Post written in March:
Inheritors of the Earth by Chris D. Thomas
I finally finished reading Inheritors of the Earth. I chose to read this book because I needed some bright side. Without going back to verify that my feelings are justified, here is how the book hit me.
The author kept talking about how introductions of new species often don’t lead to competition that kills the native species and how the total diversity of the area instead tends to go up. True, perhaps, but the total diversity of the earth goes down, at least temporarily. And he glossed over the invasive species that kill so many other species, failing to talk about how invasive insects and pathogens have created huge swaths of destruction that take decades or more to recover from (chestnut blight, Dutch elm disease, the white-nose syndrome that’s killing bats, not to mention the winter moths and gypsy moths that are destroying my woods).
Though he mentioned global warming often, he never seemed to grasp the enormity of it. Global warming could negate all of his arguments about how diversity will go up as the species develop differently in their different new homelands, because they’ll die out before they can.
The book became repetitious. The last 100 pages were a struggle to read. Though I agreed with many of the things the author said (that evolution is taking place faster than most people give it credit for, that we cannot make the earth the way it was before we changed it, and that in many cases “the way it was” was not necessarily better than the “way it is now,” so we are fighting some futile battles), it all just seemed like a sad attempt at sugarcoating.
Overall, the book bored me more than it cheered me up. That may not be the author’s fault. Maybe I wanted more from the book than it could give. Maybe I shouldn’t have expected that anything regarding the environment could cheer me up right now.
Grade for premise: A
Grade for execution of premise: C