Jul 16, 2019 in Book Review

The book The End of the Wild by Stephen Meyer touches upon the significant problem of contemporary ecology: endangered species. Nowadays, it is of common knowledge that this problem is becoming more and more serious. The main idea of the author is to demonstrate the paramount importance of it. He proves it providing the fact that “over the next 100 years or so as many as half of the Earth’s species, representing a quarter of the planet’s genetic stock, will either completely or functionally disappear” (Meyer 4). In spite of the fact that Stephen Meyer admits that so-called extinction crisis has already finished, and the “the race to save the composition, structure, and organization of biodiversity as it exists today” (Meyer 5) is lost, the author of the book provides some ways of preventing the situation from becoming worse. The evidence of the thesis on which the book focuses is proved by pure facts. The book is divided into 7 chapters; each of them is devoted to one of the aspects of the author’s point of view.

Making a profound analysis of the data provided in the book, it is evident that it is quite informational and thought-provoking, as there is no sentence in the book that does not deal with the current global problem. All passages are structured so that to make the information clear and logically developed for the readers. The first chapter of the book is entitled “The Extinction Crisis Is Over” and can be considered to be an introduction to the whole book, as it states the problem under consideration. The content of the book corresponds to the introduction and the main points that the readership is intended to understand. Furthermore, they are logical and well-developed with the evidence. For instance, in the second chapter, the author demonstrates that the reason for the problem to have become so serious is the understanding of a concept of wildlife. He denotes that “fundamental is the notion of a landscape where the handprint of humanity is invisible – and specifically where the forces of natural selection smother those of human selection.

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The problem is that there is virtually no place left on Earth that fits this definition” (Meyer 8). This statement is proved by clear evidences. For example, the author states that “from the most remote corners of the frozen Arctic to the darkest interiors of the Amazon’s tropical rainforests, the impact of humanity now drives biological systems” (Meyer 9). The tremendous impact of the mankind on the environment comprises three types of causes: “landscape transformation, geochemical modification (pollution), and biotic consumption and manipulation” (Meyer 19). In order to raise the environmental consciousness of the readers, the author gives them quite shocking example. One of them is the following: 80% of “Caribbean corals have died off in the past two decades from diseases fueled by pollution from municipal waste-water treatment plants and agricultural runoff flooding into coastal waters” (Meyer 21). What is more, in his book, Stephen Meyer addresses each reader personally. He notifies that modern people demand “instant-on appliances, out-of-season vegetables, and ten-mile-per-gallon armored transports” (Meyer 75).

When each reader contemplates these facts, he/she understands that even his/her everyday lifestyle is based on the damage of environment and causing an abundance of species extinction. While discussing the possible ways of making the situation seem acceptable, the author also tries to do his best to make each personality observe the problem that is discussed in the book and desire to take actions. He admits that “the long-term slowing of the impact of human selection is only possible through action that comes from within us as individuals and gains hold as society-wide norms” (Meyer 78). This peculiarity of the author’s style makes the readership understand the seriousness of the problem much better.

On the other hand, there are some weak points of the book. The main one is the fact that the same points are repeated several times. For instance, the author focuses on pollution as one of the principal causes of ecological problems in several chapters, whereas it was possible to touch upon the concept of this problem only in one of them.

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