Duke ecologist's book offers hopeful view of Earth's plight

DURHAM, N.C. -- As described by ecologist Rob Jackson in his new book "The Earth Remains Forever," ours is a planet that is losing species at more than 100 times the average historical rate as reflected in the fossil record.

It is also a planet where the population of six billion humans increases by another billion about every 12 years; where farmers pour billions of pounds of pesticides into its soils each year; and that has, in the last three decades, lost a million and a half square miles of forest, the equivalent of all the forest lands in North America today.

As Jackson, an associate professor of biology at Duke University, lays out a stunning litany of facts about the damaging human impact on Earth, he also emphasizes the importance of preserving the natural world -- citing, for example, the fact that more than 40 percent of all pharmaceuticals are derived from "nature's medicine cabinet" (plants, animals and microbes).

Even as he uses stark facts to build a case for immediate action to remedy global environmental problems, Jackson has emerged from the experience of writing the book with hope that these problems can be solved.

"In some cases, my research for the book showed that some situations were not as desperate as I had thought previously," he said in an interview. "While we do have very serious ecological problems to solve, I don't believe that the 'catastrophization' of science is helpful."

Catastrophization, he explained, occurs when "people sometimes use bad environmental news to further an agenda, and even through I feel strongly about the importance of protecting the environment, it's a dangerous game to play. It results in genuinely bad news being swamped by 'pretend' bad news."

For that reason, said Jackson, he wrote "The Earth Remains Forever" (University of Texas Press) to offer the public an accessible, realistic source of information about global environmental problems and approaches to sol

Contact: Dennis Meredith
Duke University

Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Lake research offers clues to managing crayfish invasions
2. Comparing primate genomes offers insight into human evolution
3. Study of proteins offers insights into organization of biological networks
4. Susceptibility of mice to mousepox offers promise of smallpox protection
5. Botulinum toxin structure offers clues for vaccines/treatments
6. Discovery offers clues to origin of life
7. Guiding gas exploration: U-M research offers inexpensive tool
8. New approach offers potential drug-discovery shortcut
9. American Society of Plant Biologists offers developing nations free access to science journals
10. Study offers new model for breast cancer
11. Rutgers researcher offers a new perspective on human evolution

Post Your Comments:

(Date:4/3/2017)... 2017  Data captured by IsoCode, IsoPlexis ... a statistically significant association between the potency ... and objective response of cancer patients post-treatment. ... whether cancer patients will respond to CAR-T ... as to improve both pre-infusion potency testing and ...
(Date:3/29/2017)... -- higi, the health IT company that operates the largest ... , today announced a Series B investment from BlueCross ... new investment and acquisition accelerates higi,s strategy to create ... health activities through the collection and workflow integration of ... and secures data today on behalf of over 36 ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... Mar 24, 2017 Research and Markets has ... Market Analysis & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report ... ... at a CAGR of around 15.1% over the next decade to ... report analyzes the market estimates and forecasts for all the given ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... BioMedGPS announces expanded ... of its newest module, US Hemostats & Sealants. , SmartTRAK’s US Market for ... fibrin sealants, synthetic sealants and biologic sealants used in surgical applications. BioMedGPS estimates ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... The ... context, enabling overexpression experiments and avoiding the use of exogenous expression plasmids. The ... transformative for performing systematic gain-of-function studies. , This complement to loss-of-function studies, ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... -- VMS BioMarketing, a leading provider of patient support solutions, has ... (CNE) network, which will launch this week. The VMS CNEs ... professionals to enhance the patient care experience by delivering peer-to-peer ... care professionals to help women who have been diagnosed and ... ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... 11, 2017 , ... Singh Biotechnology today announced that the ... its novel anti-STAT3 (Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3) B VHH13 single ... the cell membrane and bind intracellular STAT3 and inhibit its function. Dysregulation of ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: