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Biological Extinction
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Expected online publication date: July 2019
  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online ISBN: 9781108668675

Book description

The rapidly increasing human pressure on the biosphere is pushing biodiversity into the sixth mass extinction event in the history of life on Earth. The organisms being exterminated are integral working parts of our planet's life support system, and their loss is permanent. Like climate change, this irreversible loss has potentially devastating consequences for humanity. As we come to recognise the many ways in which we depend on nature, this can pave the way for a new ethic that acknowledges the importance of co-existence between humans and other species. Biological Extinction features chapters contributed by leading thinkers in diverse fields of knowledge and practice, including biology, economics, geology, archaeology, demography, architecture and intermediate technology. Drawing on examples from various socio-ecological systems, the book offers new perspectives on the urgent issue of biological extinction, proposing novel solutions to the problems that we face.

Reviews

‘Many policy makers, especially those trained in economics, can describe the management of environmental systems as if we (humans) are best suited to be in the ‘driver's seat', making all the decisions to assure our wellbeing is the sole consideration. They should all read the chapters in this volume! Extinction is an irreversible externality whose full impact is uncertain. By combining the insights of social and natural scientists, Dasgupta, Raven, and McIvor have assembled essays that will change this view. They are accessible, engaging, and important.'

V. Kerry Smith - Emeritus Regents Professor, Arizona State University

‘Partha Dasgupta, unexcelled among economists for his contributions to ecological economics, and Peter Raven, revered for his leadership in biodiversity science, have combined to assemble a collection of papers by a virtual who's who of experts on the subject of biodiversity loss and sustainability. This volume, the product of an obviously remarkable meeting at the Vatican, will be a touchstone for all those concerned with our declining biodiversity, and the implications for the future welfare of humanity.'

Simon A. Levin - James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University

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