A major book about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes
Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In The Sixth Extinction, two-time winner of the National Magazine Award and New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert draws on the work of scores of researchers in half a dozen disciplines, accompanying many of them into the field: geologists who study deep ocean cores, botanists who follow the tree line as it climbs up the Andes, marine biologists who dive off the Great Barrier Reef. She introduces us to a dozen species, some already gone, others facing extinction, including the Panamian golden frog, staghorn coral, the great auk, and the Sumatran rhino. Through these stories, Kolbert provides a moving account of the disappearances occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up through the present day. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy; as Kolbert observes, it compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.
Changes in the Land offers an original and persuasive interpretation of the changing circumstances in New England's plant and animal communities that occurred with the shift from Indian to European dominance. With the tools of both historian and ecologist, Cronon constructs an interdisciplinary analysis of how the land and the people influenced one another, and how that complex web of relationships shaped New England's communities.
In this revised, updated, and expanded edition of his New York Times bestseller, Nobel Prize–winning economist Robert Shiller, who warned of both the tech and housing bubbles, cautions that signs of irrational exuberance among investors have only increased since the 2008–9 financial crisis. With high stock and bond prices and the rising cost of housing, the post-subprime boom may well turn out to be another illustration of Shiller's influential argument that psychologically driven volatility is an inherent characteristic of all asset markets. In other words, Irrational Exuberance is as relevant as ever. Previous editions covered the stock and housing markets—and famously predicted their crashes. This edition expands its coverage to include the bond market, so that the book now addresses all of the major investment markets. It also includes updated data throughout, as well as Shiller's 2013 Nobel Prize lecture, which places the book in broader context. In addition to diagnosing the causes of asset bubbles, Irrational Exuberance recommends urgent policy changes to lessen their likelihood and severity—and suggests ways that individuals can decrease their risk before the next bubble bursts. No one whose future depends on a retirement account, a house, or other investments can afford not to read this book.
These are just a few of the true stories you’ll find in Diver Down, most of them involving diver error and resulting in serious injury or death. Each of these tales is accompanied by an in-depth analysis of what went wrong and how you can recognize, avoid, and respond to similar underwater calamities. This unique survival guide explores the gamut of diving situations, including cave and wreck diving, deep-water dives, river and drift diving, decompression sickness, and much more. It shows you how to prevent tragic mishaps through:Inspection and maintenance of primary and secondary diving gear Learning and following established safety protocols Confirming the training and credentials of diving professionals Practicing emergency responses under real-world conditions
Biomimicry is rapidly transforming life on earth. Biomimics study nature's most successful ideas over the past 3.5 million years, and adapt them for human use. The results are revolutionizing how materials are invented and how we compute, heal ourselves, repair the environment, and feed the world.
Janine Benyus takes readers into the lab and in the field with maverick thinkers as they: discover miracle drugs by watching what chimps eat when they're sick; learn how to create by watching spiders weave fibers; harness energy by examining how a leaf converts sunlight into fuel in trillionths of a second; and many more examples.
Composed of stories of vision and invention, personalities and pipe dreams, Biomimicry is must reading for anyone interested in the shape of our future.
In Polynesia we set sail with navigators whose ancestors settled the Pacific ten centuries before Christ. In the Amazon we meet the descendants of a true lost civilization, the Peoples of the Anaconda. In the Andes we discover that the earth really is alive, while in Australia we experience Dreamtime, the all-embracing philosophy of the first humans to walk out of Africa. We then travel to Nepal, where we encounter a wisdom hero, a Bodhisattva, who emerges from forty-five years of Buddhist retreat and solitude. And finally we settle in Borneo, where the last rainforest nomads struggle to survive.
Understanding the lessons of this journey will be our mission for the next century. For at risk is the human legacy -- a vast archive of knowledge and expertise, a catalogue of the imagination. Rediscovering a new appreciation for the diversity of the human spirit, as expressed by culture, is among the central challenges of our time.
