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The Secret Wisdom of Nature: Trees, Animals,…
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The Secret Wisdom of Nature: Trees, Animals, and the Extraordinary Balance… (edition 2019)

by Peter Wohlleben (Author)

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2074102,537 (3.69)2
"In The Secret Wisdom of Nature, master storyteller and international sensation Peter Wohlleben takes readers on a thought-provoking exploration of the vast natural systems that make life on Earth possible. In this tour of an almost unfathomable world, Wohlleben describes the fascinating interplay between animals and plants and answers such questions as: How do they influence each other? Do lifeforms communicate across species boundaries? And what happens when this finely tuned system gets out of sync? By introducing us to the latest scientific discoveries and recounting his own insights from decades of observing nature, one of the world's most famous foresters shows us how to recapture our sense of awe so we can see the world around us with completely new eyes."--… (more)
Member:DanParson
Title:The Secret Wisdom of Nature: Trees, Animals, and the Extraordinary Balance of All Living Things -_ Stories from Science and Observation (The Mysteries of Nature Trilogy)
Authors:Peter Wohlleben (Author)
Info:Greystone Books (2019), 272 pages
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The Secret Network of Nature: The Delicate Balance of All Living Things by Peter Wohlleben

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Diesmal beleuchtet Peter Wohlleben nicht nur die Bäume und die Flora sondern das Zusammenspiel zwischen allen Waldbewohnern, ob Tiere oder Pflanzen oder das was irgendwo dazwischen ist - Pilzen. Insgesamt wieder ein sehr interessantes Buch, es konnte mich aber nicht immer durchgehend in gleichem Maße fesseln wie Das geheime Leben der Bäume. ( )
  Heidi64 | Jul 18, 2021 |
[Review revised Jun. 3, 2021 when I put it up on my website]

With all the hot buttons being pushed in scientific research papers, and distracting spin media, trying to sort out what is happening to our little blue canoe can be frustrating. There are, of course, major human proclivities we know of that need to be addressed if we are to stay afloat, but there is so much more that needs to be understood to maintain a biosphere that is conducive to human existence. There is no simple recipe because the extent of Nature's complexity is beyond our perception, not to mention that our thinking is influenced (by brain chemistry, hormones, sensory cues, prenatal environment, early experience, genes, both biological and cultural evolution, and ecological pressures, among other things) but there is much we can learn to ease our way.

What this book does is present an overview of detailed considerations to help guide us. It does this by offering up stories of known science together with observations, and where differing viewpoints beg questions it includes relative pros and cons. The supporting detail included is abbreviated out of necessity, but can be explored with further research. An example being where the author mentions the intricate dance of life in the seasonal rainforest on the west coast of Canada. He notes the large predators such as Grizzly Bears feasting on the salmon, and a dizzying array of scavengers. What he does not delve into are the fly larvae, feeding on what the larger predators leave in their gluttonous haste; banana slugs decomposing and distributing the waste and fungi; flying squirrels, fond of truffles, distributing fungi; and fungi and microorganisms finishing the decomposition to enrich the soil, renewing plant life of the seasonal rainforest (almost all life on Earth relies directly or indirectly on primary production). The balancing process here is an example of life being fueled by life in Earth's closed loop system. Looking at it from only the complexities of the food chains, with all the biodiversity of the seasonal rain forest involved, a fair bit of the balancing activity necessary to the continuity of all life is manifest.

My take of this book is that such interrelationships exist in and between all ecosystems and biomes, to sustain the continuity of life on Earth. Also, as life forms and habitats change, effects cascade through all with evolutionary balancing and niche filling adjustments. To get a simple mental handle on such, think about what would happen to our food supply if pollinators disappear.

This book is more of a call for increased wisdom than it is a condemnation of human activity, as any weedy life form that acquired sufficient capabilities would do the same given the natural order drives instilled in continuing life. We're but a liminal thread in Nature's fluid web-of-life, all sharing degrees of genes and basic inherent behavioral traits. All functional life forms share the basic natural order drive to not only survive but thrive and multiply. Our problem is that we are finding emerging hurdles ever more difficult, because the Earth is a closed system and we're struggling against natural processes we are but a part of. Make no mistake, Nature will hold sway regardless of our indifferent hubris. Paint a pretty picture in your mind to feel better if you will, but unless we learn to live in respectful coexistence with all Earth's life and resources that picture is pure fantasy.

