Ecologists have long used the metaphor of the canary in the mine to caution humanity. Like the delicate little birds once carried into coal mines following explosions or fires in order to detect poisonous gases, some sensitive plants and animals around us, by virtue of their sickness and dying, give early warning of dangerous changes in our common environment.

The masterful presentations in Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity document beyond reasonable doubt that we ourselves are at risk of becoming a canary in today’s world. In myriad ways humanity is linked with millions ...


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