"We do not question that flesh and bone and leaf litter will decay to dust, that seeds will sprout season after season and find renewed nourishment in the soil, that rivers can flow endlessly without running dry, that we can breathe a lifetime without depleting the air of oxygen.... What humans have not fully appreciated until recently is that these services are the work of nature, performed by the rich diversity of microbes, plants, and animals on the earth." --from The Work of NatureThe lavish array of organisms known as "biodiversity" is an intricately linked web that makes the earth a uniquely habitable planet. Yet pressures from human activities are destroying biodiversity at an unprecedented rate. How many species can be lost before the ecological systems that nurture life begin to break down?In The Work of Nature, noted science writer Yvonne Baskin examines the threats posed to humans by the loss of biodiversity. She summarizes and explains key findings from the ecological sciences, highlighting examples from around the world where shifts in species have affected the provision of clean air, pure water, fertile soils, lush landscapes, and stable natural communities.As Baskin makes clear, biodiversity is much more than number of species -- it includes the complexity, richness, and abundance of nature at all levels, from the genes carried by local populations to the layout of communities and ecosystems across the landscape. Ecologists are increasingly aware that mankind's wanton destruction of living organisms -- the planet's work force -- threatens to erode our basic life support services. With uncommon grace and eloquence, Baskin demonstrates how and why that is so.Distilling and bringing to life the work of the world's leading ecologists, The Work of Nature is the first book of its kind to clearly explain the practical consequences of declining biodiversity on ecosystem health and function.
Author: Lynn Margulis
Publisher: Jones & Bartlett Learning
Release Date: 1999
This sophisticated coloring book is a beautifully detailed illustration of the world's living diversity. It is written for science students, teachers, and anyone else who is curious about the extraordinary variety of living things that inhabit this planet. It opens with an introduction to the classification systems, distinctions between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells, an introduction to life cycles, Earth history, and an explanation of how to best use this coloring book. The next section is organized by communities in which the organisms live. The final section details the variety of major groupings - phyla - within each kingdom and shows how the organisms in each are distinguished from one other. This coloring book gives a visual understanding of the enormous diversity of life on this planet and will be an enlightening and educational resource for students from a variety of backgrounds.
In this extensively revised and enlarged edition of his best-selling book, David Suzuki reflects on the increasingly radical changes in nature and science — from global warming to the science behind mother/baby interactions — and examines what they mean for humankind’s place in the world. The book begins by presenting the concept of people as creatures of the Earth who depend on its gifts of air, water, soil, and sun energy. The author explains how people are genetically programmed to crave the company of other species, and how people suffer enormously when they fail to live in harmony with them. Suzuki analyzes those deep spiritual needs, rooted in nature, that are a crucial component of a loving world. Drawing on his own experiences and those of others who have put their beliefs into action, The Sacred Balance is a powerful, passionate book with concrete suggestions for creating an ecologically sustainable, satisfying, and fair future by rediscovering and addressing humanity’s basic needs.
The human love of novelty and desire to make one place look like another, coupled with massive increases in global trade and transport, are creating a growing economic and ecological threat. The same forces that are rapidly "McDonaldizing" the world's diverse cultures are also driving us toward an era of monotonous, weedy, and uniformly impoverished landscapes. Unique plant and animal communities are slowly succumbing to the world's "rats and rubbervines" -- animals like zebra mussels and feral pigs, and plants like kudzu and water hyacinth -- that, once moved into new territory, can disrupt human enterprise and well-being as well as native habitats and biodiversity. From songbird-eating snakes in Guam to cheatgrass in the Great Plains, "invasives" are wreaking havoc around the world. In A Plague of Rats and Rubbervines, widely published science writer Yvonne Baskin draws on extensive research to provide an engaging and authoritative overview of the problem of harmful invasive alien species. She takes the reader on a worldwide tour of grasslands, gardens, waterways, and forests, describing the troubles caused by exotic organisms that run amok in new settings and examining how commerce and travel on an increasingly connected planet are exacerbating this oldest of human-created problems. She offers examples of potential solutions and profiles dedicated individuals worldwide who are working tirelessly to protect the places and creatures they love. While our attention is quick to focus on purposeful attempts to disrupt our lives and economies by releasing harmful biological agents, we often ignore equally serious but much more insidious threats, those that we inadvertently cause by our own seemingly harmless actions. A Plague of Rats and Rubbervines takes a compelling look at this underappreciated problem and sets forth positive suggestions for what we as consumers, gardeners, travelers, nurserymen, fishermen, pet owners, business people -- indeed all of us who by our very local choices drive global commerce -- can do to help. "
Author: Robert P. Clark
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Pub Inc
Release Date: 2000
Robert P. Clark develops in this book a global life systems perspective that delineates how biological forces mutually reinforce one another--and what their globalization has meant for both human society and the biosphere. While he resists biological determinism, Clark traces interconnected developments among population, disease, agriculture, trade, fuels, and other life systems to more thoroughly explore and elucidate the globalization of human endeavors within an ever evolving context of nature and environment.
