Killing the Koala and Poisoning the Prairie: Australia, America, and the Environment

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University of Chicago Press, Oct 5, 2015 - Science - 240 pages
Though separated by thousands of miles, the United States and Australia have much in common. Geographically both countries are expansive—the United States is the fourth largest in land mass and Australia the sixth—and both possess a vast amount of natural biodiversity. At the same time, both nations are on a crash course toward environmental destruction. Highly developed super consumers with enormous energy footprints and high rates of greenhouse-gas emissions, they are two of the biggest drivers of climate change per capita. As renowned ecologists Corey J. A. Bradshaw and Paul R. Ehrlich make clear in Killing the Koala and Poisoning the Prairie, both of these countries must confront the urgent question of how to stem this devastation and turn back from the brink.

In this book, Bradshaw and Ehrlich provide a spirited exploration of the ways in which the United States and Australia can learn from their shared problems and combine their most successful solutions in order to find and develop new resources, lower energy consumption and waste, and grapple with the dynamic effects of climate change. Peppering the book with humor, irreverence, and extensive scientific knowledge, the authors examine how residents of both countries have irrevocably altered their natural environments, detailing the most pressing ecological issues of our time, including the continuing resource depletion caused by overpopulation. They then turn their discussion to the politics behind the failures of environmental policies in both nations and offer a blueprint for what must be dramatically changed to prevent worsening the environmental crisis.

Although focused on two nations, Killing the Koala and Poisoning the Prairie clearly has global implications—the problems facing the United States and Australia are not theirs alone, and the solutions to come will benefit by being crafted in coalition. This book provides a vital opportunity to learn from both countries’ leading environmental thinkers and to heed their call for a way forward together.
 

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Contents

1 Ausmerica
1
2 Enter the Naked Ape
7
3 Remorse
32
4 Biowealth
52
5 Liquidated Assets
66
6 Sick Planet Sick People
96
7 The Bomb Is Still Ticking
107
8 Ignorance and Greed
118
9 Theocracy
143
10 Circling the Drain
154
11 Save This House
163
Acknowledgments
203
Notes
205
Copyright

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About the author (2015)

Corey J. A. Bradshaw is the Sir Hubert Wilkins Chair of Climate Change in the Environment Institute at the University of Adelaide in South Australia. Paul R. Ehrlich lives in California, where he is the Bing Professor of Population Studies and the president of the Center for Conservation Biology at Stanford University. He is the author or coauthor of many books, including, most recently, Hope on Earth: A Conversation, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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