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Do We Need Pandas?: The Uncomfortable Truth About Biodiversity [Paperback]

Ken Thompson
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

31 Aug 2010
How much do we really know about the species that make up the natural world? In this fascinating book Ken Thompson explains what we do and don t understand about biodiversity. We know that most species remain undiscovered, and that biodiversity is gravely threatened by overfishing, habitat loss, pollution and climate change. Life on Earth has previously experienced five episodes of mass extinction, and we are now in the middle of a sixth. Do We Need Pandas? surveys the Earth s biodiversity, its origins and some of the threats it currently faces. It then asks how biodiversity loss will affect the human race. Will we even notice, and if we do, what will we notice? It asks what we should be doing to secure the survival not only of the species with which we share the planet, but of ourselves and whether we need to be more concerned about ecosystems as a whole than about iconic species.

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Do We Need Pandas?: The Uncomfortable Truth About Biodiversity + Where Do Camels Belong?: The story and science of invasive species + No Nettles Required: The Reassuring Truth About Wildlife Gardening
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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Green Books (31 Aug 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1900322862
  • ISBN-13: 978-1900322867
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 1.1 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 226,191 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


It's about time someone wrote a genuinely readable book about biodiversity. Thanks goodness for Ken Thompson, who has done it with a rare mixture of biological mastery, good common sense and writer's flair. Essential reading. --Mark Carwardine, BBC zoologist

Plain-talking and thought-provoking, at times controversial, Ken Thompson's take on biodiversity doesn't leave you the option of remaining neutral about one of the most important issues of the 21st century. --John Spicer, Professor of Marine Biology and author of Biodiversity: a beginner's guide.

About the Author

Dr Ken Thompson recently retired as Senior Research Fellow and Honorary Senior Lecturer of the Department of Animal and Plant Sciences at the University of Sheffield. He is the author of several books, including The Book of Weeds, An Ear to the Ground: Understanding your garden and No Nettles Required: The reassuring truth about wildlife gardening, and co-author of The Ecology of Seeds.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I have never come across a book that explains 'Biodiversity' as profoundly and illustratively as Ken Thompson's 'Do we need Pandas?'. Strictly based on proven research, this well-reasoned book offers an incredible wealth of knowledge and insight about the diversity of life on our planet. Thompson managed to accumulate a wide array of fascinating facts drawn from the most recent scientific studies and put together a highly readable account. Even though I am a practising botanist myself, I still have learnt an awful lot. In fact, my view and understanding of the importance and fragility of 'Life on Earth' has been profoundly deepened, if, paradoxically, mainly by Thompson's fascinating demonstration of how little we actually know about `who else' we share our planet with.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a factual and reliable account on what is currently happening to our environment, or better, our 'life support system'. Most of all, 'Do we need Pandas?' should be a must-read for all politicians and billionaires.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 3 Nov 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Super book.
Not to many pictures, lol.. Seriously really good book with loads of usefull information. I feel this book deserved 10 x more publicity than its getting. Everybody should read it, and learn from it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read this book!!!! 9 July 2012
The premise of this book may seem highly controversial, but look a little deeper and it makes perfect sense. We can't continue to abuse our planet forever without creating even more problems for future generations. EVERYONE should read this book and take it to heart!
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5.0 out of 5 stars every gardener should read this 13 Dec 2011
By gloria
It took me a long time to read and digest this tome which is full of fascinating facts and thought-provoking ideas. I'm now a total convert and boring other nature lovers with my new knowledge. The garden is changing already and may be a very different place in years to come - you absolutely must read this if you care about the health of your garden, let alone the planet.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading 12 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Some of the facts in this book are absolutely breathtaking - worth reading for those alone.
A few sections are heavy going, by the author's admission. There's the odd reference to the man-made climate change lie but it's not shoved down your throat as I expected.
By and large it's fairly balanced, and if nothing else it makes you think.
(BTW - the answer is "no").
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