Islands of Abandonment: Life in the Post-Human Landscape

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Islands of Abandonment: Life in the Post-Human Landscape

Islands of Abandonment: Life in the Post-Human Landscape

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Even a century later, the Place à Gaz in northern France that Flyn infiltrates remains a virtually sterile blemish on the land: an immense pile of unused chemical weapons was burned here after the war. Guardian Australia acknowledges the traditional owners and custodians of Country throughout Australia and their connections to land, waters and community. For all ebook purchases, you will be prompted to create an account or login with your existing HarperCollins username and password. From Tanzanian mountains to the volcanic Caribbean, the forbidden areas of France to the mining regions of Scotland, Flyn brings together some of the most desolate, eerie, ravaged and polluted areas in the world - and shows how, against all odds, they offer our best opportunities for environmental recovery.

This sees her engage with the Ehrlichs and the Scrantons of this world who believe it is already too late, that the geological forces put into motion will run their course no matter what, and that the best we can do is brace for impact. Thus, she talks of ecological succession in abandoned landscapes when plants recolonize, including both human wastelands and sites of natural disasters. Shortlisted for this year’s Baillie Gifford prize for nonfiction (the winner is announced on 16 November), the book describes the isolated and often eerily dystopian fortress islands, irradiated exclusion zones, abandoned towns and shuttered industrial sites that have been recolonised by the natural world.Dotted around our planet are numerous areas now devoid of human habitation: ghost towns, conflict zones, pollution hotspots, and areas wrecked by natural forces. An abandoned botanical garden in Tanzania offers the chance to talk invasive species and make several sharp observations. Surprisingly rich in ecological and biological detail, Islands of Abandonment is a poetic and spellbinding travelogue.

That's what we as humans find very difficult to think about and that we can often be very impatient when we have conservation projects because we want to see results now.These abandoned sites offer many case studies of how our actions affect evolution in animals and plants. In Detroit, once America's fourth-largest city, entire streets of houses are falling in on themselves, looters slipping through otherwise silent neighbourhoods.

I definitely think nothing can top this for my non fiction reads this year, just wish I had gotten to it. She discusses rapid evolution, such as fish becoming insensitive to PCBs, and coevolution; and how invasive species settling in “ does throw a little cold water on the idea of ecosystems as the intricately wrought, carefully balanced product of millennia of coevolution” (p. Devoid of self-indulgence or decadent ruin porn, I instead found Islands of Abandonment a thoughtfully written and utterly spellbinding book. And that chapter for me was very magical, it was almost like a fairy story the way that these plants change and colour change and grow or shrink if metal's in their bodies and I just love that. Photograph: Chris Page View image in fullscreen Cal Flyn’s hypnotic tones chime with the richly descriptive and atmospheric nature of her prose.And yet, Flyn sees the same everywhere; humans leave* and nature comes rushing back in like an unstoppable tide. Maybe painstaking is the wrong word, she opines, for it “ implies slow deliberate travel in a single direction. As far as I can tell, Flyn has no background in biology, yet Islands of Abandonment is surprisingly rich in biological and ecological details that she gets right.



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