The Unnatural History of the Sea

Author: Callum Roberts

Publisher: Island Press

ISBN: 9781597261616

Category: History

Page: 456

View: 7551

Humanity can make short work of the oceans’ creatures. In 1741, hungry explorers discovered herds of Steller’s sea cow in the Bering Strait, and in less than thirty years, the amiable beast had been harpooned into extinction. It’s a classic story, but a key fact is often omitted. Bering Island was the last redoubt of a species that had been decimated by hunting and habitat loss years before the explorers set sail. As Callum M. Roberts reveals in The Unnatural History of the Sea, the oceans’ bounty didn’t disappear overnight. While today’s fishing industry is ruthlessly efficient, intense exploitation began not in the modern era, or even with the dawn of industrialization, but in the eleventh century in medieval Europe. Roberts explores this long and colorful history of commercial fishing, taking readers around the world and through the centuries to witness the transformation of the seas. Drawing on firsthand accounts of early explorers, pirates, merchants, fishers, and travelers, the book recreates the oceans of the past: waters teeming with whales, sea lions, sea otters, turtles, and giant fish. The abundance of marine life described by fifteenth century seafarers is almost unimaginable today, but Roberts both brings it alive and artfully traces its depletion. Collapsing fisheries, he shows, are simply the latest chapter in a long history of unfettered commercialization of the seas. The story does not end with an empty ocean. Instead, Roberts describes how we might restore the splendor and prosperity of the seas through smarter management of our resources and some simple restraint. From the coasts of Florida to New Zealand, marine reserves have fostered spectacular recovery of plants and animals to levels not seen in a century. They prove that history need not repeat itself: we can leave the oceans richer than we found them.
Posted in History

The Unnatural History of the Sea

Author: Callum Roberts

Publisher: Island Press

ISBN: 1597265772

Category: History

Page: 435

View: 2827

A fascinating journey through 1,000 years of human exploitation and exploration of the sea.
Posted in History

The Ocean of Life

The Fate of Man and the Sea

Author: Callum Roberts

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101583568

Category: Science

Page: 432

View: 9799

A Silent Spring for oceans, written by "the Rachel Carson of the fish world" (The New York Times) Who can forget the sense of wonder with which they discovered the creatures of the deep? In this vibrant hymn to the sea, Callum Roberts—one of the world’s foremost conservation biologists—leads readers on a fascinating tour of mankind’s relationship to the sea, from the earliest traces of water on earth to the oceans as we know them today. In the process, Roberts looks at how the taming of the oceans has shaped human civilization and affected marine life. We have always been fish eaters, from the dawn of civilization, but in the last twenty years we have transformed the oceans beyond recognition. Putting our exploitation of the seas into historical context, Roberts offers a devastating account of the impact of modern fishing techniques, pollution, and climate change, and reveals what it would take to steer the right course while there is still time. Like Four Fish and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, The Ocean of Life takes a long view to tell a story in which each one of us has a role to play.
Posted in Science

The Sixth Extinction

An Unnatural History

Author: Elizabeth Kolbert

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 1408851210

Category: Environmental disasters

Page: 319

View: 3375

"Over the last half billion years, there have been five major mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on Earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around the cataclysm is us. In this book the author tells us why and how human beings have altered life on the planet in a way no species has before. She provides a moving account of the disappearances of various species occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up to Lyell and Darwin, and through the present day. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy, compelling us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human". -- Back cover.
Posted in Environmental disasters

Floating Gold

A Natural (and Unnatural) History of Ambergris

Author: Christopher Kemp

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 0226430367

Category: History

Page: 187

View: 1865

Discusses what ambergris is and how the substance factors into the natural history of whales and squid, ocean ecology, and the history of the perfume industry.
Posted in History

Secrets of the Seas

A Journey into the Heart of the Oceans

Author: Callum Roberts

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing

ISBN: 1472927621

Category: Science

Page: 240

View: 329

Our seas are host to an extraordinary variety of plant and animal life, but much of it remains mysterious and great imagery is surprisingly hard to find. Alex Mustard is one of the world's leading underwater photographers and his images are so crisp and immediate that the animals seem to swim out of the water towards you. This beautiful book gathers together a selection of his award-winning images and a number of new ones to create a vivid picture of the seas and oceans and the animals that inhabit them, each chapter accompanied by a 1500 word essay and extended captions written by leading natural history writer, Professor Callum Roberts. The text addresses the issue of change in the oceans along with tales of oceanography, marine life and human history in the seas and aims to help the reader to get to know the oceans, understand how marine animals live their lives and how they have, are and may well adapt to change.
Posted in Science

