Half-Earth: Our Planet's Fight for Life

Half Earth Our Planet s Fight for Life In order to stave off the mass extinction of species including our own we must move swiftly to preserve the biodiversity of our planet says Edward O Wilson in his most impassioned book to date Half

  • Title: Half-Earth: Our Planet's Fight for Life
  • Author: Edward O. Wilson
  • ISBN: 9781631490828
  • Page: 246
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In order to stave off the mass extinction of species, including our own, we must move swiftly to preserve the biodiversity of our planet, says Edward O Wilson in his most impassioned book to date Half Earth argues that the situation facing us is too large to be solved piecemeal and proposes a solution commensurate with the magnitude of the problem dedicate fully half thIn order to stave off the mass extinction of species, including our own, we must move swiftly to preserve the biodiversity of our planet, says Edward O Wilson in his most impassioned book to date Half Earth argues that the situation facing us is too large to be solved piecemeal and proposes a solution commensurate with the magnitude of the problem dedicate fully half the surface of the Earth to nature.If we are to undertake such an ambitious endeavor, we first must understand just what the biosphere is, why it s essential to our survival, and the manifold threats now facing it In doing so, Wilson describes how our species, in only a mere blink of geological time, became the architects and rulers of this epoch and outlines the consequences of this that will affect all of life, both ours and the natural world, far into the future.Half Earth provides an enormously moving and naturalistic portrait of just what is being lost when we clip twigs and eventually whole braches of life s family tree In elegiac prose, Wilson documents the many ongoing extinctions that are imminent, paying tribute to creatures great and small, not the least of them the two Sumatran rhinos whom he encounters in captivity Uniquely, Half Earth considers not only the large animals and star species of plants but also the millions of invertebrate animals and microorganisms that, despite being overlooked, form the foundations of Earth s ecosystems.In stinging language, he avers that the biosphere does not belong to us and addresses many fallacious notions such as the idea that ongoing extinctions can be balanced out by the introduction of alien species into new ecosystems or that extinct species might be brought back through cloning This includes a critique of the anthropocenists, a fashionable collection of revisionist environmentalists who believe that the human species alone can be saved through engineering and technology.Despite the Earth s parlous condition, Wilson is no doomsayer, resigned to fatalism Defying prevailing conventional wisdom, he suggests that we still have time to put aside half the Earth and identifies actual spots where Earth s biodiversity can still be reclaimed Suffused with a profound Darwinian understanding of our planet s fragility, Half Earth reverberates with an urgency like few other books, but it offers an attainable goal that we can strive for on behalf of all life.

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    One thought on “Half-Earth: Our Planet's Fight for Life”

    1. “…[O]nly by committing half of the planet’s surface to nature can we hope to save the immensity of life-forms that compose it.”In Half-Earth, American biologist and Pulitzer prize winner E.O. Wilson gives a well-researched, well-documented, eloquent, but above all, impassioned plea on behalf of our planet and all of those who call it home, human and non-human alike. Species are dying out at an alarming rate and it is Wilson’s contention that “only by setting aside half the planet in [...]

    2. 38th book for 2016. The idea behind this book, that 50% of the World should be put aside as a wildness (half for us, half for the rest), is a big idea very well worth exploring. Unfortunately, this book does no justice to the idea. It rambles along. Talks a lot about the beauty of the natural world, of the joys of being a naturalist, rants against the stupidity of people who somehow see value in half-wild places, and finally in this short book pays a scant few pages to vaguely outlining the idea [...]

    3. 3 stars and a halfThis book has two parts, how to hate the humans and how to try to clean their messSome chapters were really interesting and some really boring.What humans are doing to mother earth and all its living creatures is simply despicable! Conclusion: humans are stupid and heartless

    4. Species are going extinct about 1000 times as fast as the “normal” rate of extinction. The solution, argues the author, is to give over half of the earth to the wild animals. I am a nonspecialist, and in addition to Wilson’s book and miscellaneous other articles, I’ve already read Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History as well as Anthony Barnosky’s Dodging Extinction: Power, Food, Money, and the Future of Life on Earth. The strong point of Wilson’s book is t [...]

    5. Wilson argues that humanity's only chance for survival as a species is to cooperate with other life forms that make up the biodiversity of the earth. At the rate we're going, our destruction of the environment, in terms of global-warming, is having a disastrous effect on the millions of other life forms on this planet, most of them as yet undiscovered by humans. The long term effects of such destruction means the extinction of humanity. Many species have appeared and disappeared in the history o [...]

