Life in the Balance by Niles Eldredge
Look inside with Google Book Preview
Life in the Balance
By Niles Eldredge

Life in the Balance

Humanity and the Biodiversity Crisis

By (author) See other recent books by Niles Eldredge
Illustrated by Patricia J. Wynne See other recent books by Patricia J. Wynne
Format: Paperback

Normal Price: $67.00
Your Price: $60.30 AUD, inc. GST
Shipping: $7.95 per order
You Save: $6.70! (10% off normal price)
Plus...earn $3.02 in Boomerang Bucks
Availability: Available Available to Backorder, No Due Date for Supply

Life in the Balance by Niles Eldredge

Book Description

In Life in the Balance, Niles Eldredge argues that the Earth is confronting a disaster in the making--an ecological crisis that, if left unresolved, could ultimately lead to mass extinction on the scale of that which killed the dinosaurs sixty-five million years ago. Writing for general readers, he reviews compelling evidence for this "biodiversity crisis," showing that species are dying out at an unnaturally rapid rate. He demonstrates the importance of maintaining biodiversity, taking the reader on a journey that reveals the twin faces of biodiversity--over thirteen million living species and the ecosystems through which these species transform the sun's energy into life-sustaining matter. Throughout, Eldredge shows how our own fate is intricately linked with that of other species. Eldredge, one of the world's foremost paleontologists, begins by taking us to the heart of Botswana's Okavango Delta, considered by many to be among the last "Edens" left on Earth--a place where a rich assortment of organisms exist in natural equilibrium. However, it is also a place where the results of human activity--pollution, clear-cutting, water-diversion, encroaching agriculture, disease--now pose the same ecological threats that, on a worldwide scale, put the entire planet at risk. Eldredge then leads us on a fascinating exploration of the Earth's organisms--animals, plants, fungi, the microbes that underpin all life--and of the diverse ecosystems from the tundra to the tropics in which these organisms live. It is a journey that demonstrates the inherent value of the millions of species and ecosystems on Earth, and the importance of biodiversity to the entire biosphere and to humans' continued existence. Eldredge concludes that humans not only are responsible for the biodiversity crisis but also hold the key to preventing an impending Sixth Extinction. He argues that we must, among other strategies, pledge ourselves to sustainable development and the conservation of wild places. An eloquent and passionate account by one of today's leading scientists, Life in the Balance will draw new attention to one of the most pressing problems now facing the world. In this book, Eldredge explores the same themes that illuminate The American Museum of Natural History's new Hall of Biodiversity, for which he is Scientific Curator. The Hall is scheduled to open in spring 1998.

Buy Life in the Balance book by Niles Eldredge from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9780691050096
ISBN-10: 0691050090
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 13mm)
Pages: 240
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 31-Jan-2000
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Niles Eldredge

Extinction and Evolution by Niles Eldredge Extinction and Evolution, Hardback (November 2014)

An illustrated account of the work and discoveries of Niles Etheridge, one of the world's most renowned paleontologists whose research overturned Darwin's theory of gradual evolution.

Concrete Jungle by Niles Eldredge Concrete Jungle, Hardback (September 2014)

If they are to survive, cities need healthy chunks of the world's ecosystems to persist; yet cities, like parasites, grow and prosper by local destruction of these very ecosystems. This book helps you explore both the positive and the negative sides of the relationship between cities, the environment, and the future of global biodiversity.

» View all books by Niles Eldredge


UK Kirkus Review » Yet another volume on the 'biodiversity crisis', this book is written by a curator of the American Museum of Natural History in New York. The book presents a more long-term view of biodiversity problems, noting the differences between the present extinction problems and comparing the cause and results to the 'great extinctions' of the past, when dinosaurs and marine invertebrates were the main losses. Eldredge's conclusion is largely the same as the biologists: the current crisis is severe and we need to do a lot to avert, or at least lessen, the effect of the impending 'Sixth Extinction'. Starting with a microcosmic excursion to Botswana's Okavango Delta, Eldredge offers a grand tour through life's organisms, and along the way, numerous prescriptions. Although clumsily written in places this book has much to offer. (Kirkus UK)