Managed Annihilation

An Unnatural History of the Newfoundland Cod Collapse

Author: Dean Bavington

Publisher: UBC Press

ISBN: 0774859504

Category: Nature

Page: 224

View: 1583

The Newfoundland and Labrador cod fishery was once the most successful commercial fishery in the world. When it collapsed in 1992, many pointed to failures in management, such as uncontrolled harvesting, as likely culprits. Managed Annihilation makes the case that the idea of natural resource management itself was the problem. The collapse occurred when the fisheries were state-managed and still, two decades later, there is no recovery in sight. Although the collapse raised doubts among policy-makers about their ability to understand and control nature, their ultimate goal of control through management has not wavered and has been transferred from wild fish to fishermen and farmed cod.
Posted in Nature

The Empty Ocean

Author: Richard Ellis

Publisher: Island Press

ISBN: 9781597265997

Category: Nature

Page: 384

View: 475

In The Empty Ocean, acclaimed author and artist Richard Ellis tells the story of our continued plunder of life in the sea and weighs the chances for its recovery. Through fascinating portraits of a wide array of creatures, he introduces us to the many forms of sea life that humans have fished, hunted, and collected over the centuries, from charismatic whales and dolphins to the lowly menhaden, from sea turtles to cod, tuna, and coral. Rich in history, anecdote, and surprising fact, Richard Ellis’s descriptions bring to life the natural history of the various species, the threats they face, and the losses they have suffered. Killing has occurred on a truly stunning scale, with extinction all too often the result, leaving a once-teeming ocean greatly depleted. But the author also finds instances of hope and resilience, of species that have begun to make remarkable comebacks when given the opportunity. Written with passion and grace, and illustrated with Richard Ellis’s own drawings, The Empty Ocean brings to a wide audience a compelling view of the damage we have caused to life in the sea and what we can do about it. "
Posted in Nature

The Unnatural History of Cypress Parish

Author: Elise Blackwell

Publisher: Unbridled Books

ISBN: 1936071312

Category: Fiction

Page: 240

View: 3373

Set in southern Louisiana in the weeks preceding the great flood of 1927, this novel depicts a place and way of life about to be forever changed. On the verge of manhood and a stone’s throw of the rising Mississippi River, Louis Proby is pulled between his love of the natural world and the glittering temptations of New Orleans, between the beautiful Nanette Lançon and a father who no longer seems larger-than-life, between the simplicity of childhood and the complicated decisions of adulthood. Louis comes of age at a time when the country is coming of age. In Louisiana, it’s a time when the powerful prove themselves willing to sacrifice the poor to protect their position. As the people of Cypress Parish go about their daily lives, bankers in New Orleans are plotting to alter those lives irrevocably. Like so many calamities, the one that befalls Cypress Parish has both natural and human causes. Based on historical events and narrated on the eve of another disaster, The Unnatural History of Cypress Parish tells the story of a young man growing up in a time and place not quite like any other. And in doing so it reveals the complexity of our own relationship to the past. This a beautifully turned novel of love and natural history, married to the shadowy politics of Louisiana, a novel about what manhood means now and what it meant in the south in the 1920s.
Posted in Fiction

A Natural History of the Unnatural World

Selected Files from the Archives of the Cryptozoological Society of London

Author: Joel Levy,David Gould

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: N.A

Category: Animals, Mythical

Page: 224

View: 2567

This imaginative guide uses first hand accounts, historical records, works of literature and art, and the imaginative insights of the scientifically trained author to detail the evolution, habits, life cycles, reproductive behaviour and specialised abilities of dozens of fabled beings.
Posted in Animals, Mythical

Refuge

An Unnatural History of Family and Place

Author: Terry Tempest Williams

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 030777273X

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 336

View: 4688

In the spring of 1983 Terry Tempest Williams learned that her mother was dying of cancer. That same season, The Great Salt Lake began to rise to record heights, threatening the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and the herons, owls, and snowy egrets that Williams, a poet and naturalist, had come to gauge her life by. One event was nature at its most random, the other a by-product of rogue technology: Terry's mother, and Terry herself, had been exposed to the fallout of atomic bomb tests in the 1950s. As it interweaves these narratives of dying and accommodation, Refuge transforms tragedy into a document of renewal and spiritual grace, resulting in a work that has become a classic.
Posted in Biography & Autobiography

The View from Lazy Point

A Natural Year in an Unnatural World

Author: Carl Safina

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

ISBN: 9781429950350

Category: Nature

Page: 416

View: 8781

An exhilarating journey of natural renewal through a year with MacArthur fellow Carl Safina Beginning in his kayak in his home waters of eastern Long Island, Carl Safina's The View from Lazy Point takes us through the four seasons to the four points of the compass, from the high Arctic south to Antarctica, across the warm belly of the tropics from the Caribbean to the west Pacific, then home again. We meet Eskimos whose way of life is melting away, explore a secret global seed vault hidden above the Arctic Circle, investigate dilemmas facing foraging bears and breeding penguins, and sail to formerly devastated reefs that are resurrecting as fish graze the corals algae-free. "Each time science tightens a coil in the slack of our understanding," Safina writes, "it elaborates its fundamental discovery: connection." He shows how problems of the environment drive very real matters of human justice, well-being, and our prospects for peace. In Safina's hands, nature's continuous renewal points toward our future. His lively stories grant new insights into how our world is changing, and what our response ought to be.
Posted in Nature

