Wildlife expert Eanna Ni Lamhna takes us on a tour of all things to do with our wonderful natural world: from a celebration of our fascinating birds and bees, and their powers of migration and pollination, to the thorny challenges of our time, such as climate change, sustainability and our carbon footprint.
Her mantra is that learning about our wild world is not just for young children or David Attenborough fans, it is a lifelong necessary knowledge for our survival – and we need to open our eyes and our minds to the challenges that face us and our world into the future. The key is to find the balance between our needs and wants and the future of our precious planet and all its inhabitants.
This brand new book raises, and discusses, questions such as; Why should we care about this natural world? Do we need and value the great outdoors now more than ever? But who wants spiders in their house? And what use are wasps anyway? Should we be worried by genetic engineering and windfarms? Biodiversity – what did it ever do for us? Does it mean the end of the world if the whales become extinct? Are global warming and climate change the same thing? What happened to the hole in the ozone layer? Is veganism the answer to sustainable food? What is carbon sequestration – just fancy words for trees? And why are carbon sinks so important? Is the mobile phone taking over our lives for good or for evil? How does a virus become a pandemic, and why?
Éanna Ní Lamhna has a degree in botany and microbiology and an H. Dip in Education from UCD. She is a long-standing member of the panel of experts on RTÉ’s wildlife programme Mooney goes Wild, and one of the most instantly recognisable voices on Irish radio. Originally from Louth, she now lives in Dublin, since 1967, and has been president of An Taisce since July 2004. Éanna is also the author of several other popular wildlife books. Her books Talking Wild (2002) and Wild and Wonderful (2004) and Straight Talking Wild (2006) were published by Townhouse.
"Very much in Éanna's style"
– RTE Radio's Today with Claire Byrne
"Appealing and insightful take on the natural world [...] The 71-year-old runs rings around her interviewer, breathlessly traversing everything from climate change to cryptosporidium to viral pandemics, all of which she has the measure of in sprightly, insightful, and often hilarious terms. This combination of scientific acumen and robust communication skills are what have made Ní Lamhna one of the most loved educators in the country. Her new book, Our Wild World, brings these things together as she lays out some of the basic ecological and environmental principles that might have passed us by while clearing up a raft of myths, everything from migration to bacteria, to global warming and biodiversity. What makes Our Wild World particularly special however is that she is somehow able to strike a tone that speaks to anyone aged nine to 90"
– Irish Independent
"Anyone who has heard Ní Lamhna over her 25 years in broadcasting knows she talks as fast as she does straight and can convey a lot in short time. She takes the reader on a whirlwind trip through the wonders of pollination, predation, migration, hibernation and adaptation. She zips through meteorology and climatology and explains how exactly the balance of sunlight, warmth and gases that kept everything on our planet running smoothly for millennia got knocked out of kilter by human activity in the space of a century. It's science made simple, though the message is not easy to hear [...] In fact, it's for anyone from about 12 upwards who has even a passing interest in the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate breakdown but is beaten back by jargon. Experts would also benefit from a read. They won't pick up any new facts but they will learn how to communicate those facts to non-experts. Ní Lamhna doesn't do jargon. She whittles down Darwin's theory of evolution to the following explanation: "Nature doesn't tolerate eejits.""
– Irish Independent
"Splendid [...] wonderful book [...] written both with imagination and feeling [...] it's practical at one end, a blueprint for living, and at the other end it is a theory of the world"
– RTE Radio's Mooney Goes Wild
"I loved this book. It was really a revelation [...] I just couldn't put it down [...] It should be required reading in schools and in colleges' [...] [Éanna has] 'done a fascinating and really excellent job of encapsulating and explaining very complex situations and processes and cycles in a very accessible way [...] it doesn't come across as a lecture or as a tirade, it's almost like an exploration with the reader to try to come to some better understanding of the way that the planet works [...] a manual to how the world runs"
– Niall Hatch, Birdwatch Ireland
"Our Wild World [...] is part of Ní Lamhna's mission to open our hearts and minds to our wonderful wild world, and to help us balance our needs and the needs of the planet we inhabit. The book is full of amazing facts, pieced together in an easy-to-read, accessible style for all, from young adults upwards"
– Mayo News
"In her latest book, Our Wild World, she takes us on a tour of the natural world, explaining its incredible processes and systems, and why we should pay more attention to it. Learning about nature, she believes, is not just for young children and Sunday evening David Attenborough fans. It is a lifelong learning pursuit and necessary for our survival. Human needs and wants need to be balanced against the wellbeing of the planet and all its inhabitants. It's a timely message and the right woman to deliver it [...] Éanna takes it all on in her typical no nonsense way [...] An excellent book for the newly interested naturalist who wants to know more"
– Woman's Way
"Can be enjoyed by any reader from the age of eight to whatever decade you'd like to live to [...] all the answers any non-scientist could want [...] a book in which simple words and homespun wit combine to impart serious knowledge"
– Tuam Herald
"What did wasps ever do for us and why is there a hole in the ozone layer? [...] Éanna Ní Lamhna addresses the big questions about how the world works. It's a book for strong readers in the seven-plus age group, but older people will also be absorbed"
– Irish Independent
– RTE Guide
"Understanding these things helps inform our broader understanding of the world around us, one that isn't just about one person but involves everyone, no matter where they live. We are all in this together"
– Tuam Herald
"a wonderful read, taking us on a journey that introduces our minds and opens our hearts to this wonderful planet. It teaches us how to balance our needs and the future of our precious wild world"
– Declan Murphy