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Beginning in the late 1980s, a series of improbable bark beetle outbreaks unsettled iconic forests and communities across western North America. An insect the size of a rice kernel eventually killed more than 30 billion pine and spruce trees from Alaska to New Mexico. Often appearing in masses larger than schools of killer whales, the beetles engineered one of the world's greatest forest die-offs since the deforestation of Europe by peasants between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries. The beetle didn't act alone. Misguided science, out-of-control logging, bad public policy, and a hundred years of fire suppression created a volatile geography that released the world's oldest forest manager from all natural constraints. Like most human empires, the beetles exploded wildly and then crashed, leaving in their wake grieving landowners, humbled scientists, hungry animals, and altered watersheds. Although climate change triggered this complex event, human arrogance assuredly set the table. With little warning, an ancient insect pointedly exposed the frailty of seemingly stable manmade landscapes.Drawing on first-hand accounts from entomologists, botanists, foresters, and rural residents, award-winning journalist Andrew Nikiforuk, investigates this unprecedented beetle plague, its startling implications, and the lessons it holds.
A dystopic look at what happens to one American town when all the fossil fuels run out... It's the near future - the very near future - and the fossil fuels are running out. No gas. No oil. Which means no driving. No heat. Supermarkets are empty. Malls have shut down. Life has just become more local than we ever knew it could be. Nobody expected the end to come this fast. And in the small town of Spring Valley, decisions that once seemed easy are quickly becoming matters of life and death. There is hope - there has to be hope - just there are also sacrifices that need to be made, and a whole society that needs to be rethought.
When acclaimed author Deni Béchard first learned of the last living bonobos-matriarchal great apes that are, alongside the chimpanzee, our closest relatives in the animal kingdom-he was completely astonished. How could the world possibly accept the extinction of this majestic species?Béchard discovered one relatively small NGO, the Bonobo Conservation Initiative (BCI), which has done more to save bonobos than many far larger organizations. Based on the author's extensive travels in the Congo and Rwanda, this book explores BCI's success, offering a powerful, truly postcolonial model of conservation. In contrast to other traditional conservation groups Béchard finds, BCI works closely with Congolese communities, addressing the underlying problems of poverty and unemployment, which lead to the hunting of bonobos. By creating jobs and building schools, they gradually change the conditions that lead to the eradication of the bonobos.This struggle is far from easy. Devastated by the worst military conflict since World War II, the Congo and its forests continue to be destroyed by aggressive logging and mining. Béchard's fascinating and moving account-filled with portraits of the extraordinary individuals and communities who make it all happen offers a rich example of how international conservation must be reinvented before it's too late.
This comprehensive collection of provocative papers provides a scientific foundation for justifying the use of and a solid framework for examining the ambiguities inherent in emulating natural forest landscape disturbance. Contributors range from policymakers and forestry professionals to academics and conservationists, offering a balanced view of the promises and challenges of the forest management paradigm in sustaining forest landscapes.
Welcome to a forest filled with water. In the wet season, the swollen Amazon becomes a looking glass into another world, where pink dolphins swim like something from a dream. In Peru they are called bufeo colorado-the ruddy dolphin. Their color ranges from white to gray to a vivid pink. These astonishing mammals, actually river-dwelling whales, easily navigate their way through the complex, hazardous world of the Amazon rain forest. Encantado invites readers on the adventure of a lifetime as we travel into one of the world's most lush and beautiful jungles in search of these magical creatures. Our guides include scientists and researchers as well as the local people, who have lived with the encantados-the enchanted ones-literally at their doorsteps for centuries. Our main guides are the dolphins themselves. They lead us into myth. They take us back in time to a prehistoric era. They alone can show us the depth of the Amazon's beauty, diversity, and magic-and help us to keep our planet rich and whole.
Reunion of people from Yosemite Elementary School, the meeting of over fifty alumni and their youthful experiences in Yosemite.
