In The Edge of Extinction, Jules Pretty explores life and change
in a dozen environments and cultures across the world, taking us on
a series of remarkable journeys through deserts, coasts, mountains,
steppes, snowscapes, marshes, and farms to show that there are many
different ways to live in cooperation with nature. From these
accounts of people living close to the land and close to the edge
emerge a larger story about sustainability and the future of the
planet. Pretty addresses not only current threats to natural and
cultural diversity but also the unsustainability of modern
lifestyles typical of industrialized countries. In a very real
sense, Pretty discovers, what we manage to preserve now may well
save us later.
Jules Pretty's travels take him among the Maori people along the
coasts of the Pacific, into the mountains of China, and across
petroglyph-rich deserts of Australia. He treks with nomads over the
continent-wide steppes of Tuva in southern Siberia, walks and boats
in the wildlife-rich inland swamps of southern Africa, and
experiences the Arctic with ice fishermen in Finland. He explores
the coasts and inland marshes of eastern England and Northern
Ireland and accompanies Innu people across the taiga s snowy
forests and the lakes of the Labrador interior. Pretty concludes
his global journey immersed in the discrete cultures and landscapes
embedded within the American landscape: the small farms of the
Amish, the swamps of the Cajuns in the deep South, and the deserts
The diverse people Pretty meets in The Edge of Extinction
display deep pride in their relationships with the land and are
only willing to join with the modern world on their own terms. By
the examples they set, they offer valuable lessons for anyone
seeking to find harmony in a world cracking under the pressures of
apparently insatiable consumption patterns of the affluent."
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