SCIENCES

Rainforest: Dispatches from Earth’s Most Vital Frontlines

Island. Sept. 2019. 456p. maps. photos. index. ISBN 9781642830729. pap. $22; ebk. ISBN 9781642830736. NAT HIST
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Writer and environmentalist Juniper (Saving Planet Earth) presents a well-referenced, beautifully illustrated monograph on the world’s rain forests, which contain the most diverse, rich flora and fauna of anywhere. Enhanced with 97 photographs, 36 in arresting color, and three detailed maps, the engaging, carefully researched text details related human history, colonial exploitation, current and historical conservation efforts, and the effects of logging and agricultural conglomerates, particularly with regard to palm oil extraction, cocoa, coffee, and rubber. Juniper offers a glimpse of what the future may hold, both the perils and promises. The splendid images showcase not only the forests and their incomparable scenic contexts but also the people involved, as well as specific animals and plants. Readers may be surprised to discover there are rain forests in the UK and much of the Pacific Northwest. The author writes convincingly of how these ecosystems affect global air quality and water resources.
VERDICT A vital work for all interested in natural and human history, logging, agriculture, environmental politics, and geography.

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