Inheritors of the Earth
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Inheritors of the Earth : How Nature Is Thriving in an Age of Extinction

4.09 (93 ratings by Goodreads)
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THE TIMES, ECONOMIST AND GUARDIAN BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2017

It is accepted wisdom today that human beings have irrevocably damaged the natural world. Yet what if this narrative obscures a more hopeful truth?

In Inheritors of the Earth, renowned ecologist and environmentalist Chris D. Thomas overturns the accepted story, revealing how nature is fighting back.

Many animals and plants actually benefit from our presence, raising biological diversity in most parts of the world and increasing the rate at which new species are formed, perhaps to the highest level in Earth's history. From Costa Rican tropical forests to the thoroughly transformed British landscape, nature is coping surprisingly well in the human epoch.

Chris Thomas takes us on a gripping round-the-world journey to meet the enterprising creatures that are thriving in the Anthropocene, from York's ochre-coloured comma butterfly to hybrid bison in North America, scarlet-beaked pukekos in New Zealand, and Asian palms forming thickets in the European Alps. In so doing, he questions our irrational persecution of so-called 'invasive species', and shows us that we should not treat the Earth as a faded masterpiece that we need to restore. After all, if life can recover from the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs, might it not be able to survive the onslaughts of a technological ape?

Combining a naturalist's eye for wildlife with an ecologist's wide lens, Chris Thomas forces us to re-examine humanity's relationship with nature, and reminds us that the story of life is the story of change.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 162 x 240 x 30mm | 565g
  • ALLEN LANE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0241240751
  • 9780241240755
  • 86,527

Review Text

An immensely significant book. It is fluently written, carefully thought through, ruthlessly argued, neatly illustrated with case studies - and shockingly contrarian Matt Ridley The Times (Book of the Week)
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Review quote

An immensely significant book. It is fluently written, carefully thought through, ruthlessly argued, neatly illustrated with case studies - and shockingly contrarian -- Matt Ridley * The Times (Book of the Week) * His flowing narrative is rich in stories of his fieldwork round the world ... Thomas's vision ... aspires to something nobler, more optimistic -- Fred Pearce * New Scientist * Fascinating ... Chris Thomas examines our human relationships with nature, bad and good, and sets out a more hopeful truth to current narratives and alarms ... This is a rich and timely tale, fearless too, with examples and cases drawn from ecosystems across the world -- Prof Jules Pretty * Times Higher Education * [A] thrilling and uplifting counter to the pessimism of the Anthropocene -- Stuart Blackman * BBC Wildlife Magazine * A decent and humane tale about the threat and promise of biodiversity change -- James Lovelock, author of 'The Revenge of Gaia' and 'A Rough Guide to the Future' Provocative ... Filled with lovely anecdotes ... Remarkably clear * New York Times Book Review * An immensely significant book. It is fluently written, carefully thought through, ruthlessly argued, neatly illustrated with case studies - and shockingly contrarian -- Matt Ridley * The Times (Book of the Week) *
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About Chris D. Thomas

Chris D. Thomas is an ecologist and evolutionary biologist at the University of York and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He has received the Scientific Medal of the Zoological Society of London, the President's Medal of the British Ecological Society, the Marsh Award for Conservation Biology, and the Marsh Award for Climate Change Research. This is his first book.
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Rating details

93 ratings
4.09 out of 5 stars
5 42% (39)
4 34% (32)
3 17% (16)
2 4% (4)
1 2% (2)
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