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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A timely book for those who care about the environment
Everything we do and have is based on Nature - our lives, our existence and our economies. The environmental movement has evolved beyond simply protesting about the degradation of the natural environment. Now people like Tony Juniper are showing how utterly dependent we are on finely balanced natural systems and how removing parts of the whole can have disastrous...
Published 18 months ago by paulfoxashtanga

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars well researched and interesting
A well researched book presenting a deal of knowledge.. Personally I would have preferred a more synopic text.it tended to be a little padded. But then I am not a long book reader preferring summaries. Those liking a good long read will enjoy it.
Published 9 months ago by kEN hASTINGS


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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A timely book for those who care about the environment, 9 Jan 2013
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This review is from: What Has Nature Ever Done For Us?: How Money Really Does Grow On Trees (Paperback)
Everything we do and have is based on Nature - our lives, our existence and our economies. The environmental movement has evolved beyond simply protesting about the degradation of the natural environment. Now people like Tony Juniper are showing how utterly dependent we are on finely balanced natural systems and how removing parts of the whole can have disastrous consequences. Taking the Monty Python joke - What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us? - and replacing it with What has Nature Ever Done for Us?, Tony Juniper tells compelling stories about how the environment supports economic and social life without many of us realising it. The book is entertaining, informative and easy to read, with a wealth of facts to counter the naysayers who are content to see Nature continue to be ravaged and exploited for short-term gain. This is a wake-up call for us all, and a rollicking good read.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Explains WHY the natural world is MORE than just an interesting place, 1 Feb 2013
By 
P TATNER (Paisley, Renfrewshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: What Has Nature Ever Done For Us?: How Money Really Does Grow On Trees (Paperback)
This book should be essential reading for all students of biology and pehaps it is even more important for people who really don't care much for anything but other themselves or other human beings ......
It shows how we, as a devastatingly powerful force in the world, have done many things that we feel improve our civilisation without realising the full 'costs' associated with benefits that we enjoy - it must be time for all humans to realise that 'ignorance is not bliss' and make sure that the future we will offer succeeding generations is not blighted by our blinkered approach to economic development.
Surely there can be few things more alarming than the photograph of Chinese people perched in trees doing the 'work' of bumblebees, so that the trees will produce fruit ?
Its well written, covers a wide range of issues that are nicely developed using easily appreciated metaphors and with a stunning array of examples - absolutely fascinating !!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential read, 14 Jan 2013
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This review is from: What Has Nature Ever Done For Us?: How Money Really Does Grow On Trees (Paperback)
This puts into words what I have felt for a long time- that our natural resources are being destroyed because they are not valued in the way that politicians understand. Perhaps a true economic value placed on what we are losing, may yet help to stem the damage.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great book, 21 May 2013
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should most definitely be compulsory reading. teaching this in schools instead of the merits of capitalism would be a gain for he world in general
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This should be mandatory reading for all, 1 April 2013
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John Firrell "Vintage Stock" (Dorset, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: What Has Nature Ever Done For Us?: How Money Really Does Grow On Trees (Paperback)
It doesn't matter if you believe in climate change and/or global warming, this book by Tony Juniper must be read by all - certainly by school children, and then perhaps given away free to the nation. If you ever wantedd to know what damage we are doing to the planet - forget for a moment CO2 emissions and carbon footprints - just in the way we live and treat our environment to the point if we don't change our habits the environment that sustains us, i.e. life, will not be there. Tony's book spells it out for all to understand. It does not paint a pretty picture but it does need to be said.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really interesting, 31 Jan 2014
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Mrs. C. K. Cardew-smith (Epsom, Surrey) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: What Has Nature Ever Done For Us?: How Money Really Does Grow On Trees (Paperback)
This is a great book, I hope they make a TV programme as it would be fascinating. Tony Juniper has done a lot of worldwide research and shows how nature underpins everything, without it humans will not survive. When will humans realise that we are just another species on this planet who is part of a greater whole.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth reading, 22 May 2013
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I ordered this by chance and absolutely loved it, have been spouting facts to everyone I have met since! I think everyone should read this book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very readable and positive, 13 May 2013
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Unusually for a book dealing with such huge issues, this book is realistic about the huge problems facing the human race but never gloomy. It's very readable, too - strongly recommended reading!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this, 12 May 2013
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L. Critchley - See all my reviews
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This review is from: What Has Nature Ever Done For Us?: How Money Really Does Grow On Trees (Paperback)
This book is fantastic, it offers a different way to view the environment which should lead to a wider and general audience appreciating what it offers, not just the environmentally aware. It is written in accessible language suitable for anyone whether they are an environmental expert, diving in for interest or hobby, a novice or even a skeptic. This book is especially useful to me for my masters degree and dissertation. It was cheap and arrived quickly and I would definitely recommend this to everyone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth saving, 6 May 2013
By 
Steve Keen "therealus" (Herts, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: What Has Nature Ever Done For Us?: How Money Really Does Grow On Trees (Paperback)
A few years ago I paid a visit to the Hawk Conservancy Trust near Winchester. Besides the usual suspects, the sanctuary at the time featured an enclosure of truly sad profundity, containing a handful of the few remaining Indian vultures, held there for safe keeping whilst back in India a solution was sought for their plight, caused by the use of an anti-inflammatory drug in cattle which had killed millions of vultures as they performed their job as nature's dustbin.

Vultures often get a bad press. Calling someone a vulture implies a lack of scruples, but in reality vultures are graceful fliers and useful scavengers, their use value given by Juniper in this book at $34bn in India alone. Without the vultures diseased carcasses are not cleared so efficiently, and there has been a surge in numbers of feral dogs which has led to an escalation in attacks on humans, often leading to rabies and death.

This is just one of a number of case studies used by Juniper in this readable and informative book to demonstrate just what it is nature has done for us. It's a mix of bad and good news. Awareness of the role played by natural agents - birds, bees, mangrove swamps, trees - is rising, but not enough is being done still to prevent their wholesale eradication and destruction. There is not only too much talk of mitigation instead of prevention, there isn't even enough actual mitigation.

In some ways Juniper is wrong that economists don't have the tools to cope with the situation. There are very clear models of negative externalities from pollution, showing the private and social costs associated, and the implications for taxation, but too many are tied to free market solutions related to carbon trading, which has so far been an abysmal failure, a broken system nobody has the will to fix. Juniper himself mentions the model of the tragedy of the commons and the way that solutions are being deployed, quite successfully, based upon game theory, amongst others.

Nevertheless, Juniper does make a very strong, plausible and readable case for protecting and nurturing the various natural agents upon which he focuses, showing how they are not just a Good Thing in the abstract but also a Good Thing in concrete terms. The Benefit-Cost Analysis, another tool of economics, works.

But as well as the macro-level ideas, he also picks up problems at micro level, such as the harm done by concreting over gardens, which made me feel quite self-righteous, having not long ago had my own back yard reconverted to lawn from patio.

Finally, just a note. The author of The Lost World, inspiration for Juniper's pet biome project, was Arthur Conan Doyle, not Arthur C Clarke, as he early on asserts.
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