447 pages, no illustrations
The Ehrlichs' latest collaboration promises to excite their fans, incense their critics, and help set the nation's agenda in the upcoming election season and in subsequent years. One with Nineveh is a fresh synthesis of the Ehrlichs' major themes to date, informed by recent events up to and including the Iraq war, and with a provocative extra dash of politics. With unflinching clarity and directness, it exposes the three elephants in our proverbial living room – overpopulation, overconsumption, and political and economic inequity – that together are increasingly determining today's politics and shaping humankind's future. The authors demonstrate the ways these often-neglected factors influence each other, and reveal how we can begin to create a better and more lasting world if we take them seriously into account.
One with Nineveh takes its title from Rudyard Kipling's Recessional ("Lo, all our pomp of yesterday/Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!"), and alludes to the pride that went before the fall of ancient Mesopotamian civilizations. Their undoing, beyond the impact of warfare, was deforestation and unsustainable irrigation, practices whose destructive effects were ignored by the political and economic elites. The Ehrlichs warn that the hubris of our own civilization could be leading us to an end similar to Nineveh's – whose ruins lie near the Iraqi city of Mosul – if environmental trends such as loss of biodiversity and rapid climate change are not halted. But they also devote a large part of One with Nineveh to recommending steps to allow humanity, and in particular the world's sole remaining superpower, to alter course and work toward resolving the human predicament. Filled with bold proposals, incisive analysis, and informative scientific discussions, One with Nineveh is a wide-ranging and thought-provoking account of the major issues of our time, and what we can do about them.
"Here, between the covers of one book, you can find out about the major problems facing the world today, and how to fix them. It all comes sprinkled with the deliciously surprising examples, and wrapped in the alternately gripping and humorous prose, for which Paul and Anne Ehrlich have long been famous. This is a book to savor and from which to learn."
– Jared Diamond, author of Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail or Succeed and Guns, Germs, and Steel
"Provocative and eminently readable [...] this is a direct and levelheaded presentation that should get, and deserves, wide readership."
– Publishers Weekly
"The Ehrlichs have often been called the ultimate pessimists, but their book is, frankly, heartening [...] The book is decidedly new and different."
– Norman Myers, Nature
"If you simply want a great book, written by smart, forthright scientists, read One with Nineveh by Paul and Anne Ehrlich."
– Boston Globe
"An urgent warning full of suggestions as to how things could be made better if individuals and businesses and nations cooperated."
– The Washington Post
"The Ehrlichs manage to be both meticulous and witty as they suggest reforms and remind us that ours is an astoundingly adaptive species capable of making radical change once we're motivated."
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Paul R. Ehrlich is Bing Professor of Population Studies and Professor of Biological Sciences at Stanford University. The author of The Population Bomb, Human Natures, and many other books, Ehrlich is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a recipient of the Crafoord Prize (an explicit substitute for the Nobel Prize in fields of science in which the latter is not given).
Anne H. Ehrlich is affiliated with Stanford's Department of Biological Sciences and Center for Conservation Biology. She has served on the board of the Sierra Club and other conservation organizations, has coauthored ten books with her husband, and is a recipient of the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement.