Green Planet: How Plants Keep the Earth Alive
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Plants are not just a pretty part of the landscape; they keep the entire planet, with all of its human and nonhuman inhabitants, alive. Stanley Rice documents the many ways in which plants do this by making oxygen, regulating the greenhouse effect, controlling floods, and producing all the food in the world. Plants also create natural habitats for all organisms in the world. With illustrations and clear writing for non-specialists, Green Planet helps general readers realize that if we are to rescue the Earth from environmental disaster, we must protect wild plants.

Beginning with an overview of how human civilization has altered the face of the Earth, particularly by the destruction of forests, the book details the startling consequences of these actions. Rice provides compelling reasons for government officials, economic leaders, and the public to support efforts to save threatened and endangered plants. Global campaigns to solve environmental problems with plants, such as the development of green roofs and the Green Belt Movement—a women's organization in Kenya that empowers communities worldwide to protect the environment—show readers that efforts to save wild plants can be successful and beneficial to the economic well-being of nations.

Through current scientific evidence, readers see that plants are vital to the ecological health of our planet and understand what can be done to lead to a better—and greener—future

Benefits of plants:

  • Help modulate greenhouse gases
  • Produce almost all oxygen in the air
  • Create cool shade that reduces energy costs
  • Prevent floods, droughts, and soil erosion
  • Produce all of the food in the world
  • Create and preserve soil
  • Create natural habitats
  • Heal the landscape after natural and human disasters
Stanley A. Rice is an associate professor of plant biology at Southeastern Oklahoma State University and is the author of the Encyclopedia of Evolution.