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Coral: A Pessimist In Paradise #2020

Coral A Pessimist In Paradise Steve Jones is a big fan of Charles Darwin In an earlier book Almost Like A Whale he took on the extraordinary task of updating The Origin of Species which he described as the most original book of

  • Title: Coral: A Pessimist In Paradise
  • Author: Steve Jones
  • ISBN: 9780316729383
  • Page: 393
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Coral: A Pessimist In Paradise By Steve Jones, Steve Jones is a big fan of Charles Darwin In an earlier book, Almost Like A Whale, he took on the extraordinary task of updating The Origin of Species, which he described as the most original book of the millennium His latest book, Coral, follows once in the footsteps of Darwin, who also wrote a detailed study of coral reefs.For a book with such a humble title, CSteve Jones is a big fan of Charles Darwin In an earlier book, Almost Like A Whale, he took on the extraordinary task of updating The Origin of Species, which he described as the most original book of the millennium His latest book, Coral, follows once in the footsteps of Darwin, who also wrote a detailed study of coral reefs.For a book with such a humble title, Coral covers a lot of ground, including Captain Cook s bones French nuclear tests in vitro fertilization the De Beers diamond cartel color blindness chaos immortality and, of course, Charles Darwin himself In the hands of a lesser author, such a seemingly disparate range of topics would result in a disjointed and rambling mess But Jones weaves them around his theme to create a coherent and well formed whole.Jones explores what coral can teach us about life on Earth, from the survival and decline of species to the role of cooperation in inter species relationships Drawing not only on biology, but also on history, politics, literature, economics and mythology, he leads the reader on a wide ranging and always interesting exploration.He adds that if you have never visited a coral reef, now might be a good time The book is subtitled A Pessimist in Paradise, and Jones foresees a grim future for the world s reefs Today, less than one fifth are protected He argues that greenhouse gases have proved impossible to control and marine pollution has been almost as intractable The decline of the world s reefs has already begun and within about fifty years, Jones believes that many will be gone.Jones is one of the best popularizers of science writing today and this book matches the high standards set by his earlier work Despite the deeply pessimistic message, at times he still manages to elicit an almost Carl Sagan esque sense of awe about the natural world.The threat to coral reefs from global warming and damage caused by agricultural runoff have become common topics of media reports Yet, no matter how much you think you know about coral and coral reefs, you will learn plenty from this book COSMOS Magazine

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    1 thought on “Coral: A Pessimist In Paradise

    1. Praising polyps performance The world of coral seems so distant and obscure Tropical lagoons or long stretches of underwater realm To us, it may be a paradisical mystery, remote and hidden with little to offer to our daily lives Steve Jones, whose career has centred on these strange creatures, knows better Those silent, tiny creatures which are capable of vast engineering monuments have much to convey about our world and ourselves With a strong facility in writing about nature and the science st [...]

    2. Steve Jones book is a mostly enjoyable romp through the biology and history of coral reefs and our relationship with them I ve enjoyed a few of the author s other books, and he is highly respected and rightly so The book covers some colonial history, some human history, and details a lot of science and some speculation about the origin and evolution of life on Earth It s well written and interesting.The author is commendably scathing on the utter mess humanity is making of the planet we share wi [...]

    3. Coral A Pessimist in Paradise is a book that starts heavy but ends packing a punch At my time of reading this book is over ten years old I feel that a quick revision and update would make this a brilliant book Admittedly, I initially started reading this before 2007 and due to library restraints and personal plans I had to return it before finishing Needless to say the memory this book has been squirrelled away somewhere in my memory until I recently decided to buy a copy and read it in its ent [...]

    4. Starting with coral and working his way around, Steve Jones covers a lot of different topics to do with evolution, geology, the environment, and the impact us humans are having on said environment This was probably the most compelling of his books that I ve read, but I have to say I still didn t find it breezy fascinating as coral is in many ways, it s not that fascinating to me.Also, Jones clearly has a thing with Darwin it s not exactly that he copies Darwin, but he certainly emulates his work [...]

    5. Steve Jones has a talent to start with a modest creature snails or in this case coral polyps and use it to illustrate diverse topics from biology, history, geology and climate science This is the best of his books that I ve read so far it s stunningly well researched and littered with fascinating asides It s not a happy book Steve doesn t see much hope for his polyps or for mankind and whenever he strays briefly into optimism he quickly comes back to doom and gloom He might be right I hope not.

    6. We all know what coral is, we have all seen film of divers looking at the wildlife on reefs Some of you will have been there for real not that I am jealous, mind Stev Jones knows coral intimately, what it is, what it does, where it comes from and what it can tell us about the world in general Told in a lucid and literate style, some of the news he brings is not good reading and should make us think hard about our individual impact on the world around us.

    7. This is one of the best science books I ve ever read While I am an environmental scientist, I generally prefer reading fiction in my down time Yet from the first pages I was fascinated by this narrative Jones uses coral as an anchor point to touch on topics as wide reaching as island biogeography, the history of exploration, anti aging technologies, evolutionary theory and mitochondria s function it s fascinating and, years later, I often think back to this book.

    8. You wouldn t think a book about coral can be so interesting, but when a great science writer pulls together strands of biology, geography, history, environment and climate science have I missed any it becomes a fascinating read I usually borrow his books from the library, read it, and then promptly go out and buy my own copy because I know I would enjoy re reading them

    9. Steve Jones uses the state of thw world s coral as a jumping off point to describe some of the changes that are happening to our planet, and weaves in Darwinian history Very readable popular science It will also make you want to visit all the world s coral reefs.

    10. I didn t like the meandering nature of this book, I wanted it to be about coral but most of it wasn t and I already knew most of the general science I read this for the non fiction science book in the read harder challenge.

    11. A brilliant little book in which using coral as his medium Steve Jones explains how we have destroyed the natural world and are fast destroying ourselves.

    12. Will probably bump into it later if life permits but apart from great style the author s pessimism gets to be a drag.

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