Robert Mayhew

Energising Evolution

Inheritors of the Earth: How Nature Is Thriving in an Age of Extinction

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Allen Lane 320pp £20 order from our bookshop

Rise of the Necrofauna: The Science, Ethics, and Risks of De-Extinction

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Greystone Books 304pp £19.99 order from our bookshop

Popular ecology has always tended towards the jeremiad. ‘I think we’re fucked,’ wrote Stephen Emmott by way of conclusion to his recent 10 Billion, while numerous BBC natural history documentaries presented by the likes of David Attenborough have more politely implied the same thing. This tone of lamentation has a venerable pedigree, being deployed by Paul Ehrlich in the 1960s in his bestselling The Population Bomb and by Fairfield Osborn in the aftermath of the Second World War in Our Plundered Planet.

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