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Sparing Nature: The Conflict between Human Population Growth and Earth's Biodiversity ebook

by Jeffrey K. McKee


Jeffrey McKee's book, Sparing Nature: The Conflict between Human Population . McKee's case is built on three theses: 1. Human population growth has had a long-standing causal relationship with loss of biodiversity.

Jeffrey McKee's book, Sparing Nature: The Conflict between Human Population Growth and Earth's Biodiversity is just as applicable to the world's current environmental crisis as it was when it was first published in paperback in 2005. Through a captivating use of foreshadowing and direct and circumstantial scientific evidence, McKee weaves indispensable ecological, genetic, and behavioral concepts together like pieces of a puzzle through the mystique of an investigative detective story.

The point: biodiversity decreases as human numbers increase. I gleaned several pearls from Sparing Nature. At first, it was unsettling to me that a book about biodiversity loss was being written by a guy who didn't know a termite when he saw one and as soon as it was identified for him, he immediately called the exterminator-it having been found in his yard. However, this is not a book about sustainable lifestyles, it is about overpopulation and its effect on biodiversity. It was drained before the turn of the century.

Jeffrey K. McKee contends yes. The more people there are, the more we push aside wild plants and animals

Jeffrey K. The more people there are, the more we push aside wild plants and animals. The author probes the past to find that humans and their ancestors have had negative impacts on species biodiversity for nearly two million years, and that extinction rates have accelerated since the origins of agriculture

Home Browse Books Book details, Sparing Nature: The Conflict between Human. This one was the gap in the literature regarding any connection between human population growth and biodiversity losses.

Home Browse Books Book details, Sparing Nature: The Conflict between Human. Sparing Nature: The Conflict between Human Population Growth and Earth's Biodiversity. The discovery came while I was teaching a course called Human Ecological Adaptations, covering the environmental context of our lineage over the past few million years.

An examination of the complex relationship between human population growth and biodiversity losses. The warm and wet tropics are a cauldron of biodiversity, so it is little surprise that the ancestry of humans can be traced to the tropical lands of Africa. Published by: Rutgers University Press. The vast majority of our primate cousins, such as monkeys and apes, now live in the tropics. Such was the case sometime between six and three million years ago, when one primate lineage now known as the smade its evolutionary debut and traversed parts of the African continent (fig.

Are humans too good at adapting to the earth’s natural environment? Every day, there is a net gain of more than 200,000 people on the planet-that’s 146 a minute. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-8135-3141-1 (alk. paper) 1. ntal aspects.

WHAT, asks Jeff McKee, will the world be like with 9 billion people, perhaps even 11 billion? . The idea of a book adapted from a lecture series sounds dire, but McKee’s Sparing Nature will.

WHAT, asks Jeff McKee, will the world be like with 9 billion people, perhaps even 11 billion? The numbers are frightening. To survive, each one of us needs 160 square metres. In 1900 there were . billion people, . billion by 1960. Now there are 6 billion. At 145 new humans a minute, we will soon find out. The idea of a book adapted from a lecture series sounds dire, but McKee’s Sparing Nature wil. ontinue reading.

Conflict Between Human Population Growth and Earth's Biodiversity

Sparing Nature : The Conflict Between Human Population Growth and Earth's Biodiversity. Are humans too good at adapting to the earth's natural environment? Every day, there is a net gain of more than 200,000 people on the planet-that's 146 a minute. Has our explosive population growth led to the mass extinction of countless species in the earth's plant and animal communities? Jeffrey K.

Using insights from paleoanthropology, Professor Jeffrey McKee examines the impact of a population boom on biodiversity conservation. McKee noted "Growth of population is having profound effects on biodiversity worldwide". He referred to this as the human wedge. According to McKee, while prehistoric humans had some impact, the human population today has a much larger wedge, resulting in increasing threats to other species. Early Homo and extinction. McKee discussed the period of Early Homo's existence, when a number of extinctions had occurred. McKee contends it has. Summary, et. The author probes the past to find that humans and their ancestors have had negative impacts on species biodiversity for nearly two million years, and that extinction rates have accelerated since the origins of agriculture.

