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Sparing Nature The Conflict Between Human Population Growth and Earth's Biodiversity by Jeffrey K. McKee

Sparing Nature The Conflict Between Human Population Growth and Earth's Biodiversity


Sparing Nature The Conflict Between Human Population Growth and Earth's Biodiversity by Jeffrey K. McKee

Are humans too good at adapting to the earth's natural environment? Every day, there is a net gain of more than 200,000 people on the planet - that's 146 a minute. Has our explosive population growth led to the mass extinction of countless species in the earth's plant and animal communities? Jeffrey K. McKee contends it has. Exploring the cause-and-effect relationship between these two trends, McKee demonstrates that nature is too sparing to accommodate both a richly diverse living world and a rapidly expanding number of people. He probes the past to find that humans and their ancestors have had negative impacts on species biodiversity for nearly two million years, and that extinction rates have accelerated since the origins of agriculture.Today entire ecosystems are in peril due to the relentless growth of the human population. Providing a guided tour of the interconnections within the living world, Sparing Nature makes the maze of technical research and scientific debates accessible to the general reader. McKee not only encourages more responsible reproductive habits, but also takes an objective look at the means that might be employed to decrease fertility rates and stop the population explosion.


McKee] argues that preserving biodiversity is essential to the health of the planet, and consequently to the long-term survival of the human species.... With an elegant and earnest writing style more common among nature writers than academics, McKee tallies the value of a balance ecosystem. - Nation; Jeff McKee is bringing to Sparing Nature the same graceful writing style combined with the insights of a fine scientist that I found in The Riddled Chain. Furthermore, his timing is exquisite, since the close relationship of human population growth and the decay of biodiversity has not been brought to popular audiences in far too long. - Paul Ehrlich, Bing Professor of Population Studies, Stanford University

About the Author

Jeffrey K. McKee is a professor in the department of anthropology as well as the department of evolution, ecology, and organismal biology at Ohio State University. He is the author of The Riddled Chain: Chance, Coincidence, and Chaos in Human Evolution.

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Book Info

Publication date

31st March 2005


Jeffrey K. McKee

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Rutgers University Press


224 pages


Pollution & threats to the environment
Social impact of environmental issues



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