Phosphorus has played a critical role in some of the most lethal substances on earth: firebombs, rat poison, nerve gas. But it’s also the key component of one of the most vital: fertilizer, which has sustained life for billions of people. In this major work of explanatory science and environmental journalism, Pulitzer Prize finalist Dan Egan investigates the past, present, and future of what has been called “the oil of our time.” […Learn More]
What if Nature is more cooperative, and less competitive, than we think?
A follow-up to Kristin Ohlson’s previous book, The Soil Will Save Us (Rodale 2014), Sweet in Tooth and Claw extends the concept of cooperation in nature to the life-affirming connections among microbes, plants, fungi, insects, birds, and animals – including humans—in ecosystems around the globe. […Learn More]
A leading ecologist argues that if humankind is to survive on a fragile planet, we must understand and obey its iron laws
Our species has amassed unprecedented knowledge of nature, which we have tried to use to seize control of life and bend the planet to our will. In A Natural History of the Future, biologist Rob Dunn argues that such efforts are futile. […Learn More]
Get submerged in the amazing world of sharks! Your expert host, award-winning marine biologist Dr. David Shiffman, will show you how—and why—we should protect these mysterious, misunderstood guardians of the ocean.
Sharks are some of the most fascinating, most ecologically important, most threatened, and most misunderstood animals on Earth. More often feared than revered, their role as predators of the deep have earned them a reputation as a major threat to humans. But the truth is that sharks are not a danger to us—they’re in danger from us. […Learn More]
People across the world know that to tell how old a tree is, you count its rings. Few people, however, know that research into tree rings has also made amazing contributions to our understanding of Earth’s climate history and its influences on human civilization over the past 2,000 years. In her captivating book Tree Story, Valerie Trouet reveals how the seemingly simple and relatively familiar concept of counting tree rings has inspired far-reaching scientific breakthroughs that illuminate the complex interactions between nature and people. […Learn More]
In the tradition of Rachel Carson’s groundbreaking environmental classic Silent Spring, an award-winning entomologist and conservationist explains the importance of insects to our survival, and offers a clarion call to avoid a looming ecological disaster of our own making. […Learn More]
Say “algae” and most people think of pond scum. What they don’t know is that without algae, none of us would exist.
There are as many algae on Earth as stars in the universe, and they have been essential to life on our planet for eons. Algae created the Earth we know today, with its oxygen-rich atmosphere, abundant oceans, and coral reefs. Crude oil is made of dead algae, and algae are the ancestors of all plants. Today, seaweed production is a multibillion-dollar industry, with algae hard at work to make your sushi, chocolate milk, beer, paint, toothpaste, shampoo, and so much more. […Learn More]
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Michael Pollan, a radical challenge to how we think about drugs, and an exploration into the powerful human attraction to psychoactive plants–and the equally powerful taboos.
Of all the things humans rely on plants for–sustenance, beauty, medicine, fragrance, flavor, fiber–surely the most curious is our use of them to change consciousness: to stimulate or calm, fiddle with or completely alter, the qualities of our mental experience. Take coffee and tea: People around the world rely on caffeine to sharpen their minds. But we do not usually think of caffeine as a drug, or our daily use as an addiction, because it is legal and socially acceptable. So, then, what is a “drug”? […Learn More]
With Bringing Nature Home, Doug Tallamy changed the conversation about gardening in America. His second book, the New York Times bestseller Nature’s Best Hope, urged homeowners to take conservation into their own hands. Now, he is turning his advocacy to one of the most important species of the plant kingdom—the mighty oak tree. […Learn More]
A fascinating, entertaining dive into the long-standing relationship between humans and insects, revealing the surprising ways we depend on these tiny, six-legged creatures.
Insects might make us shudder in disgust, but they are also responsible for many of the things we take for granted in our daily lives. When we bite into a shiny apple, listen to the resonant notes of a violin, get dressed, receive a dental implant, or get a manicure, we are the beneficiaries of a vast army of insects. […Learn More]