 Are humans too good at adapting to the earth’s natural environment? Every day, there is a net gain of more than 200,000 people on the planet—that’s 146 a minute. Has our explosive population growth led to the mass extinction of countless species in the earth’s plant and animal communities?

Jeffrey K. McKee contends yes. The more people there are, the more we push aside wild plants and animals. In Sparing Nature, he explores the cause-and-effect relationship between these two trends, demonstrating that nature is too sparing to accommodate both a richly diverse living world and a rapidly expanding number of people. The author probes the past to find that humans and their ancestors have had negative impacts on species biodiversity for nearly two million years, and that extinction rates have accelerated since the origins of agriculture. Today entire ecosystems are in peril due to the relentless growth of the human population. McKee gives a guided tour of the interconnections within the living world to reveal the meaning and value of biodiversity, making the maze of technical research and scientific debates accessible to the general reader. Because it is clear that conservation cannot be left to the whims of changing human priorities, McKee takes the unabashedly neo-Malthusian position that the most effective measure to save earth’s biodiversity is to slow the growth of human populations. By conscientiously becoming more responsible about our reproductive habits and our impact on other living beings, we can ensure that nature’s services will make our lives not only supportable, but also sustainable for this century and beyond.

Gajurus
I am doubly familiar with this book because, in addition to reading the published version, I served as one of eight evaluators who provided feedback in the latter stages of manuscript preparation.
In chapter one the author points out that he had two meanings in mind when he chose "Sparing Nature" as a title. The first echoes a warning from Malthus that nature has generously distributed the seeds of life, "...but has been comparatively sparing in the room and nourishment necessary to rear them."
The second meaning comes straight from Prof. McKee. To secure our own future and that of our planet, we must spare nature from the devastation human overpopulation can and will wreak if we don't voluntarily act to limit it. In a country like America the problem is particularly insidious because we don't feel personally crowded, having had plenty of exposure to seemingly endless open spaces. We take the food that crams our markets for granted, as if it grew in the backs of trucks. We have little sense of the contiguous ranges that wild creatures need to survive, or of the degree to which forests, trees, plants, people, animals, insects and microbes are interdependent. The aim of "Sparing Nature" is to gently but firmly raise our consciousness on all these issues in an entertaining and edifying way. As a scientist the author would rather persuade than simply preach, and therein lies the strength of the book.
McKee's case is built on three theses:
1. Human population growth has had a long-standing causal relationship with loss of biodiversity. In other words we have, deliberately or not, acted from the very beginning to reduce the variety of living things on Earth.
2. The most effective measure available to combat further loss of biodiversity in our late-stage predicament is proactive slowing, halting or reversing of net population increase.
3. Conservation of nature's variety is vital to the health of our planet and therefore equally vital to our own self-interest.
To succeed the author must convince us that theses (1) and (3) are true, and that thesis (2) is not only correct but presents a clear and present danger if not heeded. Hence he is invested in an advocacy position and wants to enlist the reader as both believer and activist. This is a tall order, far more difficult than simply identifying and elucidating a problem.
Since the themes implicit in the theses are both historical and global, the reservoir of possible talking points is enormous. McKee chooses well and constructs a cogent set of chapter topics and subtopics designed to progress logically and incrementally to the appropriate conclusions. His initial strategy is to define the nature and extent of plant/animal biodiversity, and to trace its evolutionary development together with that of early and modern humans. The results reveal an inexorable Homo sapiens "wedge" steadily forcing other species into extinction and thus indicating that thesis (1) is true. Additional evidence connecting biodiversity loss to harmful trends such as disease-prone monocrops, erosion-driven soil depletion, eutrophication of water habitats, thermal pollution, desertification and vanishing potable water sources supports the conclusion that thesis (3) is also true.
