It's easy to feel powerless in the face of big environmental challenges—but we need inspiration more than ever. With political leaders who deny climate change, species that are fighting for their very survival, and the planet's last places of wilderness growing smaller and smaller, what can a single person do? InNature's Allies, Larry Nielsen uses the stories of conservation pioneers to show that through passion and perseverance, we can each be a positive force for change.
In eight engaging and diverse biographies—John Muir, Ding Darling,Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Chico Mendes,Billy Frank Jr., Wangari Maathai, and Gro Harlem Brundtland—we meet individuals who have little in common except that they all made a lasting mark on our world. Some famous and some little known to readers, they spoke out to protect wilderness, wildlife, fisheries, rainforests, and wetlands. They fought for social justice and exposed polluting practices. They marched, wrote books, testified before Congress, performed acts of civil disobedience, and, in one case, were martyred for their defense of nature.Nature's Alliespays tribute to them all as it rallies a new generation of conservationists to follow in their footsteps.
These vivid biographies are essential reading for anyone who wants to fight for the environmagainst today's political opposition. Nature's Allies will inspire students, conservationists, and nature lovers to speak up for nature and show the power of one person to make a difference.
Nielsen, a fisheries biologist and dean of the College of Natural Resources at N.C. State, celebrates the work of eight conservationists in the U.S. and abroad in this engaging series of biographical sketches. The work, which is "loosely patterned after" John F. Kennedy and Theodore Sorensen's Pulitzer Prize winning Profiles in Courage, aims to inspire readers through work done "on behalf of the sustainability of our world." Nielsen unsurprisingly focuses on Rachel Carson, whose 1962 classic Silent Spring "awakened the country and the world to the dangers of broadcast pesticides," and John Muir, long considered the father of the environmental movement. But he also highlights lesser-known people such as Jay Norwood "Ding" Darling, an editorial cartoonist for Iowa's Des Moines Register who helped to form and lead the National Wildlife Federation, and Billy Frank Jr., who fought tirelessly for Native American fishing rights and salmon conservation. Nielsen also looks abroad, highlighting contributions from Chico Mendes, a rubber tapper and "Gandhi of the Amazon," and Wangari Maathai, who was honored with the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize for her work on sustainable development, democracy, human rights, and women's rights in Kenya. Paying tribute to their battles and accomplishments, Nielsen effectively showcases the passion and persistence of a remarkable group of individuals. This review has been corrected to fix a typo.