Empire of the Beetle: How Human Folly and a Tiny Bug Are Killing North America's Great Forests

Empire of the Beetle: How Human Folly and a Tiny Bug Are Killing North America's Great Forests

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Overview

Empire of the Beetle: How Human Folly and a Tiny Bug Are Killing North America's Great Forests by Andrew Nikiforuk

Beginning in the late 1980s, a series of improbable bark beetle outbreaks unsettled iconic forests and communities across western North America. An insect the size of a rice kernel eventually killed more than 30 billion pine and spruce trees from Alaska to New Mexico. Often appearing in masses larger than schools of killer whales, the beetles engineered one of the world's greatest forest die-offs since the deforestation of Europe by peasants between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries.

The beetle didn't act alone. Misguided science, out-of-control logging, bad public policy, and a hundred years of fire suppression created a volatile geography that released the world's oldest forest manager from all natural constraints. Like most human empires, the beetles exploded wildly and then crashed, leaving in their wake grieving landowners, humbled scientists, hungry animals, and altered watersheds. Although climate change triggered this complex event, human arrogance assuredly set the table. With little warning, an ancient insect pointedly exposed the frailty of seemingly stable manmade landscapes. And despite the billions of public dollars spent on control efforts, the beetles burn away like a fire that can't be put out.

Drawing on first-hand accounts from entomologists, botanists, foresters, and rural residents, award-winning journalist Andrew Nikiforuk investigates this unprecedented beetle plague, its startling implications, and the lessons it holds.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781553655107
Publisher: Greystone Books
Publication date: 08/23/2011
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 784,591
Product dimensions: 5.36(w) x 8.54(h) x 0.62(d)

About the Author

Andrew Nikiforuk is an award-winning journalist who has written about education, economics, and the environment for the last two decades. His books include Pandemonium, Saboteurs: Wiebo Ludwig's War Against Oil, which won the Governor General's Literary Award for Non-Fiction, and The Fourth Horseman: A Short History of Plagues, Scourges and Emerging Viruses. His bestselling book Tar Sands won the Rachel Carson Environment Book Award.

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Empire of the Beetle: How Human Folly and a Tiny Bug Are Killing North America's Great Forests 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She bounded in, her pelt soaking wet. She shook off, water flying everwhere, trying to put out the flames
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Woul u like to be reborn?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Thanks, mistsweet." She mewed to her as she and Wonderfulheart pads out.