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The Current Controversies series examines today's most important social and political issues. Each volume presents a diverse selection of primary sources representing all sides of the debate in question.

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The Current Controversies series examines today's most important social and political issues. Each volume presents a diverse selection of primary sources representing all sides of the debate in question.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Lauri J. Vaughan
The four Current Controversy titles reviewed here feature between twenty and thirty-two brief opinion essays previously published elsewhere. The essays are evenly sorted among chapters that focus on specific questions. The table of contents includes a helpful abstract of each opinion. The first page of each article features a brief identification of the author—whether an individual or a foundation—and a footnote indicating its original publication. Every title includes an unauthored introduction and each chapter is briefly prefaced. Titles conclude with bibliographies and indices. As a whole, the books are attractive and readily accessible to teens. The absence of images is not a drawback as the pages are made subtly attractive with their italicized and colorful pull quotes, section headings, and rule lines. The liberal use of white space and a medium size font keep the content easy on the eyes. The weaknesses of the series, unfortunately, are plenty. The expertise of the authors is uneven and the explanations about them suspect. One wonders who wrote the text identifying TendersInfo News, the author of "E-book Pricing Should Be Decided by E-book Publishers." The explanation describes TendersInfo as a "leading business opportunity platform and information services company, providing the latest up-to-date information." Not only does this tag line sound like it came straight from a press release, the author line "TendersInfo News" is misleading. TendersInfo is a company, not a publication. Other identifiers are equally weak. Hassan Javid, author of "Although Weak, Some Secular Groups in Pakistan Are Fighting Religious Extremism," is identified as "a reporter who writes about Pakistan." Other weaknesses include unnecessarily outdated elements such as the introduction of Global Warming which predicts the "Kyoto Protocol is set to expire at the end of 2012." More problematic is the categorization of essays. To balance out the negative stance of the chapter entitled "Is Pakistan's Nuclear Arsenal Secure?" is an article about the country's energy crisis. Related? Yes. On topic? No. Beginning researchers doing superficial work will be satisfied, although they will do better if these sources are served up with an information literacy lesson on self-publishing, authority, audience and context. Serious debaters will see the flaws and look elsewhere. Subscribers to Gale's Opposing Viewpoints database will want to pass completely. (Current Controversies) Reviewer: Lauri J. Vaughan
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780737739527
  • Publisher: Cengage Gale
  • Publication date: 6/6/2008
  • Series: Current Controversies Series
  • Format: Library Binding
  • Edition description: Library Edition
  • Pages: 196
  • Age range: 15 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Table of Contents

Foreword 13

Introduction 16

Chapter 1 Is Biodiversity Loss a Serious Problem?

Chapter Preface 21

Yes: Biodiversity Loss Is a Serious Problem

Global Biodiversity Losses Are Approaching Tipping Points of No Return Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity 24

Species Loss Is a Silent Crisis for the Planet David Suzuki 36

Climate Change Is Acclerating Biodiversity Loss Anup Shah 39

Biodiversity Loss Is a Threat to Human Food Security Paul Virgo 48

No: Biodiversity Loss Is Not a Serious Problem

Rainforest Regrowth May Reduce the Loss of Biodiversity in the Tropics Environment News Service 52

Animal and Plant Extinction Rates May Be Overestimated Brian Handwerk 57

Environmentalists' Claims About Species' Loss Are Radically Misleading James D. Agresti 61

Chapter 2 Which Plant and Animal Species Are Threatened with Extinction?

Chapter Preface 65

Half of Earth's Species Could Be Extinct by the End of the Century in a Sixth Mass Extinction Event The Independent 68

Thousands of Plant and Animal Extinctions Are Happening Faster than New Species Can Evolve Juliette Jowit 71

Many Important Keystone and Predator Species Are at Risk Douglas H. Chadwick 76

Climate Change Is Threatening Wild Animal Species Around the World WWF 84

Climate Change and Other Human-Induced Impacts May Make a Mass Extinction of Ocean Species Inevitable Environment News Service 87

Twenty Percent of Earth's Known Plant Species Are Threatened by Human Activities Zachary Shahan 91

The Spread of High-Yield Crops Is Depleting Agricultural Biodiversity Fahim Nawaz 95

Chapter 3 Are Human Food Production Methods a Threat to Earth's Biodiversity?

Chapter Preface 100

Yes: Human Food Production Methods Are a Threat to the Earth's Biodiversity

Industrial Agriculture Is a Major Threat to Biodiversity Sustainable Table 103

Concentrated Animal Agriculture Is the Biggest Threat to the Environment and Biodiversity Human Society International 112

Slash and Burn Agriculture Results in Tropical Habitat and Biodiversity Loss Colin Stief 120

Genetically Modified Crops Contribute to Biodiversity Loss Deniza Gertsberg 123

Commercial Fishing Is a Threat to Marine Biodiversity Nick Nuttall 127

No: Human Food Production Methods Are Not a Threat to the Earth's Biodiversity

Genetically Engineered Crops Have Had a Positive Impact on Biodiversity Janet E. Carpenter 130

Agricultural Productivity Does Not Have to Result in Biodiversity Loss Jonathan Latham Allison Wilson 138

Small, Sustainable Farms Can Help Protect Biodiversity in Tropical Forests ScienceDaily 143

Chapter 4 How Can Earth's Biodiversity Be Protected?

Chapter Preface 148

Creating Protected Area Habitats Is a Critical Strategy for Conserving Biodiversity Convention on Biological Diversity 151

Setting Aside Protected Habitats Will Not Stop Biodiversity Loss Tom Zeller 154

Sustainable Agriculture Is the Key to Preserving Biodiversity Annik Dollacker Juan Gonzalez-Valero 158

The World Must Move Faster to Conserve Tropical Rainforests The Economist 165

Strong Measures Must Be Taken Soon to Prevent Overfishing in Our Oceans Save Our Seas Foundation 169

Addressing Biodiversity Loss Will Require More Political Will and Resources Elizabeth Pennisi 173

Individuals Can Also Take Steps to Protect Biodiversity Renee Cho 176

Organizations to Contact 181

Bibliography 189

Index 195

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