Thursday, November 26, 2020



Veteran Yale University research ecologist Dr. Dan Botkin has a new book coming out tomorrow (Saturday 15 October) that you might want to look at:

A number of chapters are relevant to polar bears, including these three:

“Myth 11: Without Human Interference, Earth’s Climate is Stable”

“Myth 13: Climate Change Will Lead to Huge Numbers of Extinctions”

“Myth 25: Compared to Climate Change, All Other Environmental Issues Are Minor”

I found the book clearly written in a readable style (Table of Contents here). It provides timely insight into critical issues related to conservation and species extinction, with many real-world examples that counter theoretical assumptions (polar bears are discussed in the Overview). I found the energy issues (Myths 23 and 24) an awkward distraction but others might find them of interest. It’s a good companion to Bjorn Lomborg’s The Skeptical Environmentalist (an excellent reference from 2001 but much more detailed).

Pre-0rders now being taken:

Twenty-five Myths That Are Destroying the Environment: What Many Environmentalists Believe and Why They Are Wrong. Daniel B. Botkin 2017. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., Lanham, MD 20706. $12.71 PAPERBACK; $7.51 KINDLE

Peak inside via Amazon, more about Dan Botkin and his publication record, and the book below.

Dan has done some important background work relevant to polar bears, walrus, and Arctic seals. He and colleagues reconstructed sea ice data for the period 1850-1910 in the Bering and Chukchi Seas from whaling records (as well as estimating bowhead whale and walrus pre-slaughter population sizes for the western Arctic)(see Bockstoce and Botkin 1982, 1983; Mahoney et al. 2011). Companion data to the Mahoney et al. paper on Bering/Chukchi sea ice is here (other related papers here).

In addition, Dan and a host of prominent specialists co-authored a critical ecology paper entitled “Forecasting the Effects of Global Warming on Biodiversity” (Botkin et al. 2007).

The blurb about the new 25 Myths book is copied below:

Daniel B. Botkin is an ecologist who has been conducting and writing about ecological research for 45 years. After hearing so many false or flawed statements passed off as fact, he decided to write this book to give readers a more complete understanding of their environment. 

 For decades, environmental scientist and conservationist Daniel B. Botkin has studied the world around us. He has traveled the globe observing nature and the human impact on the environment, and now he has collected his keen observations into this accessible and informative book.

 25 Myths That Are Destroying the Environment explores the many myths circulating in both ecological and political discussions. These myths often drive policy and opinion, and Botkin is here to set the record straight. What may seem like an environmentally conscious action on one hand may very well be bringing about the unnatural destruction of habitats and ecosystems.

 If our society is to sustain the environment around us for future generations, solving environmental problems by understanding how nature works is not just helpful, it’s necessary.

 Topics include:

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