March Book Club Will Discuss What Has Nature Ever Done for Us? By Tony Juniper

How to explain the value of nature to a person who just doesn’t get it… or to an accountant.

By Jodi Zimmerman

Many of us love nature for itself. The beauty of the trees, the song of the birds and the lapping of the blue water…but there are some who just don’t get it. Some humans who are so unaware of our complex ecosystem that they seem to truly believe that nature doesn’t matter. While I will argue that these unenlightened people will not willingly read Tony Junipers work What Has Nature Ever Done For Us?, I am happy to report that the book gives the rest of us cold hard numbers for preserving nature. Reading this work will help arm you with the data that often goes unreported in our struggle to make the right choices to keep our air clean and our pollinators pollinating.

After a slower start, Mr. Jupiter shows off his Friends of the Earth credentials in his clear and reasoned approach to the hard work that oysters, trees, birds, and, yes, the bees do for their own survival that also makes our survival possible.

Mr. Jupiter ends with the statement that we simply must keep our natural systems intact and that the “key to making this happen is the realization that Nature is not separate from the economy, a drag on growth or an expensive distraction” (p.292). But I will end with a recommendation to read this book and take away nuggets to reinforce stronger and smarter environmental policy than what we have mustered so far. The next time someone complains about stopping a mall to protect a species I will remind them that we get more from the birds than we do from another tee shirt shop…to the tune of millions in pollination and pest control with no capital investment from us at all. We simply need to let them do their thing.


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