Imperiled Planet: Restoring Our Endangered Ecosystems

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MIT Press, 1990 - Nature - 288 pages
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We, as inhabitants of the earth, are not outside the world - we are in it. The perspective of this provocative environmental primer is a holistic one, embracing the concept of Gaia. Edward Goldsmith and his distinguished coauthors view the natural world not as a collection of detachable working parts, but as a selfgenerating system which while open and responsive to changing circumstances, is limited. It is, they warn, a zero-sum game we are playing and it is late in the day. "Imperiled Planet provides an easily-accessible presentation of a wide range of ecosystems, showing how they work, the traditional forms of human use, threats to these systems and the extent and range of losses, the underlying causes of destruction, and what is being done to save them as well as what remains to be done. The authors address serious questions about the political, social, and economic forces that are driving environmental degradation and they propose solutions in several domains, including agriculture, energy, and society at large. Framed by the notion of a living, perishable planet and illustrated by useful and informative diagrams and maps, sections of the book explain the balance of nature and take up specific ecosystems such as ozone and global warming, forests, agricultural lands, rangelands, rivers, groundwater, wetlands and mangroves, coasts and estuaries, seas and oceans, coral reefs, islands, mountains, deserts, antarctica and the arctic. The authors take a hard loo

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The Balance of Nature
The Changing Atmosphere

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About the author (1990)

Goldsmith has been a leading international campaigner on envirommental issues for more than thirty years.

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