Over the past century, our species has made unprecedented technological innovations with which we have sought to control nature. From river levees to enormous one-crop fields, we continue to try to reshape nature for our purposes - so much so it seems we may be in danger of destroying it.
In A Natural History of the Future, biologist Rob Dunn argues that nothing could be further from the truth: rather than asking whether nature will survive us, better to ask whether we will survive nature. Despite our best - or worst - efforts to control the biological world, life has its own rules, and no amount of human tampering can rewrite them. Elucidating several fundamental laws of ecology, evolution, and biogeography, Dunn shows why life cannot be stopped. We sequester our crops on monocultured fields, only to find new life emerging to attack them. We dump toxic waste only to find microbes to colonize it. And even in the London Tube, we have seen a new species of mosquito emerge to take advantage of an apparently inhospitable habitat. Life will not be repressed by our best-laid plans. Instead, Dunn shows us a vision of the biological future and the challenges the next generations could face.
A Natural History of the Future sets a new standard for understanding the diversity of life and our future as a species.