On Monsters

An Unnatural History of Our Worst Fears

Author: Stephen T. Asma

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199798095

Category: Philosophy

Page: 368

View: 7549

Follows the evolution of monsters throughout time from Behemoth and Leviathan to the post-human cyborgs of tomorrow, in order to understand the mysterious territory outside of rational thought.
Posted in Philosophy

The Great White Bear

A Natural and Unnatural History of the Polar Bear

Author: Kieran Mulvaney

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 0547504764

Category: Nature

Page: 272

View: 2468

Polar bears are creatures of paradox: They are white bears whose skin is black; massive predators who can walk almost silently; Arctic residents whose major problem is not staying warm, but keeping cool. Fully grown they can measure 10 feet and weigh close to 2,000 pounds, but at birth they are just 20 ounces. Creatures that may wander thousands of miles over the course of a year, they begin life in a snowdrift. Human encounters with these legendary beasts are cause for both excitement and apprehension. Tales throughout history describe the ferocity of polar bear attacks on humans; but human hunting of polar bears has exacted a far larger toll, obliging Arctic nations to try to protect their region’s iconic species before it’s too late. Now, however, another threat to the polar bears’ survival has emerged, one that is steadily removing sea ice and the life it supports. Without this habitat, polar bears cannot exist. The Great White Bear celebrates the story of this unique species. Through a blend of history, both natural and human, through myth and reality and observations both personal and scientific, Kieran Mulvaney masterfully provides a context for readers to consider the polar bear, its history, its life, and its uncertain fate.
Posted in Nature

The Mortal Sea

Author: W. Jeffrey Bolster

Publisher: Harvard University Press

ISBN: 0674070461

Category: History

Page: 412

View: 4201

Since the time of the Vikings, the Atlantic has shaped the lives of people who depend on it for survival, and people have shaped the Atlantic. In his account of this interdependency, Bolster, a historian and professional seafarer, takes us through a millennium-long environmental history of our impact on one of the largest ecosystems in the world.
Posted in History

Mirabilis

A Carnival of Cryptozoology and Unnatural History

Author: Karl P. N. Shuker

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781938398438

Category: Science

Page: 194

View: 8086

Welcome to a carnival unlike anything that you have ever read about, visited, or even imagined before. Here, before your very eyes, you will encounter bizarre, anomalous creatures of every conceivable (and inconceivable!) kind--a veritable menagerie of cryptozoological mysteries to dazzle and delight, tantalize and terrify. For this is Mirabilis--a realm of marvels, wonders, miracles...and monsters! Peer through the shadows and see what you may. Was that scuttling horror a spider the size of a puppy? Did that fallen tree trunk suddenly sprout a pair of alligator jaws? Was that a living toad that leapt out of that split-asunder block of stone? Did those flowers abruptly put forth wings and fly away as tiny birds? Behold Trunko, the hairy marine elephant-bear that supposedly battled whales off the coast of South Africa almost a century ago. Look around in every direction and witness the very last giant lemurs brought to you from the rainforests of Madagascar, the very same unicorn that was once encountered by Julius Caesar, dinosaur-sized crocodiles from the swamps of the Congo, the elephantine harpoon-tusked sukotyro of Sumatra, gargantuan prehistoric beavers resurrected in modern-day North America, illusive Germanic horned hares and elusive Liberian micro-squirrels, a giant sea snail with antlers and paws from the Sarmatian Sea and a veritable whale-fish from a forgotten Swedish lake, a vanished striped mystery steed from Iberia, enormous toothless freshwater sharks from South America, flying turtles from China and a hippoturtleox from Tibet, sea dragons and pseudo-pterodactyls, and the world's only known tusked megalopedus. Let us not tarry even a moment longer. The miracles and marvels of Mirabilis await you. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Born and still living in the West Midlands, England, Karl P.N. Shuker graduated from the University of Leeds with a Bachelor of Science (Honors) degree in pure zoology, and from the University of Birmingham with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in zoology and comparative physiology. He now works full-time as a freelance zoological consultant to the media, and as a prolific published writer. Shuker is currently the author of 19 books and hundreds of articles, principally on animal-related subjects, with an especial interest in cryptozoology and animal mythology, on which he is an internationally recognized authority, but also including a poetry volume. In addition, he has acted as consultant for several major multi-contributor volumes as well as for the world-renowned Guinness Book of Records/Guinness World Records (he is currently its Senior Consultant for its Life Sciences section); and he has compiled questions for the BBC's long-running cerebral quiz Mastermind. He is also the editor of the Journal of Cryptozoology, the world's only existing peer-reviewed scientific journal devoted to mystery animals. Shuker has travelled the world in the course of his researches and writings, and has appeared regularly on television and radio. Aside from work, his diverse range of interests include motorbikes, the life and career of James Dean, collecting masquerade and carnival masks, quizzes, philately, poetry, travel, world mythology, and the history of animation. He is a Scientific Fellow of the prestigious Zoological Society of London, and a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society. He is Cryptozoology Consultant to the Centre for Fortean Zoology, and is also a Member of the Society of Authors."
Posted in Science

