Reviews of Sveriges natur (1910) and related work

Sveriges natur (1910Text)

An annual series of books by the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation.

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Genvägar (1992Text)

Agneta Arnesson-Westerdahl (writer), Roger Olsson (writer).

Read in 2020.

Evolutionary biology.

The first 120 pages serve as a remarkably good layman’s introduction to the field, highlighting both where Darwin was sloppy and pointing out the errors of C. V. Wynne-Edwards (animals seemingly measuring their population before breeding) and Konrad Lorenz (competitors for a mate seemingly sparing one another’s lives to preserve the population), both teleological errors about harmonious population-level selection. Indeed, the authors refers to both Richard Dawkins and Robert Trivers as they make their case against teleology and the inherent sacredness or wholesomeness of nature. They thank a large number of contributing experts. Alas, the descriptive first 120 pages are followed by the prescriptive last 39 pages where genetic engineering is too quickly dismissed as somehow absurd (fish genes in trees!) despite the mechanistic view up to that point. Paul R. Ehrlich is introduced as the “world famous ecologist” without a word about his errors. The thinking on conservation is still good, including sane treatment of past genetic engineering through traditional breeding methods. The book is not alarmist, but the inflection is symptomatic.

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Kretslopp (1993Text)

Nils Tiberg (writer).

Read in 2020.

An introduction to nature’s economy and the human real economy on a thermodynamic basis, followed by a relevant history of mentalities, followed by less organized musings on contemporary Swedish environmental policy and how to achieve a closed circuit.

Om begreppet kretsloppssamhälle görs till en falsk illusion, om experter och politiker urholkar innebörden, så urholkas förr eller senare också förtroendet för dem och det system de representerar.

Parts of the summary are good, but there are few specifics, quite a few detours and some significant errors, including a dangerously naïve depiction of early Christianity as loving its enemies (see Romans) and toppling Rome from below before becoming an authoritarian force. Prefer The Ecology of Freedom: The Emergence and Dissolution of Hierarchy (1982).

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Grannskapsnatur (1994Text)

Leif-Tage Jansson (editor).

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Naturskyddsföreningen – 90 år ung (1999Text)

Erik Larsson (editor).

The history of the organization.

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