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End of Nature

Bill Mckibben
End of Nature

End of Nature

Bill Mckibben

$39.49

Paperback
Reissued on the tenth anniversary of its publication, this classic work on our environmental crisis features a new introduction by the author, reviewing both the progress and ground lost in the fight to save the earth. ^This impassioned plea for radical and life-renewing change is today still considered a groundbreaking work in environmental studies. McKibben's argument that the survival of the globe is dependent on a fundamental, philosophical shift in the way we relate to nature is more relevant than ever. McKibben writes of our earth's environmental cataclysm, addressing such core issues as the greenhouse effect, acid rain, and the depletion of the ozone layer. His new introduction addresses some of the latest environmental issues that have risen during the 1990s. The book also includes an invaluable new appendix of facts and figures that surveys the progress of the environmental movement. ^More than simply a handbook for survival or a doomsday catalog of scientific predictio

- Publisher "Whatever we once thought Nature was--wildness, God, a simple place free from human thumbprints, or an intricate machinery sustaining life on Earth--we have now given it a kick that will change it forever. Humanity has stepped across a threshold. In his free-ranging and provocative book, Bill McKibben explores the philosophies and technologies that have brought us here, and he shows how final a crossing we have made." --James Gleick, author of Chaos

- Publisher Nature, we believe, takes forever.It moves with infinite slowness throught the many periods of its history, whose names we dimly recall from high school biology - the Devonian, the Triassic, the Cretaceous, the Pleistocene.Ever since Darwin, nature writers have taken pains to stress the incomprehensible length of this path."So slowly, oh, so slowly have the great changes been brought about," wrote John Burroughs at the turn of the century."The Orientals try to get a hint of eternity by saying that when the Himalayas have been ground to a powder by allowing a gauze veil t o float against them once in a thousand years, eternity will have only just begun.Our mountains have been pulverized by a process almost as slow."We have been told that man's tenure is as a minute to the earth's day, but it is that vast day which has lodged in our minds.The age of the trilobites began some 600 million years ago.The dinosaurs lived for nearly 140 million years.Since even a million years is utterly unfathomable, the message is:Nothinkg happens quickly.Change takes unimaginable - "geologic"- time. This idea about time is essentially mistaken.Muddled though they are scientifically, the creationists, believing in the sudden appearance of hte earth some seven thousand years ago, may intuitively understand more about hte progress of time than hte rest of us.For the world as we know it - that is, the world with human beings formed into some sort of civilization, the world in which North America, Europe, and much of the rest of the planet are warm enough to support large human populations - is of quite comprehensible duration.People began to collect in a rudimentary society in the north of Mesopotamia some ten or twelve thousand years ago.Using thirty years as a generation, that is three hundred and thirty to four hundred generations ago.Sitting here at my desk, I can think back five generations in my family - I have seen photos of four.That is, I can think back nearly one-sixtieth of the way to the start of civilization.A skilled geneaologist might get me one-thirtieth of the distance back.And I can conceive of how most of those forebears lived.From the work of archaeologists and from accounts like those in the Bible I have some sense of daily life at least as far back as the time of the pharaohs, which is more than a third of the way. Two hundred and sixty-five generations ago Jericho was a walled city of three thousand souls.Two hundred and sixty-five is a large number, but not in the way that six million is a large number - not inscrutably large. Or look at it this way: There are plants on this earth as old as civilization.Not species - individual plants.The General Sherman tree in California's Sequoia National Park may be a third as old, about four thousand years.Certain Antarctic lichens date back ten thousand years.A specific creosote plant in the Southwestern desert was estimated recently to be 11,700 years of age. And within that ten or twelve thousand years of civilization, of course, time is not uniform.The world as we really, really know it dates back to the Industrial Revolution.the world we actually feel comfortable in dates back to perhaps 1945.It was not until after World War II, for instance, that plastics came into widespread use. In other words, our reassuring sense of a timeless future, which is drawn from that apparent

- Publisher

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About "End of Nature"

Reissued on the tenth anniversary of its publication, this classic work on our environmental crisis features a new introduction by the author, reviewing both the progress and ground lost in the fight to save the earth. ^This impassioned plea for radical and life-renewing change is today still considered a groundbreaking work in environmental studies. McKibben's argument that the survival of the globe is dependent on a fundamental, philosophical shift in the way we relate to nature is more relevant than ever. McKibben writes of our earth's environmental cataclysm, addressing such core issues as the greenhouse effect, acid rain, and the depletion of the ozone layer. His new introduction addresses some of the latest environmental issues that have risen during the 1990s. The book also includes an invaluable new appendix of facts and figures that surveys the progress of the environmental movement. ^More than simply a handbook for survival or a doomsday catalog of scientific predictio
- Publisher

