an easy flowing discourse packed with compelling punch lines for thoughtful consideration of the subject matter at hand: hopeful survival of all Earth's flora/fauna. And he posits this can be accomplished in dialogue such as:
"In order to pass through the bottleneck, a global land ethic is urgently needed." and, "Surely the rest of life matters. Surely our stewardship is our only hope. We will be wise to listen to the heart, then act with rational intention and all the tools we can gather and bring to bear." And, "The great dilemma of environmental reasoning stems from this conflict between short-term and long-term values."
For those that are familiar with the works of Thomas Berry- "The Dream of the Earth" and "The Great Work", Chet Raymo- "The Path", et al., Hawkin and Lovins- "Natural Capitalism" and many more such fine thinkers and doers, will no doubt be impressed with the ground that Wilson covers with his very realistic, but guarded pronouncement that we humans will get through the bottleneck if we immediately start listening to the voices of reason and start embracing what life-style changes we need in order enhance our survival possibilities. To be sure, it is a crap shoot in our survival odds, but Wilson helps bump-up those odds with his guarded enthusiasm based on a life-time of biology and environmental study. There is an abundance of resources and organizations mentioned all through this great work. Thank you, Prof. E. O. Wilson!
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