Book Review (3): Green Planet How Plants Keep the Earth Alive by Stanley A. Rice

Author: Stanley A. Rice

Title of the Book: Green Planet How Plants Keep the Earth Alive

Publisher: Rutgers University Press

Pages: 314

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This is the third part of my book review of a non-fiction book Green Planet How Plants Keep the Earth Alive by Stanley A. Rice. For the Book Review 1 and 2 links are Book Review 1 and Book Review 2.

This is the last part of this fabulous book that gives a different prospective about nature and compels us to think why we should take care of nature. Living in harmony with nature is what we need to understand and this book helps in doing that. In the last few chapters the author explains what needs to be done by humans. How we can impact the nature in better way?How can we save plants and the planet?

Front Cover

How Plants Heel the Landscape?

All of the natural habitats of the earth, determined by climatic conditions and defined by the plants that both grow in and shape them, have come and gone, and shifted in location, during just the past few thousand years.

Stanley A. Rice (Green Planets How Plants Keep the Earth Alive, pg: 171)

Plants are a good heeler. Plants heel the habitat, they also heel the landscape. The author focuses about these things in this chapter. He is concerned about the disturbances that human activity causes to the landscape and it becomes challenging for the plants to heel the landscape. He also describes the types of disturbances the humans and nature creates.

Human activities such as farming and the building of roads and towns create immense disturbance.

Stanley A. Rice (Green Planets How Plants Keep the Earth Alive, pg: 174)

Author explains the use of forest fire and how fire in a forest might help in landscape development as grasses are not killed and the plants that die in winter again bloom in spring. He also gives examples of Prairies of North America, Chaparrals of California, etc. The damages caused by humans are described in detail.

Human disturbances are more extensive and severe. Fires, floods, storms, landslides, and other disturbances have destroyed forests not very differently from the way humans do so.

Stanley A. Rice (Green Planets How Plants Keep the Earth Alive, pg: 190)

How Agriculture Changed the World?

In this chapter, the author gives a detailed explanation of how agriculture has changed the entire world by supporting the human economy. He starts with the history of agriculture and also gives the future future implications of agriculture.

Why Plant Diversity is Important?

Plank kingdom is very diverse. Variety of plants exist in the nature. The author explains the importance of plant diversity. He talks about the aspects of growing new species, hybrids through breeding by plant breeders using the concepts of biotechnology.

We have different types of apples, bananas, potatoes, rice, wheat, etc to consume. We have old varieties and new varieties. He also explains the importance of old and wild varieties of plants. He explains how plant breeders and organizations that work for plants, try to preserve the rare varieties of crops while producing new crops. He also explains the advantages of polyculture over monoculture.

Saving old crops can be as useful as finding new crops.

Stanley A. Rice (Green Planets How Plants Keep the Earth Alive, pg: 222)

Plant diversity is as much of blessing from the plant world as is the production of oxygen and food calories, the regulation of carbon dioxide, and the protection of water and soil.

Stanley A. Rice (Green Planets How Plants Keep the Earth Alive, pg: 227)

How Can We Help?

In this chapter, the author is on solving the problem mode. What we can do to help the plants, the nature and the planet on the whole? He gives some solutions such as

1. driving fuel efficient vehicles

2. using energy efficiently at home

3. recycling our resources before discarding

4. using alternative energy sources

Everything that we can do to reduce energy use and find sustainable and renewable energy sources is therefore an act of patriotism.

Stanley A. Rice (Green Planets How Plants Keep the Earth Alive, pg: 245)

Thus, there are several ways we can help the planet. The only thing that we lack is determination and dedication towards environmental issues.

This book is an eye-opener for everyone of us. The book encourages us to do something for the plants and the green planet. Take home message from this book is “that we should take care of our environment”.

With this I come to the end of my book review for this amazing book. I hope you all will like the detailed book review and it might help you all to be more respectful towards plants and nature.

Thank you for stopping by and reading the post.

About Dr Namrata, Ph.D.

Author is a PhD in Botany (Environmental Science) with keen interest in Biotechnology and Research work. Currently, she is a full time blogger, posting her views and thoughts related to Science and Life.

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