The nature of nature Why we need the wild

Enric Sala

Book - 2020

"The Nature of Nature explores how the natural world works, outlines the consequences of its unraveling by our activities, and offers practical solutions-with a description of societal and economic benefits. The first ten chapters of this book are a step-by-step crash course in ecology-you might call it "ecology for people in a hurry": what species do, how they co-exist, and how the natural world self-assembles and works, compared to our human-built environment-with ideas on how t...o run our society and economy more efficiently. Chapter 11 discusses the moral case for the conservation of life on Earth, because utility cannot be the only lens through which we see the world. In other words: Do other creatures have a right to exist, and why? And finally, Chapter 12 explains why it makes more economic sense to protect more of the natural world than to degrade it. By talking to the brain and the heart, and at the same time reaching into the pocket, this book illuminates an inner appreciation for all life on Earth, instills a greater sense of humility, and helps us understand why we need a world with wild places"--

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Subjects
Published
Washington, D.C. : National Geographic [2020]
Language
English
Item Description
"Foreword by HRH the Prince of Wales"--Cover.
Physical Description
255 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : color illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 241-250) and index.
ISBN
1426221010
9781426221019
Main Author
Enric Sala (author)
Other Authors
Prince of Wales Charles, 1948- (writer of foreword), Edward O. Wilson (writer of introduction)
  • Re-creating nature
  • What's an ecosystem?
  • The smallest ecosystem
  • Succession
  • Boundaries
  • Are all species equal?
  • The biosphere
  • How are we different?
  • Diversity is good
  • Protected areas
  • Rewilding
  • The moral imperative
  • The economics of nature
  • Why we need the wild
  • Epilogue: The nature of coronavirus.
Review by Booklist Reviews

Marine ecologist Sala makes the case, with warmth and clarity, for protecting and restoring the environment, offering a "crash course in ecology" that draws on his explorations in the depths of both oceans and forests. With crisp definitions of terms and concepts, vivid analogies, and a touch of wonder, Sala brings into sharp focus the dynamic interconnectivity within ecosystems, and precisely explains why biodiversity is crucial to planetary life. His illuminating discussion of what makes our predatory species unique and uniquely damaging centers on our use of fossil fuels, the driving force behind habitat destruction, mass extinctions, and global warming. Sala sensitively and movingly addresses many aspects of the urgent need to change our ways, but what may be most useful is the clear link he traces between prosperous economies and a thriving biosphere. In his arresting epilogue on the COVID-19 pandemic, Sala attests to why a "healthy natural world is our best antivirus," and drives home the key fact that we are intricately connected to every other living entity, from bacteria to whales, and that all are essential to our survival. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"The Nature of Nature explores how the natural world works, outlines the consequences of its unraveling by our activities, and offers practical solutions-with a description of societal and economic benefits. The first ten chapters of this book are a step-by-step crash course in ecology-you might call it "ecology for people in a hurry": what species do, how they co-exist, and how the natural world self-assembles and works, compared to our human-built environment-with ideas on how to run our society and economy more efficiently. Chapter 11 discusses the moral case for the conservation of life on Earth, because utility cannot be the only lens through which we see the world. In other words: Do other creatures have a right to exist, and why? And finally, Chapter 12 explains why it makes more economic sense to protect more of the natural world than to degrade it. By talking to the brain and the heart, and at the same time reaching into the pocket, this book illuminates an inner appreciation for all life on Earth, instills a greater sense of humility, and helps us understand why we need a world with wild places"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

In this inspiring manifesto, an internationally renowned ecologist makes a clear case for why protecting nature is our best health insurance, and why it makes economic sense.Enric Sala wants to change the world--and in this compelling book, he shows us how. Once we appreciate how nature works, he asserts, we will understand why conservation is economically wise and essential to our survival. Here Sala, director of National Geographic's Pristine Seas project (which has succeeded in protecting more than 5 million sq km of ocean), tells the story of his scientific awakening and his transition from academia to activism--as he puts it, he was tired of writing the obituary of the ocean. His revelations are surprising, sometimes counterintuitive: More sharks signal a healthier ocean; crop diversity, not intensive monoculture farming, is the key to feeding the planet.Using fascinating examples from his expeditions and those of other scientists, Sala shows the economic wisdom of making room for nature, even as the population becomes more urbanized. In a sober epilogue, he shows how saving nature can save us all, by reversing conditions that led to the coronavirus pandemic and preventing other global catastrophes. With a foreword from Prince Charles and an introduction from E. O. Wilson, this powerful book will change the way you think about our world--and our future.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

In this spirited memoir, world-renowned conservationist Enric Sala weaves fascinating tales of the natural world, revealing how connections in nature promise a thriving economy as well as a healthy planet.Enric Sala wants to change the world--and in this compelling book, he shows us how. Once we appreciate how nature works, he asserts, we will understand why conservation is economically wise and essential to our survival. Here Sala, director of National Geographic's Pristine Seas project (which has succeeded in protecting more than 5 million sq km of ocean), tells the story of his scientific awakening and his transition from academia to activism--as he puts it, he was tired of writing the obituary of the ocean. His revelations are surprising, sometimes counterintuitive: More sharks signal a healthier ocean; crop diversity, not intensive monoculture farming, is the key to feeding the planet.Using fascinating examples from his expeditions and those of other scientists, Sala shows the economic wisdom of making room for nature, even as the population becomes more urbanized. In a sober epilogue, he shows how saving nature can save us all, by reversing conditions that led to the coronavirus pandemic and preventing other global catastrophes. With a foreword from Prince Charles and an introduction from E. O. Wilson, this powerful book will change the way you think about our world--and our future.