Other books to read that bear on our ability to focus on and understand root issues are The Meaning of Human Existence by Edward O. Wilson, and Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst by Robert M. Sapolsky.

It is amazing how much we can broaden our horizons for the betterment of humankind through reading meaningful, informative books like this, which can help considerably in addressing our root problems. Simply focusing on downstream consequential issues of our proclivities to date is the long road few if any will survive — demonstrably we've made sluggish hit-and-miss progress so far, and we're already on the precipice of an environmental tipping point.

"We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them." ~ Albert Einstein ( )
  LGCullens | Jun 1, 2021 |
No. There is just too much esoteric mixed in here, and Wohlleben is too much the guru who is going to show us all the right path. I don't buy it. ( )
  MarthaJeanne | Mar 2, 2020 |
The Secret Wisdom of Nature focuses on the relationships between the flora and fauna of nature, things like how some plants, insects, birds, or animals interact with other plants, insects, or animals to survive, thrive, and multiply. Many of the relationships are fascinating and this book is full of “I didn’t know that” and “Hmm, interesting” information. This is the third in a series of books that began with “The Secret Wisdom of Trees.”

Did you know trees affect the weather and change the rotation of the sun? Did you know they work in concert to react to threats and changes in their environment? Did you know the Brits love of feeding birds is changing the beak and wing shape of some birds? Did you know that for trees cannot “see” green so the daylight we see in the forest is dark for them? That is the kind of strange and surprising things you will learn reading this book.

The Secret Wisdomof Nature is fascinating and informative. It is also maddening at times. Wohlleben anthropomorphized far too much. He attributes intention to biochemical responses and biologically-programmed instincts and behaviors. His nature is full of emotion. Of course, animals experience emotion. Anyone who saw the daily stories of J35 mourning her dead calf and her fellow Southern Resident orcas helped keep her and her calf afloat for seventeen days cannot deny the grief and emotional depths of animals. Wohllenben goes further than that, though, too far for me, describing plants and animals as emotional beings.

I cringed sometimes when he described evolutionary processes, not necessarily because they were not happening but because he made them seem purposeful. His description of blackcap warbler evolution, for example, seems problematic. Some of them have taken to flying to England where people feed them rather than Spain where they eat berries and fruit, including olives. Natural selection has resulted in those with rounder wings and longer beaks doing better. But the way the author talks about it is far too intentional, not the random mutations turning out to be useful. There is an element of design in how he describes nature and that sets my teeth on edge.

He also seems humanity as something apart from nature. He addresses this directly, writing we became separate from nature when we began farming. This is increasingly rejected by scientists and it’s a good thing, helping to understand the interdependence of humanity with the rest of the world. Still, I think many people will enjoy the book for all the “did you know” moments and his easy writing style. I can see people who see the world as designed really liking it.

The Secret Wisdom of Nature will be published on March 5th. I received a copy for review from the publisher.

The Secret Wisdom of Nature at Greystone
Peter Wohlleben

ttps://tonstantweaderreviews.wordpress.com/2019/01/29/the-secret-wisdom-of-nature-by-peter-wohlleben/ ( )
1 vote Tonstant.Weader | Jan 29, 2019 |
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"In The Secret Wisdom of Nature, master storyteller and international sensation Peter Wohlleben takes readers on a thought-provoking exploration of the vast natural systems that make life on Earth possible. In this tour of an almost unfathomable world, Wohlleben describes the fascinating interplay between animals and plants and answers such questions as: How do they influence each other? Do lifeforms communicate across species boundaries? And what happens when this finely tuned system gets out of sync? By introducing us to the latest scientific discoveries and recounting his own insights from decades of observing nature, one of the world's most famous foresters shows us how to recapture our sense of awe so we can see the world around us with completely new eyes."--

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