From Publishers Weekly
With several lively and informal works of popular science to his credit (Sharks Have No Bones
; Are We Unique?
), Trefil is certainly qualified to tackle the controversial, timely topic of how humans ought to affect the planet they live on. He argues that from the dawn of an agricultural society, man has always engineered nature to suit his needs. And because we're the only form of life with the ability to move mountains (as much literally as metaphorically), there's no rational reason not to manage the environment mainly for the benefit of manâ"an aggressive, unapologetic inversion of an Earth First philosophy. With the advent of 21st-century scientific breakthroughsâ"particularly the mapping of DNA and forays into genetic manipulationâ"this rather radically reasoned book declares that a bold new world of "overcoming the limits imposed by nature" awaits. It's a vision of planetary terraforming imbued with bravura and optimism (Trefil declares that alarm over global warming is a nearsighted cousin to the millennium hysteria around Y2K). The author's hubristic, occasionally cranky dismissal of the environmental movement as mere "pop ecology" is sure to have greens seeing red. But readers who think of the wilderness primarily as a place to spend the weekend will be reassured by his vision of the power of science, rather than restrained stewardship, as mankind's best bet for saving the planet.
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"An important work . . . part of a small but growing body of literature that offers an alternative to the environmentalist approach to safeguarding our planet's future." -New Scientist
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