Author and MacArthur Genius Carl Safina takes us to some of Earth's remaining wild places
to answer one of humanity's most urgent questions:
New York Times bestselling author Carl Safina brings readers close to three non-human cultures—what they do, why they do it, and how life is for them.
Some people insist that culture is strictly a human feat. What are they afraid of? This book looks into three cultures of other-than-human beings in some of Earth’s remaining wild places. It shows how if you’re a sperm whale, a scarlet macaw, or a chimpanzee, you too experience your life with the understanding that you are an individual in a particular community. You too are who you are not by genes alone; your culture is a second form of inheritance. You receive it from thousands of individuals, from pools of knowledge passing through generations like an eternal torch. You too may raise young, know beauty, or struggle to negotiate a peace. And your culture, too, changes and evolves. The light of knowledge needs adjusting as situations change, so a capacity for learning, especially social learning, allows behaviors to adjust, to change much faster than genes alone could adapt.
Carl Safina’s lyrical non-fiction writing explores how humans are changing the living world, and what the changes mean for non-human beings and for us all. His work fuses scientific understanding, emotional connection, and a moral call to action. His writing has won a MacArthur “genius” prize; Pew, Guggenheim, and National Science Foundation Fellowships; book awards from Lannan Foundation, Orion Magazine, and the National Academies; and the John Burroughs, James Beard, and George Rabb medals.
Andrew Revkin is one of America’s most honored and experienced environmental journalists and the founding director of the new Initiative on Communication and Sustainability at Columbia University's Earth Institute. There he is building programs, courses, tools and collaborations bridging communication gaps between science and society to boost societal and environmental sustainability. He launched and runs the Earth Institute’s live Sustain What webcasts on COVID-19 solutions and paths to resilience. Revkin has written on climate change for more than 30 years, reporting from the North Pole to the White House, the Amazon rain forest to the Vatican - mostly for The New York Times. He has held positions at National Geographic and Discover Magazine and won the top awards in science journalism multiple times, along with a Guggenheim Fellowship. Revkin has written acclaimed books on the history of humanity’s relationship with weather, the changing Arctic, global warming and the assault on the Amazon rain forest, as well as three book chapters on science communication. Two very different films have been based on his work: Rock Star (Warner Brothers, 2001) and the triple-Golden-Globe-winning 1994 HBO film The Burning Season, based on Revkin’s biography of slain Brazilian forest defender Chico Mendes. A lifelong musician, he was a frequent accompanist of Pete Seeger and is a performing songwriter.
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