Ever feel frustrated by crowded RV parks? Yearn to camp out in the wild beside a babbling mountain brook or before a remote panoramic vista? Bill and Jan Moeller have been doing just that for more than thirty years, and The Complete Book of Boondock RVing is their complete guide to camping without hookups (aka "dry camping"). Whether you’re planning to spend an occasional overnight in a parking lot or an extended stay in the wilderness, you’ll learn how to equip your rig for boondocking, find great campsites, manage and conserve electricity and water, and camp in complete RV comfort and convenience.Increase your independence by learning how to camp "off the grid" Save money by finding cheap or free campsites anywhere--even in large cities Ensure your comfort, convenience, and safety when camping in the boonies Learn how to conserve and manage electricity, water, and waste, and to establish reliable communications Enjoy the quiet, solitude, and beauty of nature by getting away from crowded RV campgrounds
Just ask the dozens of world-class players who have made it to the top using Oscar Wegner’s groundbreaking approach. But if playing tennis isn’t so easy for you, if you never seem to play up to your potential, don’t blame yourself—blame the coach who taught you a lot of uselessly complex techniques. Play Better Tennis in 2 Hours is your guide to tennis as the pros play it—more intuitive, more fluid, and more fun. World-renowned tennis coach and ESPN commentator Oscar Wegner shows you how to focus your efforts on one thing—hitting the ball correctly. Your own natural athleticism will take care of everything else. Follow the simple drills in this power-packed handbook, and you’ll learn how to:Move to the ball efficiently and fluidly Stop worrying about foot position and stance Hit every stroke harder and more accurately Put a wicked topspin on your forehand Master both one- and two-handed backhands Combine control and power on your volleys Put more speed and spin into your serve and more punch in your return
"Known and respected all around the world, Oscar has given us another great contribution to tennis with this book."—Gustavo Kuerten, three-time French Open champion
"Oscar has broken the mold, demystifying the modern tennis stroke. There's genius in his analysis of pro techniques—the dynamics of what the racquet does to the ball, how power and spin are added. He understands how top pros really stroke the ball, and always have, all the way back to Tilden."—Andy Rosenberg, Director for NBC Sports Wimbledon and French Open
After nearly a decade overseas as a war reporter, the acclaimed journalist Dahr Jamail returned to America to renew his passion for mountaineering, only to find that the slopes he had once climbed have been irrevocably changed by climate disruption. In response, Jamail embarks on a journey to the geographical front lines of this crisis—from Alaska to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, via the Amazon rainforest—in order to discover the consequences to nature and to humans of the loss of ice.
In The End of Ice, we follow Jamail as he scales Denali, the highest peak in North America, dives in the warm crystal waters of the Pacific only to find ghostly coral reefs, and explores the tundra of St. Paul Island where he meets the last subsistence seal hunters of the Bering Sea and witnesses its melting glaciers. Accompanied by climate scientists and people whose families have fished, farmed, and lived in the areas he visits for centuries, Jamail begins to accept the fact that Earth, most likely, is in a hospice situation. Ironically, this allows him to renew his passion for the planet’s wild places, cherishing Earth in a way he has never been able to before.
Like no other book, The End of Ice offers a firsthand chronicle—including photographs throughout of Jamail on his journey across the world—of the catastrophic reality of our situation and the incalculable necessity of relishing this vulnerable, fragile planet while we still can.
Imagine a life with no deadlines, no neighbors, no leaves to rake, and no lawn to mow. The open road beckons, and your home goes with you wherever you travel. Welcome to the world of fulltime RVing--self-sufficient, comfortable, and mobile. Living Aboard Your RV will help you decide if this lifestyle is the right choice for you, taking you through every step of hitting the road fulltime.
The fourth edition of this unique RV bestseller includes:The latest information and updated photos of new RV models and trends, especially the growing popularity of RV life for young families and people who make a living on the go What you need to know when choosing the best RV and equipment for your needs Expert advice for maintaining and securing your RV Fresh tips and new techniques for homeschooling your kids and keeping them involved and learning on the road How to use the Internet to keep in touch, make a living, manage your finances, and more
"Janet Groene inspired me to use my RV galley for living, not just making a sandwich. Novice RVers and veterans alike need Living Aboard Your RV." -- CHERYL NORMAN, RVer, award-winning crime novelist, and author of Hasty Tasty Meals in an RV
"If any of our family or friends were contemplating becoming fulltime RVers, the first thing I would give them is this book." -- Camping & RV
"Anyone who has dreamed of living on the road with a recreational vehicle will find Living Aboard Your RV invaluable in planning and living the lifestyle. Once again, author Janet Groene, with her vast experience as a fulltime RVer, has put all the essential information in one volume, making this a must-have for aspiring fulltimers. Even those who plan to travel only a few months of the year--or seasonally--should read this. We expect this new edition to be a bestseller at RVbookstore.com, just like the last one." -- CHUCK WOODBURY, RVbookstore.com
Few of us have any conception of the enormous timescales in our planet’s long history, and this narrow perspective underlies many of the environmental problems we are creating for ourselves. The passage of nine days, which is how long a drop of water typically stays in Earth’s atmosphere, is something we can easily grasp. But spans of hundreds of years—the time a molecule of carbon dioxide resides in the atmosphere—approach the limits of our comprehension. Our everyday lives are shaped by processes that vastly predate us, and our habits will in turn have consequences that will outlast us by generations. Timefulness reveals how knowing the rhythms of Earth’s deep past and conceiving of time as a geologist does can give us the perspective we need for a more sustainable future.
