In this inspiring manifesto, an internationally renowned oceanographer makes the provocative case for why protecting nature makes economic sense.
Enric Sala wants to change the world–and in this groundbreaking book, The Nature of Nature, he shows us how. Once we appreciate how nature works, he asserts, we will understand why its preservation is economically practical and essential to our survival.
In this highly readable narrative, Sala, director of National Geographic’s Pristine Seas project, tells the story of his scientific awakening, the colorful mentors whose work inspired him, and his transition from academic to activism–because, as he put it, he was tired of writing the obituary of the ocean. His revelations are surprising, and sometimes counterintuitive: Lots of sharks are actually the best indicator of a healthy ocean ecosystem, and crop diversity, rather than intensive monoculture farming, is the key to planetary abundance.
For decades, Sala has spearheaded ocean protection, convincing world leaders to protect areas amounting to five times the size of Texas–and he is still passionately pushing for more. Using fascinating examples from his own expeditions and groundbreaking findings from other scientists, Sala builds the case for the economic wisdom of making room for nature, even as the population builds to eight million and grows more urbanized by the decade. Both relatable and inspiring, this powerful book will change the way you think about the world–and the future.
“Natural ecosystems are the most complex, interdependent and carefully balanced machines on Earth and very easy to upend through human intervention, inattention and blindness. Enric Sala’s The Nature of Nature shows how utterly intertwined we are with nature, and how dependent. He tells a fascinating story and presents a cautionary tale. A must-read.” –James Cameron – Filmmaker, engineer, environmentalist, and National Geographic Explorer at Large
“Incisive, impassioned, pragmatic, and compelling, Enric Sala’s beautiful book The Nature of Nature is both a gift of wonders and a call to arms. His observations of how nature works and, crucially, how it sustains human life, provide the clearest argument of all for the world to change its ways.” –Isabella Tree, author of Wilding: The Return of Nature to Our Farm
“The Nature of Nature makes a compelling case for why giving more space to nature is essential to human and economic prosperity. Every leader should read it and apply its insights.” –Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum
ENRIC SALA is a marine ecologist and National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence dedicated to restoring the health and productivity of the ocean. He is widely recognized for his worldwide conservation efforts, based on solid observational and experimental research, combined with strategic communications and policy discussions. Previously a professor at the prestigious Scripps Institution of Oceanography in California, he founded National Geographic Pristine Seas, a global project that combines exploration, research, and storytelling to inspire leaders and communities to protect the last wild places in the ocean. To date, Pristine Seas has helped to create 22 marine reserves encompassing almost 6 million square kilometers of ocean, more than half the area of all 50 United States.