Review: The Biodiversity Crisis–Losing What Counts

5 Star, Environment (Problems)

Amazon Page
Amazon Page

5.0 out of 5 stars

World-Class in Every Way,

November 5, 2001
American Museum of Natural History
This is very much an edited work, with most of the entries being but two or three pages in length. All of the authors are world-class proven naturalists and related professionals, and the photography that accompanies each work is top of the line. Of all the bio-diversity books available, this one appears to be both the easiest to digest and the most pleasing to the eye.Biodiversity is an option-generator. More diversity, more options for the future. See also Howard Bloom, World Brain.

Hyperdisease happens more often than we might think, and is very relevant to concerns today about the collapse of public health. See also Laurrie Garrett, Betrayal of Trust.

Biological elements are being inserted into commercial off the shelf products with unanticipated effects, some of which are damaging to humans. One noteworthy example: Corning added an ingredient to its tubes to make them less brittle, and scientists were finding their experiments infected and contaminated. Corning would not reveal what had changed, claiming it was a trade secret. Independent investigation finally determined that there was a synthetic chemical mimicking estrogen and having the effect of an estrogen injection on the cells exposed to the Corning tubes. Buyers beware–there would appear to be some disclosure standards required!

Mass catastrophes have occurred many times over history, eliminating up to 75% of all living things, with varied outcomes in the millions of years thereafter. See also David Keys, Catastrophe, on the most recent, the Dark Ages, circa 535 A.D.

Naturalists and natural science–the study of nature in its own environment, are endangered. Most universities are failing to support this vital area of study, with a result that our understanding of nature stems largely from lab work and computer models that are far removed from reality. See also John Paul Ralston, Voltaire's Bastards.

I highly recommend this book. It is both discouraging (so much yet to be done to stabilize the world) and encouraging (many good things being done by many small groups).
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