Marcia Bjornerud shows how geologists chart the planet’s past, explaining how we can determine the pace of solid Earth processes such as mountain building and erosion and comparing them with the more unstable rhythms of the oceans and atmosphere. These overlapping rates of change in the Earth system—some fast, some slow—demand a poly-temporal worldview, one that Bjornerud calls “timefulness.” She explains why timefulness is vital in the Anthropocene, this human epoch of accelerating planetary change, and proposes sensible solutions for building a more time-literate society.
This compelling book presents a new way of thinking about our place in time, enabling us to make decisions on multigenerational timescales. The lifespan of Earth may seem unfathomable compared to the brevity of human existence, but this view of time denies our deep roots in Earth’s history—and the magnitude of our effects on the planet.
Combining elegant writing with scientific expertise, The Forest Unseen "injects much-needed vibrancy into the stuffy world of nature writing" (Outside, "The Outdoor Books That Shaped the Last Decade")
In this wholly original book, biologist David Haskell uses a one- square-meter patch of old-growth Tennessee forest as a window onto the entire natural world. Visiting it almost daily for one year to trace nature's path through the seasons, he brings the forest and its inhabitants to vivid life.
Each of this book's short chapters begins with a simple observation: a salamander scuttling across the leaf litter; the first blossom of spring wildflowers. From these, Haskell spins a brilliant web of biology and ecology, explaining the science that binds together the tiniest microbes and the largest mammals and describing the ecosystems that have cycled for thousands- sometimes millions-of years. Each visit to the forest presents a nature story in miniature as Haskell elegantly teases out the intricate relationships that order the creatures and plants that call it home.
Written with remarkable grace and empathy, The Forest Unseen is a grand tour of nature in all its profundity. Haskell is a perfect guide into the world that exists beneath our feet and beyond our backyards.
Graham Harman is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at SCI-Arc, Los Angeles. A key figure in the contemporary speculative realism movement in philosophy and for his development of the field of object-oriented ontology, he was named by Art Review magazine as one of the 100 most influential figures in international art.
Growth has been both an unspoken and an explicit aim of our individual and collective striving. It governs the lives of microorganisms and galaxies; it shapes the capabilities of our extraordinarily large brains and the fortunes of our economies. Growth is manifested in annual increments of continental crust, a rising gross domestic product, a child's growth chart, the spread of cancerous cells. In this magisterial book, Vaclav Smil offers systematic investigation of growth in nature and society, from tiny organisms to the trajectories of empires and civilizations.
Smil takes readers from bacterial invasions through animal metabolisms to megacities and the global economy. He begins with organisms whose mature sizes range from microscopic to enormous, looking at disease-causing microbes, the cultivation of staple crops, and human growth from infancy to adulthood. He examines the growth of energy conversions and man-made objects that enable economic activities—developments that have been essential to civilization. Finally, he looks at growth in complex systems, beginning with the growth of human populations and proceeding to the growth of cities. He considers the challenges of tracing the growth of empires and civilizations, explaining that we can chart the growth of organisms across individual and evolutionary time, but that the progress of societies and economies, not so linear, encompasses both decline and renewal. The trajectory of modern civilization, driven by competing imperatives of material growth and biospheric limits, Smil tells us, remains uncertain.
Tropical Ecology begins with a historical overview followed by a sweeping discussion of biogeography and evolution, and then introduces students to the unique and complex structure of tropical rain forests. Other topics include the processes that influence everything from species richness to rates of photosynthesis: how global climate change may affect rain forest characteristics and function; how fragmentation of ecosystems affects species richness and ecological processes; human ecology in the tropics; biodiversity; and conservation of tropical ecosystems and species.
Drawing on real-world examples taken from actual research, Tropical Ecology is the best textbook on the subject for advanced undergraduates and graduate students.
Leading universities that have adopted this book include: