Nonfiction Book Award Status: GOLD
In this inspiring manifesto, an internationally renowned ecologist makes a clear case for why protecting nature is our best health insurance, and why it makes economic sense.
Enric Sala wants to change the world–and in his compelling book The Nature of Nature, he shows us how. Once we appreciate how nature works, he asserts, we will understand why conservation is economically wise and essential to our survival.
Here Sala, director of National Geographic’s Pristine Seas project (which has succeeded in protecting more than 5 million sq km of ocean), tells the story of his scientific awakening and his transition from academia to activism–as he puts it, he was tired of writing the obituary of the ocean. His revelations are surprising, sometimes counterintuitive: More sharks signal a healthier ocean; crop diversity, not intensive monoculture farming, is the key to feeding the planet.
Using fascinating examples from his expeditions and those of other scientists, Sala shows the economic wisdom of making room for nature, even as the population becomes more urbanized. In a sober epilogue, he shows how saving nature can save us all, by reversing conditions that led to the coronavirus pandemic and preventing other global catastrophes. With a foreword from Prince Charles and an introduction from E. O. Wilson, this powerful book will change the way you think about our world–and our future.
National Geographic Explorer in Residence Dr. Enric Sala founded and leads Pristine Seas, a project that combines exploration, research, and media to inspire country leaders to protect the last wild places in the ocean. To date, Pristine Seas has helped to create 22 of the largest marine reserves on the planet, covering an area of 5.8 million square kilometers — an area more than half the size of the United States. Dr. Sala has been the recipient of many awards, including 2008 World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leader, 2013 Explorers Club Lowell Thomas Award, 2013 Environmental Media Association Hero Award, 2016 Russian Geographical Society Award, and 2018 Heinz Award in Public Policy. He is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and sits on the boards of the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, the National Aquarium, and Global Fishing Watch. He is also an advisor to the World Bank and other international organizations and governments.