Green Planet

Author: Stanley A Rice
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
ISBN: 9780813546537
Format: PDF, ePub
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Plants are not just a pretty part of the landscape; they keep the entire planet, with all of its human and nonhuman inhabitants, alive. Stanley Rice documents the many ways in which plants do this by making oxygen, regulating the greenhouse effect, controlling floods, and producing all the food in the world. Plants also create natural habitats for all organisms in the world. With illustrations and clear writing for non-specialists, Green Planet helps general readers realize that if we are to rescue the Earth from environmental disaster, we must protect wild plants. Beginning with an overview of how human civilization has altered the face of the Earth, particularly by the destruction of forests, the book details the startling consequences of these actions. Rice provides compelling reasons for government officials, economic leaders, and the public to support efforts to save threatened and endangered plants. Global campaigns to solve environmental problems with plants, such as the development of green roofs and the Green Belt Movement—a women's organization in Kenya that empowers communities worldwide to protect the environment—show readers that efforts to save wild plants can be successful and beneficial to the economic well-being of nations. Through current scientific evidence, readers see that plants are vital to the ecological health of our planet and understand what can be done to lead to a better—and greener—future Benefits of plants: Help modulate greenhouse gases Produce almost all oxygen in the air Create cool shade that reduces energy costs Prevent floods, droughts, and soil erosion Produce all of the food in the world Create and preserve soil Create natural habitats Heal the landscape after natural and human disasters

The Role of the Individual

Author: Rebecca Ferguson
Publisher: Greenhaven Publishing LLC
ISBN: 0737748532
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Now more than ever, it is important for our society to understand that global warming is a reality. There are so many things that we have done, under the guise of industrialization and bettering our economy, that have had, and still have, ramifications on our immediate environment. Charts, graphs, maps, and sidebars of key figures and events distill important, proven information regarding global warming, so that readers can easily refer to them for report-writing or while building their own well-informed opinion. Readers will learn about the current and impending challenges facing the planet and how it affects human health. Further exploration in this volume covers the impacts of extreme cold snaps; issues arising from aridity; diminished air capacity from smog, pollution, the ozone, and aero-allergens; and food security and food safety.

Life of Earth

Author: Stanley A. Rice
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1616142731
Format: PDF, ePub
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In this portrait of Planet Earth-at just about the mid point of its probable lifespan-biologist Stanley A. Rice discusses the evolution of the network of life and the crucial role played by humans in determining the future of our world.Unlike most books on earth history, which present the story of life on our planet in terms of one chronological period after another, Rice discusses Earth's teeming diversity in terms of pivotal evolutionary developments. Among these he stresses the importance of symbiosis, sex, and altruism as key determinants of the Earth's biodiversity.Symbiosis-when single cells began working together-sparked the sudden appearance of complex animals. Much later symbiotic relationships led to flowering plants that depended on animals for pollination and seed dispersal.With the advent of sexual selection, there developed an astonishing world of complex behavior and a dizzying array of life forms. In humans, sexual selection exerted a great influence on the development of our large brains.Altruism-when species learned to work together-resulted in even greater variety and complexity. In early humans, altruism gave rise to ever-widening social circles and the spread of culture.Rice also discusses the role of photosynthesis in establishing and maintaining life on earth; the evidence for ancient natural catastrophes, which caused widespread extinctions; and the importance of religion and the recent use of scientific reasoning in the development and the future of the human species.Rice's eloquent, panoramic perspective is well designed to foster an appreciation for the scope of life on Earth and to encourage wise stewardship of the natural world on which our survival depends.Stanley A. Rice, PhD (Durant, OK) is the author of Green Planet: How Plants Keep the Earth Alive, The Encyclopedia of Evolution, The Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, and (forthcoming) The Encyclopedia of Biodiversity. He is a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Environment and Climate Change in Asia

Author: Victor R. Savage
Publisher: FT Press
ISBN: 013341227X
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This collection of essays on environment and climate change within Asia is written by faculty members to mark the celebration of the 10th Anniversary (2001–2011) of the National University of Singapore’s Masters in Environmental Management (MEM) program. These essays reflect the multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary pedagogical nature of the MEM program with academic contributions from the Arts, Architecture, Building and Real Estate, Business, Economics, Law, Medicine, and Sciences as well as inputs from industry and non-government organizations. The papers provide a mix of field-study research, grounded conceptual distillations, policy and applied eco-developmental suggestions, critical reviews of government programs, and comparisons of local and global environment and climate change interventions. This is a must-read book for any academic researcher, government official, corporate decision-maker and the informed public about the ecological impacts and outcomes, social and economic implications, and the political ramifications and state policy options in the defining 21st century of global climate change. Read it to become an informed and active participant in environmental debates and dialogues.

