Fred Pearce is an extremely thoughtful and imaginative science and environment writer who often gives me the joy of a different spin on topics thought to be firmly resolved. This book was full of what I call “ah ha’s!!!” — the comment, paragraph, or description that makes me question my automatic assumption. In this case, the general view is that invasive species are bad, bad, bad and should be eradicated in all instances. Mr. Pearce posits, and demonstrates factually, that often there was no golden time to be preserved — further that nature is full of change, particularly as the climate changes so quickly and drastically. Certainly, he’ll agree that invasive species that wipe out all competitors entirely (like lionfish) are not good additions to the landscape. But his book now makes me pause when the word “invasive” comes up and indulge in the pleasure of contemplative thought — something I always enjoy.
If you like reading about the environment from writers who don’t either simply say “no” or “can’t be done” or even the equivalent of all change is bad, Fred Pearce is your man. I’ll be reporting on another book of his soon.