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Publisher's Summary

A paradigm shift is roiling the environmental world. For decades people have unquestioningly accepted the idea that our goal is to preserve nature in its pristine, pre-human state. But many scientists have come to see this as an outdated dream that thwarts bold new plans to save the environment and prevents us from having a fuller relationship with nature. Humans have changed the landscapes they inhabit since prehistory, and climate change means even the remotest places now bear the fingerprints of humanity. Emma Marris argues convincingly that it is time to look forward and create the "rambunctious garden," a hybrid of wild nature and human management.
In this optimistic book, listeners meet leading scientists and environmentalists and visit imaginary Edens, designer ecosystems, and Pleistocene parks. Marris describes innovative conservation approaches, including re-wilding, assisted migration, and the embrace of so-called novel ecosystems.
Rambunctious Garden is short on gloom and long on interesting theories and fascinating narratives, all of which bring home the idea that we must give up our romantic notions of pristine wilderness and replace them with the concept of a global, half-wild rambunctious garden planet, tended by us.
©2011 Emma Maris (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Michael Dowd on 01-06-14

Conservation at the Cusp of Change

What did you love best about Rambunctious Garden?

The storytelling and site-specific descriptions make this scientifically rigorous book unusually memorable and meaningful.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Marris extracts from the polarized advocates (human manipulation v. hands-off of nature) direct quotes that vividly show the deep emotions and uncertainties in this unusual time of worldviews in collision.

Which character – as performed by Renee Chambliss – was your favorite?

Jessica Hellman

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?


Any additional comments?

Anyone concerned about climate change will find the science stories in this book deeply disturbing, in that humans will have to get extensively involved in helping plants move north faster than they are capable of doing on their own.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

By Furniture Guy on 11-08-16

Did not meet personal preferences

The point of this book is a paradigm shift from how we currently see, use, and restore nature. Objectively, the points Marris makes are not all that bad, and it seems like over half the book is citing other experts, giving the ideas credit. For me, I just really dislike the tone of the writing and the reading. I find Marris's writing style and opinions to be rather pompous and unforgiving to anyone who does not share her viewpoint. The reader sounds a bit this way, as well, but that is probably simply because of the text. She also has an unpleasant habit of drawing out the last vowel of the last word in a sentence or phrase, which is rather annoying to me.

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