    6. This book is a terrific journey through the incredible biodiversity of our planet. Or at least what remains of our biodiversity. In this Anthropocene Age we live in, humans have sacrificed the earth's species on the altar of "economic development" and "freedom" and "the accumulation of material wealth." The result is a blind trip toward oblivion. But for a few brief hours, I could enjoy the world's species and wild areas vicariously through the writing of Edward O. Wilson. There are solutions pr [...]

    7. Half-Earth is half distressing biology news, half Edward O. Wilson's love letter to species that are largely ignored by popular conservation because they aren't cute enough. Wilson is a natural biologist who studies ants, and his passion - especially for ants, particularly for bugs, and generally for any living creature - shines through every page of this book. I am a typical city dwelling nerd who hates little crawly things with too many legs, so it's completely foreign for me to imagine a teen [...]

    8. I hate to give E.O. Wilson anything less than 5 stars. However, his writing has really gone downhill, which makes me truly sad. The first book in this trilogy, Social Conquest of Earth, was great until the last chapter. He kept politics out of the whole book and then went on a rant about his political views. I actually agreed with those views but it was off-putting even to me. The rant came out of nowhere. If he had sprinkled his views throughout the book, as if they were not something he was tr [...]

    9. Wilson schrijft fantastisch over de natuur en over de noodzaak tot natuurbehoud. Je zou meteen alles uit handen laten vallen en als bioloog veldwerk gaan doen. De eerste twee delen van het boek zijn dan ook geweldig. Het derde deel valt tegen. Hij legt nergens uit hoe zijn idee om de helft van de aarde tot natuurreservaat te maken, moet worden uitgevoerd. Iets met 'innovatie en inzet', jaja. 2.5 ster, nou ja, 3 sterren, omdat hij zo goed schrijft.

    10. This book is a mess. The first part of the title, Half-Earth, refers to the supposed main argument that humankind must preserve the Earth's biodiversity by leaving half of the Earth as untouched wilderness (or maybe managed wilderness) in order to ensure humankind's survival. Amazingly, the author spends only a few pages unconvincingly discussing this idea. Instead of discussing the central argument, the book spends a surprising number of pages discussing things like artificial intelligence, the [...]

    11. An interesting if distopian view of the world. While the idea is right, the way the book rolls it out could have been handled better.Still, we as humans are walking, if not running, towards our ultimate destiny and it is not pretty for us or the planet

    12. There's a really interesting idea behind this book, but the book doesn't really explore it that well. If anyone's interested I can direct you to more compelling writing on the subject (including some by the author himself). If you want to know why I found the book frustrating, read my full review here!:inthesetimes/rural-america

    13. E.O. Wilson is a great scientist and writer but this is not a very good book. He doesn't even get to his proposal (if you can call it that) for setting aside wildlife areas until 3/4 of the way through the book and it's so vague, it's hard to call it a plan, more of a plea. It's important stuff, no doubt, the more written about the 6th extinction, the better. It's as big a deal as climate change.

    14. This important and impassioned book by one of the great botanist-naturalist writers of our time is a stirring account of humanity’s impact on planet Earth. If we view humans as simply one of the millions of species that call Earth home, then mankind has negatively impacted earthly environments more than any other living species. Two important words the reader will learn from this book are biosphere (all the organisms alive in the world at any moment, which together form a thin spherical layer [...]

    15. This book has great parts that brought me back to high school biology class. E.O. is an incredible naturalist and talks about all species and ecosystems in an easy-to-follow tone. Unfortunately, he does not do a great job with his conclusion. I wanted more details about how the half-earth principle could work, more examples of conservation success stories (he really only gives 2), and more discussion of marine sanctuaries. Overall this is an interesting read but it rambles at the end and doesn't [...]

    16. I enjoy this book as someone who wants to listen to some real passionate talk without being too critical. - Interdependence of species, including human. - The complexity of building understanding of biodiversity web. - The way humans are living, thinking about natural order.

    17. It is difficult to read E. O. Wilson and not have the desire to be a naturalist. We were lucky enough to hear him talk about the Half Earth project in person and his passion on the subject would be impressive for a man half his age. Look at the numbers, find a bit of the world that inspires awe, and do a little daydreaming.

