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The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution and the Environment

by and

The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution and the Environment Cover

ISBN13: 9781597260961
ISBN10: 1597260967
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In humanity's more than 100,000 year history, we have evolved from vulnerable creatures clawing sustenance from Earth to a sophisticated global society manipulating every inch of it. In short, we have become the dominant animal. Why, then, are we creating a world that threatens our own species? What can we do to change the current trajectory toward more climate change, increased famine, and epidemic disease?

Renowned Stanford scientists Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich believe that intelligently addressing those questions depends on a clear understanding of how we evolved and how and why we're changing the planet in ways that darken our descendants' future. The Dominant Animal arms readers with that knowledge, tracing the interplay between environmental change and genetic and cultural evolution since the dawn of humanity. In lucid and engaging prose, they describe how Homo sapiens adapted to their surroundings, eventually developing the vibrant cultures, vast scientific knowledge, and technological wizardry we know today.

But the Ehrlichs also explore the flip side of this triumphant story of innovation and conquest. As we clear forests to raise crops and build cities, lace the continents with highways, and create chemicals never before seen in nature, we may be undermining our own supremacy. The threats of environmental damage are clear from the daily headlines, but the outcome is far from destined. Humanity can again adapt: if we learn from our evolutionary past.

Those lessons are crystallized in The Dominant Animal. Tackling the fundamental challenge of the human predicament, Paul and Anne Ehrlich offer a vivid and unique exploration of our origins, our evolution, and our future.

Review:

"Since the 1968 publication of Paul and Anne Ehrlich's The Population Bomb, they have played a major role in generating awareness of looming ecological crisis. While their more dire predictions (millions dead in famines before the end of the 20th century) have not come to pass, the correctness of their fundamental thesis-that we are in danger of undermining 'the ability of Earth's environment to support much of life-including our own,' is now widely accepted. Forty years later, they consider scientific, technical and cultural developments (especially in the fields of genetics and information technology), and how they've raised the stakes, perhaps 'putting all of humanity on a course resembling the fate of ancient civilizations that collapsed.' They argue clearly and convincingly the pressing need for a global shift away from the ever-expanding siren call of consumerism, the culpability of corporate interests that have promoted resource-draining suburban sprawl, and the self-serving wastefulness of 'the most affluent fifth of the U.S. population.' Tough hopeful that such widespread transformation is possible, the Ehrlichs contend that it's only the encroaching crisis that will inspire it — unless, that is, this fascinating, inspiring book gets the wide audience it deserves." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

Canadians joke that, given their vile winters, they are the only people in the world who welcome global warming. But some things are too serious for humor. The world is in a crisis because of rising temperatures. Climate patterns have been disrupted, with devastating effects on lands near and far. Regions that once produced food in abundance are now arid deserts. Australians, for instance, are starting... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Synopsis:

Renowned Stanford scientists Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich believe that intelligently addressing todayand#8217;s great environmental and social challenges requires a clear understanding of how we evolved and how weand#8217;re changing the planet. The Dominant Animal offers readers that knowledge, tracing the interplay between environmental change and genetic and cultural evolution since the dawn of humanity. Tackling the fundamental challenge of the human predicament, Paul and Anne Ehrlich offer a vivid and unique exploration of our origins, our evolution, and our future.

About the Author

Paul R. Ehrlich is Bing Professor of Population Studies and professor of biological sciences at Stanford University. The author of Human Natures, The Population Bomb, and many other books, as well as hundreds of papers, he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a recipient of numerous international honors, including the Crafoord Prize, an explicit substitute for the Nobel Prize in fields of science in which the latter is not given.

Anne H. Ehrlich is affiliated with Stanford's Department of Biological Sciences and Center for C6onservation Biology. She has served on the board of the Sierra Club and other conservation organizations, has coauthored more than ten books with her husband (including One with Nineveh), and is a recipient of the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement and the United Nations Environment Programme\Sasakawa Environment Prize.

Table of Contents

Prologue

and#160;

Chapter 1. Darwin's Legacy and Mendel's Mechanism

Chapter 2. The Entangled Bank

Chapter 3. Fossils and Our Distant Past

Chapter 4. Cultural Evolution and#150; It's Not All in the Genes

Chapter 5. Cultural Evolution: How It Works

Chapter 6. Perception: How Much Of The Outside Gets In?

Chapter 7. Differences: How We Deal with Them

Chapter 8. Births, Deaths, and Migrations: The Dynamics of Populations

Chapter 9. History as Cultural Evolution

Chapter 10. Cultural Change, Diversification, and Conservatism

Chapter 11. Our Biophysical Environment

Chapter 12. Ecosystems and Human Domination of Earth

Chapter 13. Population, Consumption, and the Environment

Chapter 14. A New Imperative

Chapter 15. Altering the Global Atmosphere

Chapter 16. Energy: Are We Running Out of It?

Chapter 17. Saving Our Natural Capital

Chapter 18. Governance: Tackling the Unanticipated Consequences

and#160;

Epilogue

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

aunt dracula, December 15, 2008 (view all comments by aunt dracula)
very good, comprehensive coverage of the the current state of environmental issues. there is a good deal of overlap with other enviro books out there now, but very good for people new to the topic, and still worth checking out for people who are familiar with all the general info.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(17 of 34 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781597260961
Author:
Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich
Publisher:
Island Press
Author:
Ehrlich, Paul R.
Author:
Ehrlich, Anne H.
Subject:
Environmental Science
Subject:
History
Subject:
Human beings
Subject:
Human Geography
Subject:
Life Sciences - Evolution - Human
Subject:
Human evolution
Subject:
Human beings -- Effect of environment on.
Subject:
Sociology - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
1
Series Volume:
Human Evolution and
Publication Date:
June 2008
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
41 photos and illustrations, 4 tables
Pages:
440
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Evolution
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » Environment
Science and Mathematics » Environmental Studies » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Evolution

The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution and the Environment Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$11.95 In Stock
Product details 440 pages Island Press - English 9781597260961 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Since the 1968 publication of Paul and Anne Ehrlich's The Population Bomb, they have played a major role in generating awareness of looming ecological crisis. While their more dire predictions (millions dead in famines before the end of the 20th century) have not come to pass, the correctness of their fundamental thesis-that we are in danger of undermining 'the ability of Earth's environment to support much of life-including our own,' is now widely accepted. Forty years later, they consider scientific, technical and cultural developments (especially in the fields of genetics and information technology), and how they've raised the stakes, perhaps 'putting all of humanity on a course resembling the fate of ancient civilizations that collapsed.' They argue clearly and convincingly the pressing need for a global shift away from the ever-expanding siren call of consumerism, the culpability of corporate interests that have promoted resource-draining suburban sprawl, and the self-serving wastefulness of 'the most affluent fifth of the U.S. population.' Tough hopeful that such widespread transformation is possible, the Ehrlichs contend that it's only the encroaching crisis that will inspire it — unless, that is, this fascinating, inspiring book gets the wide audience it deserves." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,
Renowned Stanford scientists Paul R. Ehrlich and Anne H. Ehrlich believe that intelligently addressing todayand#8217;s great environmental and social challenges requires a clear understanding of how we evolved and how weand#8217;re changing the planet. The Dominant Animal offers readers that knowledge, tracing the interplay between environmental change and genetic and cultural evolution since the dawn of humanity. Tackling the fundamental challenge of the human predicament, Paul and Anne Ehrlich offer a vivid and unique exploration of our origins, our evolution, and our future.
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