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Life on a Little Known Planet: A Biologist's View of Insects and Their World Paperback – August, 1993
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By the way, the sentence that so stunned me all those years ago is found on page 21 of this edition. After listing a host of creatures that were sent into space on Biosatellite II... the author states:
"Tsk, tsk, not a single yellow-headed pickleworm, the species that surely holds the secret to life in space."
And the book is filled with much, much more. Purchase it and enjoy yourself as Howard Evans opens a little window of knowledge about life on this little known planet.
The sad confrontations of bugs and uninformed humans is well covered, but Evans, while demonstrating a profound knowledge and admiration for just about all bugs and life itself, takes, in my opinion, a rather unfair poke at Rachel Carson's famous book, "Silent Spring". He comes off sounding like those in the pesticide industry or those who relied on their funding of research grants who attempted to debunk Carson's important work as "alarmist" and over-done. As we now know, Carson's work was proven correct and alarming and set the stage for an invigorated environmental movement world-wide.
Evans points out that "They [insects] are not only marvelous creatures in their own right; they may also teach us something about population control and the proper use of the Earth's resources."-pg 47. And, "As the anthroposphere [human saturated world] continues to encroach upon the biosphere, the museums will more and more assume the role of guardians of the world's treasures."-pg 285.
So this seems somewhat contradictory to his comments on pesticide use, but in all fairness, he also sees the wanton and reckless misuse of pesticides as very harmful to life.
The last two chapters give a very studied view of the collision-course that humanity is on with Earth's life support systems and in the end, it might be proven that those "pesky" bugs are far superior to humans in managing survival on a fragile and "Little-Known Planet"- Evans' call to expedite our research of the many awesome, yet unstudied life-forms that inhabit this planet before we inadvertently eradicate them with our paved-over human world.
For understanding and empathy for the insect world and the vitally important services that insect's provide, this book and Joanne Elizabeth Lauck's book, "The Voice of the Infinite In The Small: Re-Visioning the Insect-Human Connection" is highly recommended.