Monday, 2 July 2012


 Life is Good: Conservation in an Age of Mass Extinction

Jeremy Leon Hance

Today for something interesting I am sharing with you something AMAZING. It's a book, but not just any book. It is a book that could very well change your life.

Okay, I may be exaggerating, but it is a very very good book that will show you the issues that face conservation today, and the battles that we have to fight. It also discusses the successes that have been had, but as the successes are minor compared to the fight that we still have ahead of us it just uses them as ballast; things to show what can be done with the right effort.

Jeremy Leon Hance is a journalist for and as such has a background in environmental reporting. He aims to show everyone just some of the issues, and with chapters such as Language and Conservation: why words matter and Why top predators matter, he's covering a lot. But he does so in such a way that we're provided with just enough information to give us cause to fight, gives us cause to fight soon and also gives us cause to hope (but not enough of that to make us think the fight isn't needed, because it is, very much.).

I like this book not for it's style of writing, which is slightly too American for my tastes, but for it's passion and enthusiasm and most of all it's can do attitude. Take this example:

"...Perhaps we are realising that it is not enough to save just the tigers, elephants and whales; it is not enough to have a piecemeal environment. Such a place would be a decayed menagerie with humanity as apathetic masters. 

No. Instead allow us to be bold. Allow us to be optimistic. Instead of saving just a part of our planet - bits here and there - allow us to press ahead and preserve the whole wondrous thing, from golden-rumped elephant shrews to long-eared jerboas, from bumblebee bats to long-beaked echidnas."

Yes! Let's!! Let's blooming well do it!

I know that it's not that simple, and he does outline different work that people around the world are doing, but it is definitely what we should be aiming for and I love how he says it without saying such things as " we should save what we can" or "we can't save it all". He makes you want to fight for it, and refuse to let things die away. This is especially powerful just when George has died, the last of the Pinta Tortoises. So although another species has gone, let us face the onset of this age of extinction with hope in our heads and in our hearts and see if we can do as Jeremy says and "preserve the whole wondrous thing".

The book, if you're interested, can be bought from Mongabay here: Buy the Book
You can sign up to email updates from Mongabay here: Email Update
And here are Golden-Rumped Elephant Shrews, one of my favourite animals and indeed a mammal that we know very little about indeed: Arkive - Elephant Shrew

And yay, go forth and let's do something about this saving the world business!