324 pages, b/w photos
Money doesn't grow on trees. Or does it? From Indian vultures to Chinese bees, nature provides 'natural services', 24/7. Recycling miracles in the soil; an army of predators ridding us of unwanted pests; an abundance of life creating a genetic codebook that underpins our food, pharmaceutical industries and much more. It's been estimated that these are worth an annual $50 trillion to the world economy – not far short of the global GDP of $63 trillion.
Yet we take most of nature's services for granted, imagining them free and limitless... until they suddenly switch off. This is a book full of immediate, impactful stories, containing both warnings (such as in the tale of India's vultures, killed off by drugs given to cattle, leading to an epidemic of rabies) but also the positive (how birds protect the Dutch apple harvest or the Amazon rainforests evaporate 20 billion tonnes of water each day). Tony Juniper's book will change whole way you think about life, the planet and the economy.
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Tony Juniper is Britain's best known environmental campaigner. He is a former director of Friends of the Earth, where he led the 'Big Ask' campaign which led to the 2008 Climate Change Act. He is the author of several books, including the companion volume to the BBC series Saving Planet Earth (2007), Spix's Macaw: the race to save the world's rarest bird (2002) and What Nature Does for Britain.