The New Wild

The New Wild

Why Invasive Species Will Be Nature's Salvation

Book - 2015
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In an era of climate change and widespread ecological damage, it is absolutely crucial that we find ways to help nature regenerate. Embracing the new ecology, Pearce shows us, is our best chance. To be an environmentalist in the twenty-first century means celebrating nature's wildness and capacity for change.
Publisher: Boston :, Beacon Press,, [2015]
ISBN: 9780807033685
0807033685
Branch Call Number: 578.62 PE
Characteristics: xvi, 245 pages ; 24 cm

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juliealdridge
Sep 03, 2017

I would encourage anyone who reads Pearce's book to consider the response from Gail Wallin, co-chair of the Canadian Council on Invasive Species (https://www.abinvasives.ca/images/uploadsfile/151029%20Letter%20to%20CBC%20Current.pdf). I also highly recommend Daniel Simberloff's Invasive Species: What Everyone Needs to Know. Invasive species are not a part of evolution. Invasive species are introduced by humans and, without control, cause significant harm to biodiversity. This is not a matter of "inconvenience" to humans as Pearce portrays it. Public health consequences from spread of disease and economic impacts due to agriculture losses from invasive species should hardly be called inconveniences. Additionally, they change entire ecosystems at the expense of native flora and fauna. Pearce's book is inflammatory and based on non-scientific ideas.

j
johnsankey
Jun 13, 2017

A mostly one-sided treatment of biome evolution that focuses almost completely on the positive benefits of alien species, but justified by the overwhelming number of books that are equally one-sided in focus on the negative effects of species migration. As long as this isn't the only book you read on the subject, read away.

d
danielestes
Aug 03, 2016

Fred Pearce's The New Wild is a badly needed perspective countering the general but prevalent conservationist argument that most, if not all, change away from some unspecified natural state is a bad thing. Even the term "natural" has been rendered almost meaningless the way it's overused. Pearce, an environmental consultant and journalist, makes his case by reexamining recent trends, applying the latest evidence, and desperately trying to debunk the many of the myths that have long since made a home in the conservationist movement.

The author is fighting an uphill battle. Good luck to him. People of all walks of life take this subject personally no matter what their level of involvement.

j
JLMason
Jan 24, 2016

An eye-opening book about the fallacy of "pristine wilderness", the resilience of nature, and what constitutes a native species. The author makes a compelling case for evaluating so-called non-native species on their merits and questions the crusading efforts to eradicate them. That said, I think he glosses over the devastating impact that some invasive species can have, albeit as seen over the time scale of a human life. Although not intended, the book is another example of how changing entrenched, conventional ideas can threaten those who practice them. ("Misbehaving" by Thaler is another example).

m
MT60
Nov 02, 2015

Common sense questioning of the assumptions that native equals good, alien equals bad, and only aliens can be called invasive. Leaves you realizing our picture of what is native depends on how far back in time you go, and that ecosystems never are static.

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JLMason
Jan 24, 2016

Conservationists in many parts of the world are attempting to conserve what they take to be wilderness, but increasing evidence suggests that the territories involved are or were cultural landscapes, created as much by human activity as nature.

j
JLMason
Jan 24, 2016

Most conservationists have been reluctant to open their eyes to discover nature's resilience and powers of recovery - still less to recognize the role of specialist colonizers and nonnative species in that process. This blinkered approach complicates their wish to protect and revive nature by excluding a wide range of options for rebooting the wild. ... Nature has little regard for conservationists' love of what they see as the pristine. For nature, it matters not a jot where a species comes from, if it does a useful job. If conservationists don't wake up quickly, they risk becoming the enemies of nature rather than its saviours.

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