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"McKee is bringing to Sparing Nature the same graceful writing style combined with insights of a fine scientist that I found in The Riddled Chain. Furthermore, his timing is exquisite, since the close relationship of human population growth to the decay of biodiversity has not been brought to popular audiences in far too long." --Paul Ehrlich, Bing Professor of Population Studies, Stanford University
Are humans too good at adapting to the earth's natural environment? Every day, there is a net gain of 200,000 people on the planet--that's 146 a minute. Has our explosive population growth led to the mass extinction of countless species in the earth's plant and animal communities?
Jeffrey K. McKee contends it has. Exploring the cause-and-effect relationship between these two trends, McKee demonstrates that nature is too sparing to accommodate both a richly diverse living world and a rapidlly expanding number of people. He probes the past to find that humans and their ancestors have had negative impacts on species biodiversity for nearly two million years, and that extinction rates have accelarated since the origins of agriculture. Today entire ecosystems are in peril due to the relentless growth of the human population.
Providing a guided tour of the interconnections within the living world, Sparing Nature makes the maze of technical research and scientific debates accessible to the general reader. McKee not only encourages more responsible reproductive habits, but also takes an objective look at the means that might be employed to decrease fertility rates and stop the population explosion.
Jeffrey K. McKee is a professor in the department of anthropology as well as the department of evolution, ecology, and organismal biology at The Ohio State University.