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The Once and Future World: Nature as It Was, as It Is, as It Could Be

by

The Once and Future World: Nature as It Was, as It Is, as It Could Be Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An award-winning ecology writer goes looking for the wilderness we’ve forgotten

Many people believe that only an ecological catastrophe will change humanity’s troubled relationship with the natural world. In fact, as J.B. MacKinnon argues in this unorthodox look at the disappearing wilderness, we are living in the midst of a disaster thousands of years in the making—and we hardly notice it. We have forgotten what nature can be and adapted to a diminished world of our own making.

In The Once and Future World, MacKinnon invites us to remember nature as it was, to reconnect to nature in a meaningful way, and to remake a wilder world everywhere. He goes looking for landscapes untouched by human hands. He revisits a globe exuberant with life, where lions roam North America and ten times more whales swim in the sea. He shows us that the vestiges of lost nature surround us every day: buy an avocado at the grocery store and you have a seed designed to pass through the digestive tracts of huge animals that have been driven extinct.

The Once and Future World is a call for an “age of rewilding,” from planting milkweed for butterflies in our own backyards to restoring animal migration routes that span entire continents. We choose the natural world that we live in—a choice that also decides the kind of people we are.

Synopsis:

An award-winning ecology writer goes looking for the wilderness we've lost, providing an eye-opening account of the true relationship between humans and nature.

Synopsis:

Every place has an understory, the place that existed before the first human footfall. Even the wildest backcountry might be a ghost of some earlier version of itself. In The Once and Future World, J. B. MacKinnon goes looking for that world untouched by human hands. He revisits a globe exuberant with life, where lions roam North America and twenty times more whales swim in the sea, and looks forward to a world where nature is once again a formidable presence in our lives.

Along the way, the author discovers that the environmental crisis we face today has been well under way for hundreds of years. Ours is now a “ten percent world”—a planet with one-tenth its former natural abundance. MacKinnon brings a new perspective to such iconic narratives as the extinction of the passenger pigeon, the collapse of Easter Island, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster. By tracing our longstanding pattern of denial and self-delusion when it comes to the vanishing wilderness, MacKinnon helps us to see more clearly our true role in shaping the nature around us. We choose the natural world that we live in—a choice that also decides the kind of people we are.

About the Author

Journalist and author J.B. MACKINNON coined the term "the 100 Mile Diet," and his book Plenty is widely considered a catalyst of the local foods movement. His essays on natural history have appeared in Orion, Reader's Digest, and other magazines. He is based in Vancouver, Canada.

Table of Contents

The Nature of the Problem   1

   1. Illusions of Nature   3

   2. Knowledge Extinction   16

   3. A 10 Percent World   33

   4. The Opposite of Apocalypse   47

The Nature of Nature   67

   5. A Beautiful World   69

   6. Ghost Acres   81

   7. Uncertain Nature   96

   8. What Nature Looks Like   112

Human Nature   127

   9. The Maker and the Made   129

   10. The Age of Rewilding   142

   11. Double Disappearance   163

   12. The Lost Island   182

Epilogue   203

Acknowledgments   216

Selected Bibliography   217

Index   224

Product Details

ISBN:
9780544103054
Author:
Mackinnon, Jb
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin
Author:
MacKinnon, J. B.
Subject:
Ecology
Subject:
Environmental Studies-Environment
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20130931
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 1 lb

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The Once and Future World: Nature as It Was, as It Is, as It Could Be Used Hardcover
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Product details 240 pages Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) - English 9780544103054 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , An award-winning ecology writer goes looking for the wilderness we've lost, providing an eye-opening account of the true relationship between humans and nature.
"Synopsis" by , Every place has an understory, the place that existed before the first human footfall. Even the wildest backcountry might be a ghost of some earlier version of itself. In The Once and Future World, J. B. MacKinnon goes looking for that world untouched by human hands. He revisits a globe exuberant with life, where lions roam North America and twenty times more whales swim in the sea, and looks forward to a world where nature is once again a formidable presence in our lives.

Along the way, the author discovers that the environmental crisis we face today has been well under way for hundreds of years. Ours is now a “ten percent world”—a planet with one-tenth its former natural abundance. MacKinnon brings a new perspective to such iconic narratives as the extinction of the passenger pigeon, the collapse of Easter Island, and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster. By tracing our longstanding pattern of denial and self-delusion when it comes to the vanishing wilderness, MacKinnon helps us to see more clearly our true role in shaping the nature around us. We choose the natural world that we live in—a choice that also decides the kind of people we are.

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