The Death and Life of Monterey Bay

A Story of Revival

Author: Stephen R Palumbi,Carolyn Sotka

Publisher: Island Press

ISBN: 1597269875

Category: Nature

Page: 224

View: 9842

Anyone who has ever stood on the shores of Monterey Bay, watching the rolling ocean waves and frolicking otters, knows it is a unique place. But even residents on this idyllic California coast may not realize its full history. Monterey began as a natural paradise, but became the poster child for industrial devastation in John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row,and is now one of the most celebrated shorelines in the world. It is a remarkable story of life, death, and revival—told here for the first time in all its stunning color and bleak grays. The Death and Life of Monterey Bay begins in the eighteenth century when Spanish and French explorers encountered a rocky shoreline brimming with life—raucous sea birds, abundant sea otters, barking sea lions, halibut the size of wagon wheels,waters thick with whales. A century and a half later, many of the sea creatures had disappeared, replaced by sardine canneries that sickened residents with their stench but kept the money flowing. When the fish ran out and the climate turned,the factories emptied and the community crumbled. But today,both Monterey’s economy and wildlife are resplendent. How did it happen? The answer is deceptively simple: through the extraordinary acts of ordinary people. The Death and Life of Monterey Bay is the biography of a place, but also of the residents who reclaimed it. Monterey is thriving because of an eccentric mayor who wasn’t afraid to use pistols, axes, or the force of law to protect her coasts. It is because of fishermen who love their livelihood, scientists who are fascinated by the sea’s mysteries, and philanthropists and community leaders willing to invest in a world-class aquarium. The shores of Monterey Bay revived because of human passion—passion that enlivens every page of this hopeful book.
Posted in Nature

Soul of the Sea

In the Age of the Algorithm

Author: Nishan Degnarain,Greg Stone

Publisher: Leetes Island Books

ISBN: 9780918172624

Category:

Page: 128

View: 6958

SOUL OF THE SEA IN THE AGE OF THE ALGORITHM draws upon the fields of science, economics and business strategy to chart the future of humankind’s relationship to the ocean. The underlying principle is that a healthy ocean provides the basis for a prosperous world, and that oceans have been largely ignored as a driver of human well-being until now. Ocean health has been in an serious state of decline for the past 100 years from a range of pressures including human population growth, energy consumption and use of natural resources. We will exceed our planetary boundaries, the resources and environmental conditions we need to exist, within the next century if we do not change. This message is not new. What is new about this book is that the solutions lie not only in traditional resource conservation management, but in new fields of technology, governance and innovation.
Posted in

The Unnatural History of Cypress Parish

Author: Elise Blackwell

Publisher: Unbridled Books

ISBN: 1932961518

Category: Fiction

Page: 210

View: 8507

Set in southern Louisiana in the weeks preceding the great flood of 1927, this novel depicts a place and way of life about to be forever changed. On the verge of manhood and a stone's throw of the rising Mississippi River, Louis Proby is pulled between his love of the natural world and the glittering temptations of New Orleans, between the beautiful Nanette Lançon and a father who no longer seems larger-than-life, between the simplicity of childhood and the complicated decisionsof adulthood. Louis comes of age at a time when the country is coming of age. In Louisiana, it's a time when the powerful prove themselves willing to sacrifice the poor to protect their position. As the people of Cypress Parish go about their daily lives, bankers in New Orleans are plotting to alter those lives irrevocably. Like so many calamities, the one that befalls Cypress Parish has both natural and human causes. Based on historical events and narrated on the eve of another disaster, The Unnatural History of Cypress Parish tells the story of a young man growing up in a time and place not quite like any other. And in doing so it reveals the complexity of our own relationship to the past. This a beautifully turned novel of love and natural history, married to the shadowy politics of Louisiana, a novel about what manhood means now and what it meant in the south in the 1920s.
Posted in Fiction

The End of the Line

How Overfishing is Changing the World and what We Eat

Author: Charles Clover

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520255050

Category: Cooking

Page: 386

View: 4785

Argues that if nothing is done to stop the squandering of fish stock, the ecological balance of life in the oceans will face collapse and millions of people could starve, and examines the causes and implications of the problem.
Posted in Cooking