Synopses & Reviews
Hope on Earth
is the thought-provoking result of a lively and wide-ranging conversation between two of the worldand#8217;s leading interdisciplinary environmental scientists: Paul R. Ehrlich, whose book The Population Bomb
shook the world in 1968 (and continues to shake it), and Michael Charles Tobias, whose over 40 books and 150 films have been read and/or viewed throughout the world. and#160;Hope on Earth
offers a rare opportunity to listen in as these deeply knowledgeable and highly creative thinkers offer their takes on the most pressing environmental concerns of the moment.
Both Ehrlich and Tobias argue that we are on the verge of environmental catastrophe, as the human population continues to grow without restraint and without significant attempts to deal with overconsumption and the vast depletion of resources and climate problems it creates. Though their views are sympathetic, they differ in their approach and in some key moral stances, giving rise to a heated and engaging dialogue that opens up dozens of new avenues of exploration.and#160; They both believe that the impact of a human society on its environment is the direct result of its population size, and through their dialogue they break down the complex social problems that are wrapped up in this idea and attempts to overcome it, hitting firmly upon many controversial topics such as circumcision, religion, reproduction, abortion, animal rights, diet, and gun control.and#160; For Ehrlich and Tobias, ethics involve not only how we treat other people directly, but how we treat them and other organisms indirectly through our effects on the environment. and#160;University of California, Berkeley professor John Harte joins the duo for part of the conversation, and his substantial expertise on energy and climate change adds a crucial perspective to the discussion of the impact of population on global warming.
This engaging and timely book invites readers into an intimate conversation with some of the most eminent voices in science as they offer a powerful and approachable argument that the ethical and scientific issues involved in solving our environmental crisis are deeply intertwined, while offering us an optimistic way forward. Hope on Earth is indeed a conversation we should all be having.
Why do we behave the way we do? Biologist Paul Ehrlich suggests that although people share a common genetic code, these genes "do not shout commands at us...at the very most, they whisper suggestions." He argues that human nature is not so much result of genetic coding; rather, it is heavily influenced by cultural conditioning and environmental factors. With personal anecdotes, a well-written narrative, and clear examples, Human Natures is a major work of synthesis and scholarship as well as a valuable primer on genetics and evolution that makes complex scientific concepts accessible to lay readers.
With personal anecdotes, a well-written narrative, and clear examples, "Human Natures" is a valuable primer on genetics and evolution that makes complex scientific concepts accessible to lay readers. Illustrations throughout.
Nearly every major topic of ecological and ethical substance is touched upon in this finely tuned debate by very serious and compassionate scientists and humanists. This unique project shows how scientists approach the great ethical problems of our time without the jargon and complexity that can intimidate some readers. Their audience includes all readers concerned about saving the environment, the treatment of animals, and the fate of the planet for future generations.and#160; Itand#8217;s a powerful and ultimately positive book which in its brevity has something in to surprise, provoke and inspire nearly everyone.Though Ehrlich and Tobias come from the same ethical space, ecologically-speaking, there are marked differences in their approaches and data sets; differing moral positions and heated stances that set their worldviews sufficiently apart to make for fascinating and insightful points that are accessible to the general reader.
About the Author
Paul R. Ehrlich is the Bing Professor of Population Studies and Professor of Biological Sciences at Stanford University. His books include the bestselling The Population Bomb, and he is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a recipient of numerous international honors. Ehrlich lives in Stanford, California.
Table of Contents
1. Evolution and Us
2. Tales from the Animal House
3. Our Natures and Theirs
4. Standing Up for Ourselves
5. Bare Bones and a Few Stones
6. Evolving Brains, Evolving Minds
7. From Grooming to Gossip?
8. Blood's a Rover
9. The Dominance of Culture
10. From Seeds to Civilization
11. Gods, Dive-Bombers and Bureaucracy
12. Lessons from Our Natures
13. Evolution and Human Values