Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: Millipedes and Moon Tigers: Science and Policy in an Age of Extinction

Academic journal article Electronic Green Journal

Review: Millipedes and Moon Tigers: Science and Policy in an Age of Extinction

Article excerpt

Steve Nash. Millipedes and Moon Tigers: Science and Policy in an Age of Extinction. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2007. xii, 166 pp. ISBN: 978-0-8139-2623-0 (cloth); US$22.95. Printed on acid free paper.

The book is composed of seventeen essays presenting urgent messages through the work of field scientists about their discoveries in the causes and consequences of ecological changes to habitats and populations. Nash, Associate Professor of Journalism at the University of Richmond, covers a wide range of topics-for example, endangered and extinct species, plant and animal cloning, cold storage of genes, and the promises and problems of genetics. Also discussed are government policies that help and hinder the efforts to preserve habitats and species.

The title is taken from two of the numerous species examined. First is the Laurel Creek millipede, which has been around for 2 to 3 million years, but now exists in just one known small population. The second named title species is from the work of Betsy Dresser, researcher in the area of future technologies designed to save endangered species, who has a forthcoming book, Tigers to the Moon, which presents the recreation of life on other planets.

Nash effectively injects select comments from the field scientists into his essays that heighten the overall message of the book. An example is archaeobotanist, Naomi Miller's "It's much easier to maintain the ecosystem than to repair it," (p. 26), and insect ecologist Kenneth Raffa's "...when you transfer a technology from closed, controlled conditions to open complex systems, there are almost always unforeseen parameters that affect system behavior" (p. …

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