    18. The general message that we should dedicate at least half the land of this planet to wilderness is an important one. However, it's pretty shocking what conclusions E.O. Wilson draws from that premise. According to him we need not just more research into biology, which is crazy enough considering that lack of information is clearly not the problem, but also more progress in robotics, nanotechnology, genetic engineering and the ephemeralization of our gadgets (making them smaller and more efficien [...]

    19. An Impassioned Plea to Preserve Earth's Biodiversity from the Greatest Evolutionary Ecologist of Our TimeNoted evolutionary biologist Edward O. Wilson has written a polemic, but a polemic based on his life-long work in ant systematics and evolutionary ecology, that offers some glimmer of hope. This is a surprisingly terse book from Wilson, but one of sufficient length that it may serve as a rallying call to anyone who has some interest in conservation biology - which he should be viewed as its " [...]

    20. Half-Earth is Edward O. Wilson’s visionary conclusion to the trilogy he began in The Social Conquest of Earth and continued in The Meaning of Human Existence. In the first book, Wilson described his theory of human evolution (based on group rather than kin selection) and how it led to our domination of the biosphere. The Meaning of Human Existence presented a series of essays exploring more philosophically the question of why humans exist at all and whether we have a special destiny. In Half-E [...]

    21. "One of the most well-known biologists working today, Edward O. Wilson brings his vast knowledge and experience to work in his newest book Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life. A work that he considers the concluding volume of a trilogy about humanity’s past, present, and future on the planet, Half-Earth takes a sober look at the effects that our sprawling civilization continues to have on the biosphere that sustains life on this planet. From the richness and importance of maintaining the [...]

    22. I occasionally wonder if we are becoming a world of mono-cultures-- humans, roaches, corn, Norway rats, and beef cattle. Wilson's new book puts that fear in perspective. We know precious little about the diversity of our world and at the rate we are going millions of species of plants and animals will go extinct before we even know about them. The ultimate in ignorance is bliss.Preserving diversity is the key to solving so many of our problems, be they political, scientific, cultural, etc. Some [...]

    23. Based on the evidence, setting aside even more than half of our earth's area for preservation makes sense but I don't think corporate and national interests will allow this. Wilson's documentation of habitat lose, the rise of invasive species, pollution, over-population, and over-hunting indicates that we have very, very little time left. When combined with methane and CO2 gas emissions, I believe that we need a frantic mobilization of resources now. I can only fault Wilson with one piece of nai [...]

    24. (2 1/2) This is a very interesting book about an unbelievably important subject, the survival of the planet we live on. Unfortunately, it gets pretty darn technical and scientifically worded in lots of the text, making it difficult to stay with and follow. That being said, the message is very clear. We are killing the place where we live and we might or might not be able to make some changes to keep it alive. No, this is not just about climate change, but also about killing flora and fauna and n [...]

    25. I received this advanced copy from NetGalley for an honest review. Half-Earth presents an abundance of information in an accessible way. Wilson deftly weaves between where our environment is now and how we got here. With a strong culmination of what we need to do now. Overall this is a great read for people who want to promote change and for people that have made a career of environmental science.

    26. I received an advanced digital copy from Edelweiss for an honest review. This is the third installment of a trilogy Wilson has written. It is the first I have read. I first became aware of this man's ideas and visions after reading an in depth article in Audubon Magazine. His approach to saving the planet seems ideal on paper although I am not sure how realistic it may be. There is a lot to think about.

    27. Wilson, grande vecchio della biologia, dell'ecologia e sognatore di un mondo migliore, ci dà la sua ricetta per un mondo migliore. Non sono sempre d'accordo con lui, ma probabilmente qui si applica la Prima Legge di Arthur C. Clarke, e quindi ha ragione lui.Faremmo bene a dargli un poco più retta.

    28. Although it bears the name of a great scientist on its cover, this book, like most of the other Edward Wilson books, lacks focus. It is more of a general read than a a truly revolutionary book that you'd expect from such a famous scientist.

    29. An important book for anyone concerned about the environment. Wilson is a renowned author and biologist. Half-Earth is the third of a trilogy devoted to the future of the earth, conservation, and the extinction of species. It should be required reading

    30. QuoteLeaders in biodiversity research and conservation have long understood that the surviving wildlands of the world are not art museums. They are not gardens to be arranged and tended for our delectation. They are not recreation centers or harborers of natural resources or sanatoriums or undeveloped sites of business opportunities - of any kind. The wildlands and the bulk of Earth's biodiversity protected within them are another world from the one humanity is throwing together pell-mell. What [...]

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