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Our Once and Future Planet

Restoring the World in the Climate Change Century

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


The environmental movement is plagued by pessimism. And that’s not unreasonable: with so many complicated, seemingly intractable problems facing the planet, coupled with a need to convince people of the dangers we face, it’s hard not to focus on the negative

But that paints an unbalanced—and overly disheartening—picture of what’s going on with environmental stewardship today. There are success stories, and Our Once and Future Planet delivers a fascinating account of one of the most impressive areas of current environmental experimentation and innovation: ecological restoration. Veteran investigative reporter Paddy Woodworth has spent years traveling the globe and talking with people—scientists, politicians, and ordinary citizens—who are working on the front lines of the battle against environmental degradation. At sites ranging from Mexico to New Zealand and Chicago to Cape Town, Woodworth shows us the striking successes (and a few humbling failures) of groups that are attempting to use cutting-edge science to restore blighted, polluted, and otherwise troubled landscapes to states of ecological health—and, in some of the most controversial cases, to particular moments in historical time, before widespread human intervention. His firsthand field reports and interviews with participants reveal the promise, power, and limitations of restoration.

Ecological restoration alone won’t solve the myriad problems facing our environment. But Our Once and Future Planet demonstrates the role it can play, and the hope, inspiration, and new knowledge that can come from saving even one small patch of earth.

From Publishers Weekly

Sep 02, 2013 – In this multifaceted volume, Woodworth (Basque Country) provides an introduction to the relatively new discipline of ecological restoration, which describes and puts into practice means of rejuvenating the natural, and in some cases human, environment of specific locales. Woodworth describes exciting projects from all over the globe, ranging from forest preserve restoration in the Chicago metropolitan area and biodiversity restoration efforts across Western Australia to two separate endeavors in his native Ireland to restore forests and bogs. It is clear that ecological renewal requires locally specific methodologies and that no project is rapidly accomplished or perhaps ever free from the need for continuing human intervention. Woodworth s discussions of the various projects illustrate that ecological restoration is as much sociology as hard science, involving deep questions about humanity s proper role in caring for and participating in local ecologies. Indeed, Woodworth s penultimate chapter addresses these questions by comparing and evaluating the thought of three leading figures in the movement: James Aronson, Richard Hobbs, and Bill Jordan. Woodworth provides delightful descriptive passages about his travels, which balance the theory-heavy sections. An important text for scientists and policy makers as well as laypersons with an interest in supporting biodiversity on our planet.
Our Once and Future Planet
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  • $24.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Nature
  • Published: Oct 15, 2013
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Seller: Chicago Distribution Center
  • Print Length: 544 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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