Eating the Sun

Author: Oliver Morton
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0007163657
Format: PDF, ePub
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Wherever there is greenery, photosynthesis is working to make oxygen, release energy, and create living matter from the raw material of sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide. Without photosynthesis, there would be an empty world, an empty sky, and a sun that does nothing more than warm the rocks and reflect off the sea. Eating the Sun is the story of a world in crisis; an appreciation of the importance of plants; a history of the earth and the feuds and fantasies of warring scientists; a celebration of how the smallest things, enzymes and pigments, influence the largest things, the oceans, the rainforests, and the fossil fuel economy. Oliver Morton offers a fascinating, lively, profound look at nature's greatest miracle and sounds a much-needed call to arms—illuminating a potential crisis of climatic chaos and explaining how we can change our situation, for better or for worse.

Gaia

Author: James Lovelock
Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks
ISBN: 0192862189
Format: PDF, Kindle
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This classic work is now reissued in new covers with a new Preface by the author. Written for non-scientists, this is an original work in which James Lovelock puts forward his inspirational idea that life on earth functions as a single organism.

The Emerald Planet

Author: David Beerling
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0192529781
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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Plants have profoundly moulded the Earth's climate and the evolutionary trajectory of life. Far from being 'silent witnesses to the passage of time', plants are dynamic components of our world, shaping the environment throughout history as much as that environment has shaped them. In The Emerald Planet, David Beerling puts plants centre stage, revealing the crucial role they have played in driving global changes in the environment, in recording hidden facets of Earth's history, and in helping us to predict its future. His account draws together evidence from fossil plants, from experiments with their living counterparts, and from computer models of the 'Earth System', to illuminate the history of our planet and its biodiversity. This new approach reveals how plummeting carbon dioxide levels removed a barrier to the evolution of the leaf; how plants played a starring role in pushing oxygen levels upwards, allowing spectacular giant insects to thrive in the Carboniferous; and it strengthens fascinating and contentious fossil evidence for an ancient hole in the ozone layer. Along the way, Beerling introduces a lively cast of pioneering scientists from Victorian times onwards whose discoveries provided the crucial background to these and the other puzzles. This understanding of our planet's past sheds a sobering light on our own climate-changing activities, and offers clues to what our climatic and ecological futures might look like. There could be no more important time to take a close look at plants, and to understand the history of the world through the stories they tell. Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.

Scientifically Thinking

Author: Stanley A. Rice
Publisher: Prometheus Books
ISBN: 1633884716
Format: PDF
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Shows the many advantages of thinking like a scientist and argues that today's problems require a scientific approach. You don't have to be a scientist to think like a scientist. Anyone can do it and everyone should. This book will show you how. The advantages are many: from detecting bias to avoiding error and appreciating the richness of the world. Author Stanley Rice, himself a scientist, explains that science is essentially organized common sense. While the brain is hardwired for common sense, unfortunately, it also relies on a number of misleading tendencies. Instead of reasoning objectively it tends to rationalize. Often it sees what it wants to see rather than what is really there. And it is adept at both self-deception and deceiving others. Rice notes that these tendencies were useful in the past as the human race evolved in an often-hostile environment. But today bias and delusions put us at risk of worldwide catastrophe. The author invites readers to participate in the adventure of scientific discovery. He provides many interesting and humorous examples of how science works. He shows how hypothesis testing can be used to tackle everyday problems like car trouble or seeing through the specious appeal of a fad diet. Beyond practical applications, science meets the basic human need to satisfy curiosity: it tells verifiable stories about the universe, providing humans with fascinating narratives supported by testable facts. The author also explores some of science's biggest ideas, including natural selection (creating order out of randomness) and interconnectedness (Earth's systems are intricately intertwined). Read this book and learn to think like a scientist. It will guard you against being manipulated by politicians, corporations, and religious leaders, and equip you to deal with the world's most pressing problems. And you will have a lot of fun doing it.