- 59,99 zł
'A dazzlingly original picture of our relentlessly mobile species' NAOMI KLEIN
'Fascinating . . . Likely to prove prophetic in the coming months and years' OBSERVER
'A dazzling tour through 300 years of scientific history' PROSPECT
'A hugely entertaining, life-affirming and hopeful hymn to the glorious adaptability of life on earth' SCOTSMAN
We are surrounded by stories of people on the move. Wild species, too, are escaping warming seas and desiccated lands in a mass exodus. Politicians and the media present this upheaval of migration patterns as unprecedented, blaming it for the spread of disease and conflict, and spreading anxiety across the world as a result.
But the science and history of migration in animals, plants, and humans tell a different story. Far from being a disruptive behaviour, migration is an ancient and lifesaving response to environmental change, a biological imperative as necessary as breathing. Climate changes triggered the first human migrations out of Africa. Falling sea levels allowed our passage across the Bering Sea. Unhampered by borders, migration allowed our ancestors to people the planet, into the highest reaches of the Himalayan Mountains and the most remote islands of the Pacific, disseminating the biological, cultural and social diversity that ecosystems and societies depend upon.
In other words, migration is not the crisis – it is the solution.
Tracking the history of misinformation from the 18th century through to today's anti-immigration policies, The Next Great Migration makes the case for a future in which migration is not a source of fear, but of hope.
Science journalist Shah (Pandemic: Tracking Contagions from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond) delivers a masterful survey of migration in both nature and humanity, countering some long-held misconceptions. The biggest of these is the notion that "migration is the anomaly" to a settled existence in one place; in fact, Shah conclusively shows, life has always been "on the move," as demonstrated in recent decades by new technological tools. DNA analyses indicate widespread human migration goes back further than previously thought for instance, humans first arrived in Tibet 62,000, not 15,000, years ago. Likewise, real-time tracking of animals using GPS has revealed more extensive migration routes than scientists expected Arctic terns "logged 70,900-kilometer migrations, nearly twice as long as previous estimates." In addition to the "scale and complexity of both human and wild movements around the planet," Shah discusses how a faked nature documentary popularized the myth of mass lemming suicides (thus implying the "appropriate conclusion to the migratory act death"), and how early geneticists' assertion that "people who lived on different continents were biologically foreign to one another" encouraged racism. This is a valuable treatise on how humanity can "reclaim our history of migration" and adopt a more pan-global perspective.