With intriguing domes of pinkish granite surrounded by a sea of Hill Country limestone, Enchanted Rock State Natural Area attracts over 300,000 visitors every year who come to the park to hike, rock climb, spelunk, camp, picnic, and observe birds and wildflowers. Geologists from around the world come to Enchanted Rock to examine landforms that were shaped by forces on ancient continents of Earth more than one billion years ago! All of these visitors, however, are only the latest comers in a line of human history that stretches back 13,000 years to early Native Americans and includes Spanish explorers, Mexican and German settlers, and thirteen private and public owners up to the current owner, the state of Texas. Surprisingly, given the area's wealth of unusual geology, native plants and animals, and human history, no comprehensive guide to Enchanted Rock has been published before now. In Enchanted Rock, you'll find everything you need to fully appreciate this unique place. Lance Allred draws on the work of specialists in many fields to offer a popular account of the park's history, geology, weather, flora, and fauna. Whether you want to know more about how Enchanted Rock was formed, identify a wildflower or butterfly, or learn more about plant communities along the hiking trails, you'll find accurate information here, presented in an inviting style. Over a thousand color photographs illustrate the enjoyable text.
In these delightful meditations, biologist and bird lover Richard Cannings weaves stories of his personal encounters with birds into fascinating descriptions of their behavior, anatomy, and evolution. He muses over the meadowlarks' ability to hide their nests so completely that he has seen only two in a lifetime spent searching for them; the trumpeter swan, as picky as a two-year old, devouring potatoes and carrots but turning up its beak at Brussels sprouts; the northern gannet, with its snowy plumage, black wingtips, and startling blue eyes; the little saw-whet owl, which dabbles in bigamy and even trigamy; and more than two dozen other birds. Covering the entire continent, from the cacophony of a seabird colony on the shores of the Atlantic to a symphony of snow geese on the autumn plains to songbird courtship in the alpine tundra of the Rockies, An Enchantment of Birds informs and entertains, in one fell swoop.
Enclosed ecosystem experiments have gained in popularity as research tools in ecological science, particularly in the study of coastal aquatic environments. These systems provide scientists with a degree of experimental control that is not achievable through field experiments. Yet to date, techniques for systematically extrapolating results from small-scale experimental ecosystems to larger, deeper, more open, more biologically diverse, and more heterogeneous ecosystems in nature have not been well developed. Likewise, researchers have lacked methods for comparing and extrapolating information among natural ecosystems that differ in scale. Enclosed Experimental Ecosystems and Scale: Tools for Understanding and Managing Coastal Ecosystems provides scientists, managers, and policy makers with an introduction to what has been termed the "problem of scale", and presents information that will allow for improved design and interpretation of enclosed experimental aquatic ecosystems. The book integrates the results of a 10-year research project involving a multi-disciplinary team of scientists and students to explore scale-related questions in a variety of coastal habitats. Anticipating use as a reference, the book has been designed so that individual sections and individual pages can function as stand alone units.
A collection of humorous anecdotes, most of which are true, about outdoor life, with an emphasis on fishing and hunting.
This pioneering encyclopedia illuminates a topic at the forefront of global ecology--biological invasions, or organisms that come to live in the wrong place. Written by leading scientists from around the world, Encyclopedia of Biological Invasions addresses all aspects of this subject at a global level--including invasions by animals, plants, fungi, and bacteria--in succinct, alphabetically arranged articles. Scientifically uncompromising, yet clearly written and free of jargon, the volume encompasses fields of study including biology, demography, geography, ecology, evolution, sociology, and natural history. Featuring many cross-references, suggestions for further reading, illustrations, an appendix of the world's worst 100 invasive species, a glossary, and more, this is an essential reference for anyone who needs up-to-date information on this important topic. Encyclopedia of Biological Invasions features articles on: * Well-known invasive species such the zebra mussel, chestnut blight, cheatgrass, gypsy moth, Nile perch, giant African snail, and Norway rat * Regions with especially large numbers of introduced species including the Great Lakes, Mediterranean Sea, Hawaiian Islands, Australia, and New Zealand. * Conservation, ecological, economic, and human and animal health impacts of invasions around the world * The processes and pathways involved in invasion * Management of introduced species
This major reference is an overview of the current state of theoretical ecology through a series of topical entries centered on both ecological and statistical themes. Coverage ranges across scales--from the physiological, to populations, landscapes, and ecosystems. Entries provide an introduction to broad fields such as Applied Ecology, Behavioral Ecology, Computational Ecology, Ecosystem Ecology, Epidemiology and Epidemic Modeling, Population Ecology, Spatial Ecology and Statistics in Ecology. Others provide greater specificity and depth, including discussions on the Allee effect, ordinary differential equations, and ecosystem services. Descriptions of modern statistical and modeling approaches and how they contributed to advances in theoretical ecology are also included. Succinct, uncompromising, and authoritative--a "must have" for those interested in the use of theory in the ecological sciences.
