What Has Nature Ever Done for Us?
How Money Really Does Grow on Trees
by Tony Juniper
Foreword by HRH The Prince of Wales
•Where the bottom-line and ecology meet
•Already a best-seller in the UK!
•”Put simply, nature is worth a lot … and Juniper uses fascinating examples to build his case.”
Charlotte McCann, Financial Times
Juniper is one of the top ten environmental figures of the last thirty years; a campaigner, author, and sustainability adviser to the Prince of Wales and other NGOs; and former director of of Friends of the Earth.
During recent years, environmental debate worldwide has been dominated by climate change, carbon emissions and the greenhouse effect. But a number of academic, technical, political, business and NGO initiatives indicate the emergence of a new wave of environmental attention focused on “natural capital,” “ecosystem services” and “biodiversity,” things nature does for us.
In What Has Nature Ever Done for Us? British environmentalist Tony Juniper points out that as a species we think that everything nature does for us — providing water, pollinating plants, generating oxygen, recycling miracles in the soil and much more — is free, but it isn’t. Its economic value can, and has been, measured. And upon realizing what that value truly is we would stop treating our natural systems in a destructive manner. For example, in 2005 Hurricane Katrina cost the US $81 billion and the damage still remains. If the land around the levees hadn’t been redeveloped for shipping and aquaculture, at an estimated value of $100,000 to $450,000 per square mile of natural mangroves, then, it is believed, much of the damage caused to the city would not have occurred.
This book contains impactful stories imparting warnings about this and other unfortunate occurrences such as a rabies epidemic that followed the disappearance of India’s vultures (drugs administered to cattle killed the birds, leaving uneaten carcasses that led to an explosion of wild dogs), as well as promising and enlightening tales of how birds protect fruit harvests, coral reefs shield coasts from storms, and rainforests absorb billions of tons of carbon released from automobiles and power stations. As a result of its immediacy, Tony Juniper’s book will entirely change the way you think about life, the planet and the economy.
Juniper has a storyteller’s gift for moving from the cold statistic to the affecting tale … in every chapter there are leavening examples of intelligent government planning or commercial best practice so that the book is as full of hope as it is despair.
Mark Cocker, Guardian
When Chancellor George Osborne said: ‘We’re not going to save the planet by putting our country out of business,’ he showed himself to be out of touch with modern economic thinking…. Tony Juniper’s compelling book quantifies in monetary terms why we need to be on the side of nature. The statistics are mind-blowing.
John Harding, Daily Mail
Juniper lays out the many ways that natural ecosystems pay dividends to human societies…. This is important stuff that policymakers and the public need to be reminded of.
Bob Holmes, New Scientist
How much would you pay for a handful of dirt? How about a lung-load of fresh air? The chances are, nothing. And that, in very simple terms, is what is wrong with the world, according to Tony Juniper…. Overall, it is a convincing argument.
Danny Fortson, Sunday Times
As the conservationist John Muir said: “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, you find it attached to the rest of the world.” … This salutary, highly readable appreciation of the living world tells a simple truth. Nature does a great deal for us.
Robin McKie, Observer
Microbes restore soils, trees oxygenate the atmosphere, vultures act as sanitation crews. And, says Tony Juniper in this crisp call to action, such “ecosystem services” could back the currency of a new economics … As he trawls the biosphere and its rich array of services, his insights on environmental threats and solutions, backed by robust findings, form a pragmatic argument for a return to “gardening the Earth.”
ISBN 978-0-907791-47-8 softcover $17.95
ISBN 978-0-907791-48-5 hardcover $29.95