In "The Medea Hypothesis", renowned paleontologist Peter Ward proposes a revolutionary and provocative vision of life's relationship with the Earth's biosphere - one that has frightening implications for our future, yet also offers hope. Using the latest discoveries from the geological record, he argues that life might be its own worst enemy. This stands in stark contrast to James Lovelock's Gaia hypothesis - the idea that life sustains habitable conditions on Earth. In answer to Gaia, which draws on the idea of the 'good mother' who nurtures life, Ward invokes Medea, the mythical mother who killed her own children. Could life by its very nature threaten its own existence? According to the Medea hypothesis, it does. Ward demonstrates that all but one of the mass extinctions that have struck Earth were caused by life itself. He looks at our planet's history in a new way, revealing an Earth that is witnessing an alarming decline of diversity and biomass - a decline brought on by life's own 'biocidal' tendencies. And the Medea hypothesis applies not just to our planet - its dire prognosis extends to all potential life in the universe. Yet life on Earth doesn't have to be lethal.Ward shows why, but warns that our time is running out. Breathtaking in scope, "The Medea Hypothesis" is certain to arouse fierce debate and radically transform our worldview. It serves as an urgent challenge to all of us to think in new ways if we hope to save ourselves from ourselves.
Charles and his shy new friend David are camping out in the backyard when a big storm blows in. They make a dash for the house-but not before Charles sees a pair of eyes glowing in the night. Was that a puppy out there, all alone in the storm? The next day, Charles and David find the stray, injured mixed-breed puppy, win his trust, and get him to the vet. He's very sick, and the vet is not sure she can save him. Will this Benji look-alike be lucky enough to survive and find a home? Every puppy is different. The fun part about writing The Puppy Place is putting those distinct personalities front and center and really treating the dogs as primary characters. I love getting to know each puppy the Petersons foster, and I hope you do, too. -- Ellen Miles, author *A SCOTSMAN TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR* Stranded at Schiphol airport, Ben Coates called up a friendly Dutch girl he'd met some months earlier. He stayed for dinner. Actually, he stayed for good. In the first book to consider the hidden heart and history of the Netherlands from a modern perspective, the author explores the length and breadth of his adopted homeland and discovers why one of the world's smallest countries is also so significant and so fascinating. It is a self-made country, the Dutch national character shaped by the ongoing battle to keep the water out from the love of dairy and beer to the attitude to nature and the famous tolerance. Ben Coates investigates what makes the Dutch the Dutch, why the Netherlands is much more than Holland and why the colour orange is so important. Along the way he reveals why they are the world's tallest people and have the best carnival outside Brazil. He learns why Amsterdam's brothels are going out of business, Cape Horn to Starboard free ebook who really killed Anne Frank, and how the Dutch manage to be richer than almost everyone else despite working far less.
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