This comprehensive encyclopedia is an authoritative, one-stop reference for everyone interested in the biology and ecology of the fascinating and uniquely accessible environment. Conveniently arranged alphabetically, nearly 200 wide-ranging entries written in clear language by scientists from around the world provide a state of the art picture of tidepools and rocky shore science.
In an urgent follow-up to his best-selling Why Your World Is About To Get A Whole Lot Smaller, Jeff Rubin argues that the end of cheap oil means the end of growth. What it will be like to live in a world where growth is over? Economist and resource analyst Jeff Rubin is certain that the world's governments are getting it wrong. Instead of moving us toward economic recovery, measures being taken around the globe right now are digging us into a deeper hole. Both politicians and economists are missing the fact that the real engine of economic growth has always been cheap, abundant fuel and resources. But that era is over. The end of cheap oil, Rubin argues, signals the end of growth--and the end of easy answers to renewing prosperity. Rubin's own equation is clear: with China and India sucking up the lion's share of the world's ever more limited resources, the rest of us will have to make do with less. But is this all bad? Can less actually be more? Rubin points out that there is no research to show that people living in countries with hard-charging economies are happier, and plenty of research to show that some of the most contented people on the planet live in places with no-growth or slow-growth GDPs. But it doesn't matter whether it's bad or good, it's the new reality: our world is not only about to get smaller, our day-to-day lives are about to be a whole lot different.
Economists insist that recovery is at hand, yet unemployment remains high, real estate values continue to sink, and governments stagger under record deficits. The End of Growth proposes a startling diagnosis: humanity has reached a fundamental turning point in its economic history. The expansionary trajectory of industrial civilization is colliding with non-negotiable natural limits. Richard Heinberg's latest landmark work goes to the heart of the ongoing financial crisis, explaining how and why it occurred, and what we must do to avert the worst potential outcomes. Written in an engaging, highly readable style, it shows why growth is being blocked by three factors: Resource depletion Environmental impacts Crushing levels of debt These converging limits will force us to re-evaluate cherished economic theories and to reinvent money and commerce. The End of Growth describes what policy makers, communities, and families can do to build a new economy that operates within Earth's budget of energy and resources. We can thrive during the transition if we set goals that promote human and environmental well-being, rather than continuing to pursue the now-unattainable prize of ever-expanding GDP. Richard Heinberg is the author of nine previous books, including The Party's Over, Peak Everything, and Blackout. A senior fellow of the Post Carbon Institute, Heinberg is one of the world's foremost peak oil educators and an effective communicator of the urgent need to transition away from fossil fuels.
Reissued on the tenth anniversary of its publication, this classic work on our environmental crisis features a new introduction by the author, reviewing both the progress and ground lost in the fight to save the earth.This impassioned plea for radical and life-renewing change is today still considered a groundbreaking work in environmental studies. McKibben's argument that the survival of the globe is dependent on a fundamental, philosophical shift in the way we relate to nature is more relevant than ever. McKibben writes of our earth's environmental cataclysm, addressing such core issues as the greenhouse effect, acid rain, and the depletion of the ozone layer. His new introduction addresses some of the latest environmental issues that have risen during the 1990s. The book also includes an invaluable new appendix of facts and figures that surveys the progress of the environmental movement.More than simply a handbook for survival or a doomsday catalog of scientific prediction, this classic, soulful lament on Nature is required reading for nature enthusiasts, activists, and concerned citizens alike.
