Reviewing The Next Species by Michael Tennesen

The Next Species The Future of Evolution in the Aftermath of Man by Michael TennesenThe Next Species: the Future of Evolution in the Aftermath of Man by Michael Tennesen, New York, Simon and Schuster, 2015
This book gives us a visit to the tropical Andes to search for rare or dangerous or unknown species to illustrate the fear that we humans have triggered a massive extinction, followed by our own demise due to massive overpopulation and decimation of Earth’s natural resources.

The author reviews past extinctions, the losses and the opportunities for innovation that gave us new species. The role played by plate tectonics is noted, and the author tells the stories of his personal journeys in discovering the past from the Oldivoi gorge to current population growth in the world’s cities and the population explosion of human youth.

A history of farming is next, with our current nitrogen problem and its “overwhelming presence.” Disease—epidemics and resistance to antibiotics. Next, our oceans exhibit over fishing, acidification and warming plus fertilizer runoff. Shark numbers have declined, for one. Water availability and the misuse of land leads to a review of volcanoes and the changes that came with recovery of various disasters. Ocean problems are followed by the current demise of predators and the historical loss of large species to human hunting.

So we should move out to Mars? Is that topic really worth a whole chapter? In 50 to 100 years we could succumb to climate change, ocean acidification and invasive species. Then the author makes a remarkable statement about how man can stop “killing himself…we would have to push back from the table of reproduction, resource growth, and limit our use of natural resources.

Of course. Why not? That’s the solution the steady state economist Herman Daly has been developing since the 1970’s. Of course ecosystems will eventually recover from our demise, if our demise occurs—but why should it? We’re not stupid, are we?
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Published on March 16, 2019 16:14 Tags: acidification, disease, drought, evolution, extinction, extinctions, future, oceans, overpopulation, resources, water
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Reviewing World-changing Nonfiction

Cary Neeper
Expanding on the ideas portrayed in The Archives of Varok books for securing the future.
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