Noah's choice: the future of endangered species

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Knopf, Feb 14, 1995 - Nature - 302 pages
3 Reviews
In the Sans Bois Mountains of Oklahoma, a lustrous orange and mahogany beetle drags a tiny carcass across a patch of ground shaken by bulldozers clearing the way for a new highway that threatens the beetle's existence. Workers at a housing development near Austin, Texas, cut a swath through a tangle of young oaks and sumacs, once home to a colony of rare, olive-winged birds. On a sand dune bordering a shopping center in Albany, New York, a security guard patrols a chain-link fence, keeping curious shoppers out of an area reserved for several hundred little blue butterflies. These are scenes emblematic of America's fractious and expensive battle to save its natural heritage. To report on this battle, Charles C. Mann and Mark L. Plummer traveled throughout the United States; they discovered a nation struggling to balance the protection of its troubled ecosystems with the ordinary needs of its human inhabitants - a nation that is increasingly racked by conflict and confusion over endangered species and the law intended to protect them, the Endangered Species Act. Noah's Choice illuminates the essential questions that now confront environmentalists, developers, ecologists, and, indeed, all Americans. Why do some species face extinction, and why should we care? How serious is the problem, and how much will fixing it cost? Can we save all of nature and still have all the material things we want? And if we cannot, how should we choose which species to bring aboard our ark - and which to leave behind? Gracefully written, thoroughly researched, deeply felt, and unfailingly honest, Noah's Choice provides a haven from the storm of polemic that surrounds this issue. The authors suggest newprinciples for striking a desperately important balance between the needs of human beings and the rest of the world, and provide an invaluable blueprint to guide us in discharging the awesome responsibility of choosing among species.

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Noah's choice: the future of endangered species

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

A beetle puts a stranglehold on the construction of a highway that would have provided Native Americans reasonable access to a hospital; a minnow almost stops a dam from being built. Mann and Plummer ... Read full review

Review: Noah's Choice: The Future of Endangered Species

User Review  - Maria - Goodreads

Mann (author of 1491 and 1493) and Plummer dive into looking at the Endangered Species Act, 20 years old at the time the book was published, and embark on a sensitive and nuanced view of how making a ... Read full review

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Contents

THREE
53
FOUR
60
Uncooking the Frog
82
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

CHARLES C. MANN has co-written four previous books on scientific subjects including The Second Creation, selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the 15 best books of the year. A four-time National Magazine Award finalist, he is a contributing correspondent for Science and for The Atlantic. He lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.

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