Dying of the Trees: The Pandemic in America's Forests

Dying of the Trees: The Pandemic in America's Forests

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by Charles E. Little

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Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a thoroughly researched book, Little (Hope for the Land) documents the depressing state of U.S. forests. Individual trees are dying at unprecedented rates, numerous woody species are at risk of extinction and the country's forests are disappearing as intact ecosystems. The devastation stretches across the land and is eerily similar to losses observed in Europe. Although the immediate cause of death varies, Little and the numerous ecologists and foresters whom he interviewed argue convincingly that the best explanation is ultimately the environmental havoc humans have wrought. Acid rain, heavy metal contamination, smog, increased ultraviolet rays streaming through the growing hole in the ozone layer and atrocious management of forests-from clear-cutting to fire suppression-have so weakened individual trees, as well as ecosystems, that once-routine pests may now be responsible for destruction on an unprecedented scale. This book should significantly alter the way we think about our relationship to the natural world. (Aug.)
Environmentalist and journalist Charles Little argues that the present-day phenomenon of widespread tree death in America has less to do with normal rhythms of decline and regeneration than it has to do with the accumulated consequences of some 150 years of headlong economic development and industrial expansion. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Donna Seaman
Caught as we are in a spell of denial and backlash, we're told that environmental concerns have been greatly exaggerated and we no longer need all those pesky laws and regulations. Not so fast says environmental journalist Little, everything is not okay--trees are dying all over the U.S. Little presents the terrible facts about such calamities as the extinction of the eastern dogwood, the toll acid rain has taken on trees from Vermont to North Carolina, and the human-caused plague killing California's ponderosa pine. He also explains how logging and fire prevention alter the composition of forests and lead to such fatal imbalances as the massive increases in regional populations of the tree-killing gypsy moth. Little traces the origins of all these forms of tree death to 150 years of full-throttle industrialization and then firmly reminds us that trees are essential to life on earth as we hope to live it. Sobering, responsible, and eloquent, this is an important book.

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Penguin Publishing Group
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Product dimensions:
6.31(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.99(d)

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Dying of the Trees: The Pandemic in America's Forests 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
All around us a cataclysmic aleration of the Earth's ecosystem is occuring. A significant indicator of this is the state of our forests. Once vast and seemingly limitless, they have now become, through centuries of exploitation and mismanagement, shattered, isolated fragments. And, as environmentalist Charles E. Little points out, our forests are dying as a result. It is a slow and, to the untrained eye, almost imperceptable process. Yet it is occurring, and for this reason Little set out to explore the phenomena, although, as he states in the Preface, he 'did not set out to be an alarmist in this book.' But with the dire state of our forests, Little's discussion of the various problems facing our forests is nothing but alarming. In the end, you will learn, as Little admits, 'that the trees are dying. And that the more trees die, the more will die. I have learned that we have crossed the threshold. And I simply do not know how we can get back safely to the other side.'