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The Dominant Animal

The Dominant Animal

Human Evolution and the Environment

by Anne H. Ehrlich and Paul R. Ehrlich

  • Reviewed by The Editors on Dec. 1, 2008

    “As the dominant animal, we have so altered the environment and so damaged our life-support systems that the stresses on the living world are similar to those produced by a meteor strike,” explains Paul Ehrlich, eminent biologist and author of the 1960s seminal work The Population Bomb. In his new book, he has teamed up with his wife, Anne (another eminent biologist), to examine the many aspects that have led to, and those that currently comprise, the environmental, social, and humanitarian crises we now face. The first half of the book focuses on humanity’s genetic and cultural evolution, while the second half explores the problems our dominion mentality has created and offers recommendations for course correction. Imagine a UN Millennium Assessment of Human Behavior! This is an important and sobering work that some resist as “gloomy”—to which Paul Ehrlich responds, “If there weren’t hope for the future, I wouldn’t be running around trying to ignite a response. We need to stop wasting time.”

    Review published in Shift magazine

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