Wild Solutions: How Biodiversity is Money in the Bank, Second Edition

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9780300105063: Wild Solutions: How Biodiversity is Money in the Bank, Second Edition

We live on an unexplored planet, ignorant of more than eighty percent of the species that share our world. In this fascinating and abundantly illustrated book, two eminent ecologists discuss the biological diversity of the Earth, showing how the natural systems that surround us play an essential role in protecting our basic life-support systems.

Andrew Beattie and Paul Ehrlich tell us about the millions of species providing ecosystem services that maintain the quality of our air and water and the fertility of the soil, dispose of domestic, industrial, and agricultural waste, and protect crops from pests. The authors also describe how biological diversity opens the way for new medicines, pharmaceuticals, construction materials and designs, and manufactured goods. They point to innovative industries that harness species for the biological repair of damaged landscapes, biological mining, biological pest control, and biomonitoring of the environment. The organisms upon which these activities are founded—although often microscopic, obscure, or bizarre—provide natural capital that is worth infinitely more than anyone has previously guessed. The authors urge us to protect the biological wealth of our Earth and keep it from being destroyed by human activity.

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Review:

If there is an intelligence to the design of nature, an old question has it, then how could mosquitoes ever have come into being? Andrew Beattie and Paul Ehrlich have an answer: adult mosquitoes are an important source of food for birds, while their larvae are a major part of the diet of many species of fish. Moreover, mosquitoes pollinate some orchid species, and even their role in the spread of certain diseases appears to have a function in nature. Though it poses an annoyance and hazard, then, the mosquito has its place in the world, a world that is constantly impoverished by the destruction of species.

We humans, Beattie and Ehrlich suggest, are only beginning to understand that ecological health depends on the diversity of nature, a diversity that embraces mosquitoes. By way of illustration, they cite an experiment in which scientists created a sealed environment that was meant to approximate conditions in a self-supporting extraterrestrial colony--and that failed, in the end, because the scientists neglected to introduce easily overlooked but nonetheless critical microorganisms. "We are dependent in the short term," they write, "on many more kinds of organisms than it would seem at first glance." And, they add, humans directly benefit from the services that millions of species provide, whether appreciated or not. To remove those species, the authors argue, is akin to squandering a carefully built and irreplaceable fortune, "our biological wealth, our biological capital." Their thoughtful essay offers many reasons for curbing this spending spree. --Gregory McNamee

About the Author:

Andrew Beattie is director of the Commonwealth Key Centre for Biodiversity and Bioresources and Christine Turnbull is research associate, both at Macquarie University, Sidney, Australia. Paul R. Ehrlich is Bing Professor of Population Studies in the department of biological sciences at Stanford University.

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Andrew Beattie, Paul R. Ehrlich
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Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Christine Turnbull (illustrator). Second.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.We live on an unexplored planet, ignorant of more than eighty percent of the species that share our world. In this fascinating and abundantly illustrated book, two eminent ecologists discuss the biological diversity of the Earth, showing how the natural systems that surround us play an essential role in protecting our basic life-support systems. Andrew Beattie and Paul Ehrlich tell us about the millions of species providing ecosystem services that maintain the quality of our air and water and the fertility of the soil, dispose of domestic, industrial, and agricultural waste, and protect crops from pests. The authors also describe how biological diversity opens the way for new medicines, pharmaceuticals, construction materials and designs, and manufactured goods. They point to innovative industries that harness species for the biological repair of damaged landscapes, biological mining, biological pest control, and biomonitoring of the environment. The organisms upon which these activities are founded-although often microscopic, obscure, or bizarre-provide natural capital that is worth infinitely more than anyone has previously guessed.The authors urge us to protect the biological wealth of our Earth and keep it from being destroyed by human activity. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780300105063

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Book Description Yale University Press, United States, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Christine Turnbull (illustrator). Second.. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. We live on an unexplored planet, ignorant of more than eighty percent of the species that share our world. In this fascinating and abundantly illustrated book, two eminent ecologists discuss the biological diversity of the Earth, showing how the natural systems that surround us play an essential role in protecting our basic life-support systems. Andrew Beattie and Paul Ehrlich tell us about the millions of species providing ecosystem services that maintain the quality of our air and water and the fertility of the soil, dispose of domestic, industrial, and agricultural waste, and protect crops from pests. The authors also describe how biological diversity opens the way for new medicines, pharmaceuticals, construction materials and designs, and manufactured goods. They point to innovative industries that harness species for the biological repair of damaged landscapes, biological mining, biological pest control, and biomonitoring of the environment. The organisms upon which these activities are founded-although often microscopic, obscure, or bizarre-provide natural capital that is worth infinitely more than anyone has previously guessed.The authors urge us to protect the biological wealth of our Earth and keep it from being destroyed by human activity. Bookseller Inventory # AAV9780300105063

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Book Description Yale University Press. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Christine Turnbull (illustrator). Paperback. 276 pages. Dimensions: 8.2in. x 5.5in. x 0.7in.In this fascinating and abundantly illustrated book, two eminent ecologists explain how the millions of species living on Earthsome microscopic, some obscure, many threatenednot only help keep us alive but also hold possibilities for previously unimagined products, medicines, and even industries. In an Afterword written especially for this edition, the authors consider the impact of two revolutions now taking place: the increasing rate at which we are discovering new species because of new technology available to us and the accelerating rate at which we are losing biological diversity. Also reviewed and summarized are many new wild solutions, such as innovative approaches to the discovery of pharmaceuticals, the lotus effect, the ever-growing importance of bacteria, molecular biomimetics, ecological restoration, and robotics. An easy read, generating a momentum of energy and excitement about the potential of the natural world to solve many of the problems that face us. E. J. Milner-Gulland, NatureMust-reading for everyone. Simon A. Levin, author of Fragile Dominion: Complexity and the CommonsAn engaging book clearly intended to impress upon a lay audience the practical value of biological diversity. . . . An outstanding work. EcologyA most stimulating read for all those budding science students from secondary through graduate schools. Science Books and Films This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780300105063

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