To establish the danger of ignoring thesis (2), the author argues strongly that neither resource rationing (i.e. conservation) nor improved technology, no matter how conscientiously pursued, can keep up with an essentially unregulated exponential population growth in the long run. Further, we are a lot closer to the long run than the perennial "eco-optimists" realize. On this point McKee is an unapologetic neo-Malthusian, and justifiably so because he shows quantitatively that Earth's usable land per person is already in the scary zone. The finiteness of our planet and the mathematics of human reproduction (six billion and counting) virtually mandate an accelerating slide toward disaster if we don't voluntarily curb our built-in urge to procreate. In the final analysis, a worldwide policy of self-motivated population control is the ONLY humane and practical measure available to sustain Earth in an ecologically viable equilibrium with nature.
Deadly serious as these matters are, reading "Sparing Nature" is by no means a depressing experience, nor is its tone even remotely overbearing or coercive. McKee approaches the reader in a relaxed and friendly fashion, using the recurring theme of his outdoor "office" on the banks of the Olentangy River in central Ohio to personalize his view of nature, family and the good things in life. The book opens with an informal survey contrasting creature variety in the author's suburban yard with that in a nearby patch of woods, and readers are encouraged to see for themselves what a toll human incursion exacts on biodiversity. As in his previous book, "The Riddled Chain," McKee sometimes underscores points by referencing his extensive anthropological field work in South Africa.
Greatly to the author's credit is his refusal to oversimplify or resort to hand waving. The many difficult aspects of determining the true extent of biodiversity, estimating rates of loss, and assigning causes are not minimized. For anyone interested in delving deeper, the chapter notes provide a comprehensive list of source material. Although it wasn't much fun to see the spread of humanity likened to proliferating weeds and cancer cells, I could not fault McKee's reasons for doing so, and he is clear about taking no pleasure in using the metaphors. Reading "Sparing Nature" will prove more than worthwhile for anyone with an open mind -- and a little time to spare.
Delirium
Jeffrey McKee's book, Sparing Nature: The Conflict between Human Population Growth and Earth's Biodiversity is just as applicable to the world's current environmental crisis as it was when it was first published in paperback in 2005. Through a captivating use of foreshadowing and direct and circumstantial scientific evidence, McKee weaves indispensable ecological, genetic, and behavioral concepts together like pieces of a puzzle through the mystique of an investigative detective story. Compelling evidence is provided throughout each chapter, which supports an analogy between Homo sapiens presence on the earth and an escalating loss of species. McKee utilizes Darwin's wedge analogy throughout the book to demonstrate how the exponential growth of Homo sapiens presence is increasingly driving wedges into habitats throughout the world, resulting in an alarming increase of species extinction in a very short geological time frame. He makes reference to this increase of extinctions as the 6th major mass extinction known on earth.

McKee additionally weaves a story of the earth's great restrictive law into the analogy of Homo sapiens escalating population growth and the loss of species through the introduction of invasive species and the devastating environmental effects of the human race's bio-geographical expansion across the globe. His answer to this ever growing environmental crisis is to regulate the reproductive capacity of Homo sapiens. Essentially, a conscious change is required throughout humanity, and parents can play an integral role in instilling an educational understanding of the complexity involved in creating a sustainable relationship with the earth's dynamic ecosystems.

This engaging and elegantly written book is essential reading for any students enrolled in college Anthropology, Environmental Science, Ecology, Natural Resource, and/or Sustainability related courses and/or any other interested parties trying to understand why the world's inhabitants are experiencing and are presently situated within a current, devastating ecological and biodiversity crisis. How did the world get into this situation, and what can the citizens of our earth do?
Sparing Nature: The Conflict between Human Population Growth and Earth's Biodiversity ebook
Author:
Jeffrey K. McKee
Category:
Biological Sciences
Subcat:
EPUB size:
1304 kb
FB2 size:
1940 kb
DJVU size:
1405 kb
Language:
Publisher:
Rutgers University Press; None ed. edition (January 3, 2003)
Pages:
224 pages
Rating:
4.4
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