Maintaining the natural diversity of the countless species on Earth is of fundamental importance for the continued existence of life on this planet. Nevertheless, ecosystems are being destroyed, as the cultivation of land for agriculture, industry and housing is intensified and oceans continue to be exploited. The book deals with biodiversity on this planet and the vital importance of sustaining it - nothing less than the future of life on Earth.
Josef H. Reichholf was Professor for Nature Conservation at the Technical University of Munich. In 2007 he was awarded the Sigmund Freud Prize for his accessible scientific prose and for many years he was a board member of the German World Wide Fund for Nature.
'The Demise of Diversity, a translation from German, is one of 12 works (e.g., The Earth by F. Schmidt-Bleek, CH, Mar'10, 47-3826; Climate Change by M. Latif, CH, Apr'10, 47-4431) aimed at providing generally understandable information on the status of global resources and threats to sustainability. Reichholf, a former professor of nature conservation at the Technical Univ. of Munich, delivers in 170 pages both a sobering and a hopeful account on the status of Earth's biodiversity. He clearly establishes humans as one of the many life forms on Earth, not special, but one with enormous impacts. He provides a harsh critique of Western conservation approaches that banish nonhuman nature to museum-like margins. He is particularly concerned about the special protections society affords agriculture and forestry, the main threats to diversity. Hopeful examples come from the highly transformed landscapes of Europe where many species including birds, wolves, bears, and other large mammals make strong comebacks due to changes in people's attitudes. It is a highly readable account that will certainly stimulate discussion. Summing Up: Recommended. All libraries.' - B. Blossey, Cornell University -- B. Blossey CHOICE Magazine 20100501