Publications

Forthcoming Book:

Newman, JA, S Linquist & G Varner. 2017. Defending Biodiversity: Environmental Science & Ethics. Cambridge University Press. Due out July 2017.

Imagine that you are an environmentalist who believes passionately that, for example, the United States should not drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. If you want to convince someone that a decision to drill is wrong, then you will need good arguments to do so. Good arguments need to be logically consistent, coherent, and informed by the best currently available empirical evidence. There is no denying the passionate feelings, which we share, for environmental causes, but the arguments offered in support of those positions are often weak. Sometimes they lack empirical substance—they are not supported by good science—and other times they are philosophically naïve. Arguments about the environment and how humans ought to treat the environment have been going on for decades within the academic discipline of environmental ethics. All the opening gambits in these arguments have been put forward before, and all these gambits have standard responses. Environmentalists seem to rely on these well-worn opening gambits but are seemingly unaware of the standard counter arguments. As a result, arguments for preserving biodiversity are far less effective than they could be, and do little to advance the quality of discussion. In this book, we will be critically examining the arguments in favor of conserving biodiversity. By doing so, we hope to help environmentalists to improve their arguments by exposing them to the suite of standard gambits and responses. By carefully explaining where the main objections lie with regard to particular views, we hope that environmentalists will be better able to engage in public debate and to rationally inform public policy.

Previous Book:

Newman, J.A. et al. (2011). Climate Change Biology.  CABI Press.

Climate change has moved from being a contested phenomenon to the top of the agenda at global summits. Climate Change Biology is the first major textbook to address the critical issue of how climate change may affect life on the planet, and particularly its impact on human populations. Presented in four parts, the first deals extensively with the physical evidence of climate change and various modelling efforts to predict its future. Biological responses are addressed in the second part, from the individual's physiology to populations and ecosystems, and further to considering adaptation and evolution. The third part examines the specific impact climate change may have on natural resources, agriculture and forestry. The final part considers research on the cutting edge of impact prediction and the practical and philosophical limitations on our abilities to predict these impacts. This text will be a useful asset to the growing number of both undergraduate and graduate courses on impacts of climate change, as well as providing a succinct overview for researchers new to the field.


Complete publication list

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