Beginning in the vast North American Boreal Forest that stretches through Canada, and roving across the continent, from the Northern Sierra to Alabama's Paint Rock Forest, from the Appalachian Trail to a ranch in Mexico, Tony Hiss sets out on a journey to take stock of the superorganism that is the earth: its land, its elements, its plants and animals, its greatest threats--and what we can do to keep it, and ourselves, alive.
Hiss not only invites us to understand the scope and gravity of the problems we face, but also makes the case for why protecting half the land is the way to fix those problems. He highlights the important work of the many groups already involved in this fight, such as the Indigenous Leadership Initiative, the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, and the global animal tracking project ICARUS. And he introduces us to the engineers, geologists, biologists, botanists, oceanographers, ecologists, and other Half Earthers like Hiss himself who are allied in their dedication to the unifying, essential cause of saving our own planet from ourselves.
Hard Greens will take heart from Tony Hiss’s Rescuing the Planet: Protecting Half the Land to Heal the Earth. Mr. Hiss, a former staff writer for the New Yorker whose previous books include The Experience of Place, is no conservative, and he occasionally lapses into Soft Green doomsaying about endangered humanity and planetary catastrophe. But the book is mostly an upbeat and engaging account of the remarkable progress being made to preserve vast wild spaces for animals to roam ... Mr. Hiss is an indefatigable reporter and graceful writer, traversing the continent to observe the animals being saved and profile their saviors ... Mr. Hiss tells a good story, whether he’s describing his traipses through the wild or chronicling the history of the conservation movement ... however long it takes, this inspiring book shows that there are plenty of Hard Greens hard at work to make it happen.
In Rescuing the Planet, author Tony Hiss advocates setting aside 50 percent of North America’s land over the next 30 years as protected wild area ... Hiss’ new book is a how-to — based on proven conservation practices — for protecting the earth before the global population explodes to a projected 11 billion by 2100 ... By highlighting the work of important groups both public and private, Hiss has crafted a valuable overview and inventory of land-use conservation ... Be warned, though: Rescuing the Planet isn’t an easy read for one not versed in the complexities of American environmentalism. It contains a mountain of facts, ideas, and personal experiences that can be frustrating at times. And the final chapter is disappointing: Rather than provide an end-of-book conclusion, Hiss offers instead a long list of those who have helped him see the planet from a new angle. These are small caveats, however, compared to the book’s great educational value.