Author: William Crittenden Frederick
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
Release Date: 1995
Genre: Business & Economics
In Values, Nature, and Culture in the American Corporation, distinguished ethicist William Frederick explores issues of fundamental importance to all who aspire to conduct their business affairs ethically. He begins with an examination of the three value systems in business that are basically incompatible, and therefore in constant tension. The first is the need for managers to efficiently allocate resources for maximum profits. The second is the natural tendency for managers, in pursuit of the first goal, to accumulate power for its own sake. The third is the desire for people in the community to create relationships that will perpetuate these communities. Frederick brings in a range of ideas and concepts from the social sciences as well as the natural sciences to illuminate his discussion. In the final section of the book he explores a range of issues of current concern to managers, including corporate culture and technology.
Author: Shannon K Vaughan
Publisher: CQ Press
Release Date: 2013-01-08
Genre: Business & Economics
In explicitly tying the policy realm to management skills, this book sheds new light on how nonprofit managers can better navigate policymaking and regulatory contexts to effectively lead their organizations.
Author: Jane Jacobs
Release Date: 2016-07-20
Genre: Social Science
Thirty years after its publication, The Death and Life of Great American Cities was described by The New York Times as "perhaps the most influential single work in the history of town planning....[It] can also be seen in a much larger context. It is first of all a work of literature; the descriptions of street life as a kind of ballet and the bitingly satiric account of traditional planning theory can still be read for pleasure even by those who long ago absorbed and appropriated the book's arguments." Jane Jacobs, an editor and writer on architecture in New York City in the early sixties, argued that urban diversity and vitality were being destroyed by powerful architects and city planners. Rigorous, sane, and delightfully epigrammatic, Jacobs's small masterpiece is a blueprint for the humanistic management of cities. It is sensible, knowledgeable, readable, indispensable. The author has written a new foreword for this Modern Library edition.
In childhood, the backyard, the flowerbed, the beach, puddles, lakes, and streams are infinitely fascinating. It is a mistake to leave that "childish" fascination with mud behind. The soils of the Earth, whether underneath our feet or pressurized beneath tons of ocean water, hold life in abundance. A handful of garden dirt may harbor more species than the entire aboveground Amazon. The robotic rovers Spirit and Opportunity made headlines as they searched the Martian landscape for signs of life. But while our eyes have been turned toward the skies, teeming beneath us and largely unexplored lies what Science magazine recently called the true "final frontier." A growing array of scientists is exploring life in soils and sediments, uncovering a living world alien to our own senses--and yet one whose integrity turns out to be crucial to life above ground. Yvonne Baskin takes the reader from the polar desert of Antarctica to the coastal rain forests of Canada, from the rangelands of Yellowstone National Park to the vanishing wetlands of the Mississippi River basin, from Dutch pastures to English sounds, and beyond. She introduces exotic underground creatures and shows us what scientists are learning about their contribution to sustaining a healthy world above ground. She also explores the alarming ways in which air pollution, trawl fishing, timber cutting, introductions of invasive species, wetland destruction, and the like threaten this underground diversity and how their loss, in turn, affects our own well being. Two-thirds of the world's biological diversity exists in soils and underwater sediments, and yet most of us remain unaware of these tiny multitudes that run the planet beneath the scenes. In Under Ground, Baskin reveals the startling ways in which that life, whether in our own back yards, in fields and forests, or in the furthest reaches of the Earth, is more significant and fascinating than we once imagined.
Author: Douglas W. Tallamy
Publisher: Timber Press
Release Date: 2009-09-01
“If you cut down the goldenrod, the wild black cherry, the milkweed and other natives, you eliminate the larvae, and starve the birds. This simple revelation about the food web—and it is an intricate web, not a chain—is the driving force in Bringing Nature Home.” —The New York Times As development and subsequent habitat destruction accelerate, there are increasing pressures on wildlife populations. But there is an important and simple step toward reversing this alarming trend: Everyone with access to a patch of earth can make a significant contribution toward sustaining biodiversity. There is an unbreakable link between native plant species and native wildlife—native insects cannot, or will not, eat alien plants. When native plants disappear, the insects disappear, impoverishing the food source for birds and other animals. In many parts of the world, habitat destruction has been so extensive that local wildlife is in crisis and may be headed toward extinction. Bringing Nature Home has sparked a national conversation about the link between healthy local ecosystems and human well-being, and the new paperback edition—with an expanded resource section and updated photos—will help broaden the movement. By acting on Douglas Tallamy's practical recommendations, everyone can make a difference.