The Human Age

The Human Age

The World Shaped by Us

Book - 2014
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"Ackerman is justly celebrated for her unique insight into the natural world and our place in it. In this landmark book, she confronts the unprecedented reality that one prodigiously intelligent and meddlesome creature, Homo sapiens, is now the dominant force shaping the future of planet Earth. Humans have "subdued 75 percent of the land surface, concocted a wizardry of industrial and medical marvels, strung lights all across the darkness." We tinker with nature at every opportunity; we garden the planet with our preferred species of plants and animals, many of them invasive; and we have even altered the climate, threatening our own extinction. Yet we reckon with our own destructive capabilities in extraordinary acts of hope-filled creativity: we collect the DNA of vanishing species in a "frozen ark," equip orangutans with iPads, and create wearable technologies and synthetic species that might one day outsmart us. With her distinctive gift for making scientific discovery intelligible to the layperson, Ackerman takes us on an exhilarating journey through our new reality, introducing us to many of the people and ideas now creating--perhaps saving--our future and that of our fellow creatures."--Dust jacket flap.
Publisher: New York : W. W. Norton & Company, 2014.
ISBN: 9780393240740
0393240746
Call Number: 304.2 ACKERMAN
Characteristics: viii, 344 p. ; 24 cm.
Subjects: Human beings -- History.
Civilization -- History.
Human ecology.
Environmental degradation.
Global environmental change.
Nature -- Effect of human beings on.

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ChristchurchLib Sep 30, 2014

In this exploration of the Anthropocene Epoch - our current geological age, one characterized by the planet-altering activities of humans -- Diane Ackerman, author of An Alchemy of Mind, discusses homo sapiens' pivotal and not always benign role in shaping its environment. From reducing biodiversity to changing the climate, humans have made their mark on the Earth...but for how much longer? Lush, lyrical, and highly literate, The Human Age covers some of the same ground as Elizabeth Kolbert's bestselling The Sixth Extinction. Science and Nature Newsletter October 2014.

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