"Whatever we once thought Nature was--wildness, God, a simple place free from human thumbprints, or an intricate machinery sustaining life on Earth--we have now given it a kick that will change it forever. Humanity has stepped across a threshold. In his free-ranging and provocative book, Bill McKibben explores the philosophies and technologies that have brought us here, and he shows how final a crossing we have made." --James Gleick, author of Chaos
- Publisher

Nature, we believe, takes forever.It moves with infinite slowness throught the many periods of its history, whose names we dimly recall from high school biology - the Devonian, the Triassic, the Cretaceous, the Pleistocene.Ever since Darwin, nature writers have taken pains to stress the incomprehensible length of this path."So slowly, oh, so slowly have the great changes been brought about," wrote John Burroughs at the turn of the century."The Orientals try to get a hint of eternity by saying that when the Himalayas have been ground to a powder by allowing a gauze veil t o float against them once in a thousand years, eternity will have only just begun.Our mountains have been pulverized by a process almost as slow."We have been told that man's tenure is as a minute to the earth's day, but it is that vast day which has lodged in our minds.The age of the trilobites began some 600 million years ago.The dinosaurs lived for nearly 140 million years.Since even a million years is utterly unfathomable, the message is:Nothinkg happens quickly.Change takes unimaginable - "geologic"- time. This idea about time is essentially mistaken.Muddled though they are scientifically, the creationists, believing in the sudden appearance of hte earth some seven thousand years ago, may intuitively understand more about hte progress of time than hte rest of us.For the world as we know it - that is, the world with human beings formed into some sort of civilization, the world in which North America, Europe, and much of the rest of the planet are warm enough to support large human populations - is of quite comprehensible duration.People began to collect in a rudimentary society in the north of Mesopotamia some ten or twelve thousand years ago.Using thirty years as a generation, that is three hundred and thirty to four hundred generations ago.Sitting here at my desk, I can think back five generations in my family - I have seen photos of four.That is, I can think back nearly one-sixtieth of the way to the start of civilization.A skilled geneaologist might get me one-thirtieth of the distance back.And I can conceive of how most of those forebears lived.From the work of archaeologists and from accounts like those in the Bible I have some sense of daily life at least as far back as the time of the pharaohs, which is more than a third of the way. Two hundred and sixty-five generations ago Jericho was a walled city of three thousand souls.Two hundred and sixty-five is a large number, but not in the way that six million is a large number - not inscrutably large. Or look at it this way: There are plants on this earth as old as civilization.Not species - individual plants.The General Sherman tree in California's Sequoia National Park may be a third as old, about four thousand years.Certain Antarctic lichens date back ten thousand years.A specific creosote plant in the Southwestern desert was estimated recently to be 11,700 years of age. And within that ten or twelve thousand years of civilization, of course, time is not uniform.The world as we really, really know it dates back to the Industrial Revolution.the world we actually feel comfortable in dates back to perhaps 1945.It was not until after World War II, for instance, that plastics came into widespread use. In other words, our reassuring sense of a timeless future, which is drawn from that apparent
- Publisher

Meet the Author

Bill Mckibben

Bill McKibben grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts. He was president of the Harvard Crimson newspaper in college. Immediately after college he joined the New Yorker magazine as a staff writer, and wrote much of the "Talk of the Town" column from 1982 to early 1987. After quitting this job, he soon moved to the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. His first book, The End of Nature, was published in 1989 by Random House after being serialized in the New Yorker. It is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change, and has been printed in more than 20 languages. Several editions have come out in the United States, including an updated version published in 2006. His next book, The Age of Missing Information, was published in 1992. It is an account of an experiment: McKibben collected everything that came across the 100 channels of cable tv on the Fairfax, Virginia system (at the time among the nation's largest) for a single day. He spent a year watching the 2,400 hours of videotape, and then compared it to a day spent on the mountaintop near his home. This book has been widely used in colleges and high schools, and was reissued in 2006. McKibben's latest book is entitled, Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet. Bill currently resides with his wife, writer Sue Halpern, and his daughter, Sophie in Ripton, Vermont. He is a scholar in residence at Middlebury College. 030

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Product Details

Product Details
  • Catalogue Code 67903
  • Product Code 0394576012
  • EAN 9780394576015
  • Pages 230
  • Department Academic
  • Category Christian Worldview
  • Sub-Category Environment
  • Publisher Random Century
  • Publication Date Jul 1990
  • Dimensions 248 x 171 x 25 mm
  • Weight 0.530kg

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