US Kirkus Review » From a leading paleontologist, a book (not a catalogue) to complement a show: the American Museum of Natural History's first "issues" exhibition, opening this spring in New York City, with curator Eldredge in charge. The theme is familiar to Eldredge (Reinventing Darwin, 1995, etc.) fans and environmentalists worldwide. In the author's dramatic words, the planet has undergone five major extinctions since life began - and we now face a sixth, the product of our own actions. The book sets out to answer four questions: What is biodiversity? Why should we care about it? What precisely threatens it? And what can we do to stem the tide? The answers are played out in terms of the twin "modes" that influence life: evolution and ecosystems. Interestingly, Eldredge begins with a close-up view of territory he knows well: Botswana, home to the Eden-like Okavango River delta, as well as the nearby dry Kalahari region. Vagaries of climate (recent drought), population increases, cattle-raising, abandonment of the local hunter-gatherer lifestyle for agriculture - these are among the major threats to the survival of the "big hairies," as well as numerous others, including a species of termites that plays a unique role in the ecosystem. The book's remaining sections celebrate global biodiversity, allowing Eldredge to indulge in picking his favorites across the flora and fauna (nicely illustrated). The value of diversity addresses esthetics as well as the need to ensure variation for evolution to play upon, not to mention the potential for new sources of drugs and other useful goods. As for stemming the tide, the message is control, control, control (of excesses, land use, population) and empowerment of women and of local peoples to utilize local resources wisely - messages often heard but little heeded. In a book that's part rhapsody, part sermon, Eldredge once more may be addressing a choir of believers. One can only hope that the throngs attending the exhibition absorb and act on the message. (Kirkus Reviews)

» Have you read this book? We'd like to know what you think about it - write a review about Life in the Balance book by Niles Eldredge and you'll earn 50c in Boomerang Bucks loyalty dollars (you must be a member - it's free to sign up!)

Write a book review

Boomerang Bucks close

For every $20 you spend on books, you will receive $1 in Boomerang Bucks loyalty dollars. You can use your Boomerang Bucks as a credit towards a future purchase from Boomerang Books. Note that you must be a Member (free to sign up) and that conditions do apply.

Recent books by Niles Eldredge close
Eternal Ephemera by Niles Eldredge
Evolutionary Theory by Niles Eldredge
Eternal Ephemera by Niles Eldredge
Extinction and Evolution by Niles Eldredge
Concrete Jungle by Niles Eldredge
Darwin by Niles Eldredge
Why We Do it by Niles Eldredge
What is Life? by Niles Eldredge
Arthropod Fossils and Phylogeny by Niles Eldredge
Reinventing Darwin by Niles Eldredge
Unfinished Synthesis by Niles Eldredge
Recent books by Patricia J. Wynne close
Welcome to the Microbiome by Patricia J. Wynne
My First Book About Backyard Nature by Patricia J. Wynne
Flying Dinosaurs Coloring Book by Patricia J. Wynne
My First Book About Weather by Patricia J. Wynne
Welcome to the Microbiome by Patricia J. Wynne
Natural History of Wine by Patricia J. Wynne
My First Book About Outer Space by Patricia J. Wynne
Brain by Patricia J. Wynne
Creative Haven Naturescapes Coloring Book by Patricia J. Wynne
BOOST Seashore Activity Book by Patricia J. Wynne
BOOST My First Human Body Coloring Book by Patricia J. Wynne
My First Book About the Brain by Patricia J. Wynne
Hello, Mama Wallaroo by Patricia J. Wynne
Creative Haven Seascapes Coloring Book by Patricia J. Wynne
Hello, Baby Beluga by Patricia J. Wynne
Brain by Patricia J. Wynne
Race to the South Pole Coloring Book by Patricia J. Wynne
Extreme Mammals by Patricia J. Wynne
Glow-in-the-Dark Skeleton Stickers by Patricia J. Wynne
My First Human Body Book by Patricia J. Wynne
» close