Review: The Unnatural History of the Sea

Publication: The Washington Post

Author: Jonathan Yardley


07/29/2007 - There are times when the capacity of mankind to blind itself to plain reality is simply breathtaking. Thus to this day we still believe, as was universally believed two centuries ago, that the seas surrounding us afford an infinite source of wealth. As recently as half a century ago, two respected academics asserted in a book titled The Inexhaustible Sea that what the ocean "has to offer extends beyond the limits of our imagination -- that someday men will learn that in its bounty the sea is inexhaustible."

A boundless delusion. What informed scientists now know, as Callum Roberts writes in this measured but passionate and immensely important book -- a persuasive synopsis of existing scholarship augmented by the author's own research -- is that the resources of the sea are as limited as those of land and air, and that our penchant for exploiting them to the point of extinction is appalling.

View the full review on The Washington Post’s site - The Unnatural History of the Sea 

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