A deeply panoramic tour of the night, from its brightest spots to the darkest skies we have left. A starry night is one of nature's most magical wonders. Yet in our artificially lit world, three-quarters of Americans' eyes never switch to night vision and most of us no longer experience true darkness. In THE END OF NIGHT, Paul Bogard restores our awareness of the spectacularly primal, wildly dark night sky and how it has influenced the human experience across everything from science to art. From Las Vegas' Luxor Beam--the brightest single spot on this planet--to nights so starlit the sky looks like snow, Bogard blends personal narrative, natural history, science, and history to shed light on the importance of darkness--what we've lost, what we still have, and what we might regain--and the simple ways we can reduce the brightness of our nights tonight.
"Matthiessen chronicles two voyages into the frozen seas that surround a landmass larger than the continental United States, most of it buried under eternal snow and ice as much as three miles deep. Ninety percent of the world's fresh water is locked in this immense ice cap, a remote region profoundly important to our environment. The author addresses the subject with authority and passion, discussing everything from global warming and the ozone layer to the vital role of krill, the teeming crustacean that is the cornerstone of the marine food chain." "Nature lovers - birders especially - will be fascinated by descriptions of more than half of the penguin species and an astonishing array of seabirds, from tiny storm-petrels to magnificent albatrosses, which may soar for years without alighting on land; here too are close encounters with whales, leopard seals, and elephant seals, and elusive creatures such as the oceanic orca. There are also remarkable descriptions of the seldom seen polar rookeries where thousands of emperor penguins stand motionless for months at a time, brooding their giant eggs through the long, cold darkness of Antarctic winter."--BOOK JACKET.
For the past twelve thousand years, Earth's stable climate has allowed human civilization to flourish. But this long benign summer is an anomaly in the Earth's history and one that is rapidly coming to a close. The radical experiment of our modern industrial civilization is now disrupting our planet's very metabolism; our future hinges in large part on how Earth responds. Climate change is already bearing down, hitting harder and faster than expected. The greatest danger is not extreme yet discrete weather events, such as Hurricane Katrina or the calamitous wildfires that now plague California, but profound and systemic disruptions on a global scale. Contrary to the pervasive belief that climate change will be a gradual escalator ride into balmier temperatures, the Earth's climate system has a history of radical shifts-dramatic shocks that could lead to the collapse of social and economic systems. The question is no longer simply how can we stop climate change, but how can we as a civilization survive it. The guiding values of modern culture have become dangerously obsolete in this new era. Yet as renowned environmental journalist Dianne Dumanoski shows, little has been done to avert the crisis or to prepare human societies for a time of growing instability. In a work of astonishing scope, Dumanoski deftly weaves history, science, and culture to show how the fundamental doctrines of modern society have impeded our ability to respond to this crisis and have fostered an economic globalization that is only increasing our vulnerability at this critical time. She exposes the fallacy of banking on a last-minute technological fix as well as the perilous trap of believing that humans can succeed in the quest to control nature. Only by restructuring our global civilization based on the principles that have allowed Earth's life and our ancestors to survive catastrophe----diversity, redundancy, a degree of self-sufficiency, social solidarity, and an aversion to excessive integration----can we restore the flexibility needed to weather the trials ahead. In this powerful and prescient book, Dumanoski moves beyond now-ubiquitous environmental buzzwords about green industries and clean energy to provide a new cultural map through this dangerous passage. Though the message is grave, it is not without hope. Lucid, eloquent, and urgent,The End of the Long Summerdeserves a place alongside transformative works such asSilent SpringandThe Fate of the Earth. From the Hardcover edition.
Marian Lindberg grew up being told that Walter Lindberg, the man who raised her father, was a brave explorer who had been murdered in the Amazon. She took her father's claims at face value, basking in her exotic roots, until she started to notice things. The unverified legend became a riddle she couldn't solve.As Lindberg moved from journalism to law, fell in love, and sought a family of her own, her father repeatedly interfered. He had a closed vision of his family, and she-unlike the silent Walter-was breaking out. Yet her father's story of the past haunted Lindberg. Long after her father's death, Lindberg set off for the Amazon, determined to find out the truth about Walter. Aided by generous Brazilians who adopted her search as if it were their own, she discovered as much about herself and her family as about Walter, whose true role in Brazil's history turned out to be unexpected and deeply troubling.Sharply observant, wrought with honesty, and sweeping in its ambitions, The End of the Rainy Season is a powerful examination of identity and human relationships with nature, and between one another.
