July 26, 2007

On Nature

I've recently read two books that are both somewhat in the environmental field and biology. (I read a lot, and on a lot of different things). The first book is called The Wild Trees, by Richard Preston. In it, he describes the very new field of tree biology and the tree climbers who study the upper regions of the large redwood trees in California. It's got some interesting perspectives on the extent of our own knowledge in that section of biology as well as how little is being done on the science.

The other is called The World Without Us, by Alan Weisman, which, on the surface poses a question: What would happen if humans suddenly vanished from the earth. What would happen to the cities and our buildings? Deeper, the book is a look at exactly what impact humanity has had on the world, for better or worse. It's very similar to another book that I've read, Guns, Germs and Steel, by Jared Diamond, which looks at how nature has influenced humans. At points, there's detailed information on how the cities would vanish - buildings and sidewalks would crumble, forests would return and nuclear power plants would overheat and melt down.

In light of these book recommendations, I can't think of a better song to share, Paint the Tree Green, by Josh Clayton Felt, off his album Inarticulate Nature Boy.

Paint the Tree Green - Josh Clayton-Felt