Today the guiding hand of natural selection is unmistakably human. With these words Stephen M. Meyer begins a stunningly clear-eyed view of the extinction crisis. Marshaling evidence from the last ten years of research, he argues that nothing-not national or international laws, global bioreserves, local sustainability schemes, or "wildlands"-will change the course we have set: the loss of half of the earth's species by the end of the century. We will come to share the planet only with species that thrive in human-dominated environments.
End Points for spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste in Russian and the United Statesprovides an analysis of the management of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste in Russia and the United States, describing inventories, comparing approaches, and assessing the end-point options for storage and disposal of materials and wastes. The authoring committee finds that despite differences in philosophy about nuclear fuel cycles, Russia and the United States need similar kinds of facilities and face similar challenges, although in Russia many of the problems are worse and funding is less available. This book contains recommendations for immediate and near-term actions, for example, protecting and stabilizing materials that are security and safety hazards, actions for the longer term, such as developing more interim storage capacity and studying effects of deep injection, and areas for collaboration.
An End State Methodology for Identifying Technology Needs for Environmental Management, with an Example from the Hanford Site Tanksby Committee on Technologies for Cleanup of High-Level Waste in Tanks in the DOE Weapons Complex
The National Academies Press (NAP)--publisher for the National Academies--publishes more than 200 books a year offering the most authoritative views, definitive information, and groundbreaking recommendations on a wide range of topics in science, engineering, and health. Our books are unique in that they are authored by the nation's leading experts in every scientific field.
A biological crossroads where temperate gives way to tropical and east blends into west, Florida has over twenty-five primary habitat types, several of which are unique to the state. Within these richly varied natural communities lives an astonishing abundance of animals and plants, making Florida one of the United States' most biologically diverse regions. At the same time, sadly, Florida is also one of the country's most ecologically imperiled regions, second only to California in the number of its animals and plants that have been federally designated as endangered or threatened. This fully illustrated book is a comprehensive, yet convenient and easy-to-understand guide to Florida's endangered and threatened animals and the habitats that support them. Chris Scott covers all 71 species, subspecies, or populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, fish, crustaceans, insects, corals, and mollusks. His species accounts describe each animal's listed status, identifying characteristics, historical and current distribution, biology, current threats, and conservation efforts. To make the crucial link between animals and their habitats, Scott also includes extensive discussions of Florida's natural regions; human impacts on the environment, including habitat destruction, pollution, and the introduction of invasive, nonnative species; and ongoing efforts to conserve and restore native plant and animal communities. With this wealth of information available in no other single volume, everyone who cares about the natural environment can help preserve one of America's biological treasurehouses.
Bill Bryson meets John Vaillant in this life list quest to see the rarest species in North America.Crammed into a minivan with wife, toddler, infant, and dog, accompanied by mounds of toys, diapers, tent, sleeping bags, and other paraphernalia, Cameron MacDonald embarks on a road trip of a lifetime to observe North America's rarest species. In California, the family camps in the brutally hot Mojave, where he observes a desert tortoise-"the size and shape of a bike helmet and the colour of gravel" sitting motionless in the shade of a scrubby sagebush. In Yellowstone, after driving through unseasonal snow, he manages to spot a rare black wolf and numerous grizzlies, which, unfortunately, call forth a crowd of "grizzly gawkers." The journey takes the MacDonald family from British Columbia, along the west coast of the U.S., through the Southwest and Florida, up the east coast of the U.S., and finally to eastern Canada and then back home to BC.Along the way, MacDonald offers fascinating details about the natural history of the endangered species he seeks, as well as threats like overpopulation, commercial fishing, and climate change that are driving them towards extinction.
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