Summary of What Has Nature Ever Done for Us?

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

What Has Nature Ever Done for Us? book summary
Start getting smarter:
or see our plans




  • Scientific
  • Eye Opening
  • Concrete Examples


This earnest book – a tightly packed environmental economics overview – brims with facts and figures, alternately harping and hopeful about dismal ecological conditions worldwide. Eco-warrior Tony Juniper travels the planet, tracking what’s gone wrong, what environmentally aware people are doing right and what society still must do to heal the natural world. getAbstract recommends his cogent, readable analysis and finds the tale of India’s vultures particularly memorable. With a storyteller’s bent, Juniper attempts a cost-benefit analysis of nature’s services, making the case for ecology as an economic good and a worthy financial investment. He concludes that ultimately, enlightened self-interest must prevail: Earth is humanity’s only home. Society and business can ill-afford to keep destroying it.

About the Author

Environmentalist Tony Juniper is former director of the Friends of the Earth and adviser to Charles, HRH Prince of Wales.



What Does Nature Do For You?

Nature does a lot more for you than you think, and yet nations striving to improve their people’s lifestyles, survival and aspirations don’t safeguard nature. Businesses and governments everywhere tend to overlook the planet’s no-cost services and their economic impact. Natural activities, from photosynthesis to the water cycle, create cost-free common public goods, but when humanity misuses them, they can produce negative externalities. What does nature do for you? Everything. Nature provides a crucial set of services, including:

  • Soil grows crops, stores carbon, and recycles decomposing plants and animals.
  • Photosynthesis turns sunlight energy into chemical energy, and CO2 into oxygen.
  • Biodiversity provides products, such as medicines, and key processes that science has discovered through “biomimicry” – that is, copying the natural world.
  • Animals pollinate about two-thirds of the world’s “species of food crop plants.”
  • Birds control pests and pathogens by eating insects and recycling carrion.
  • Geological and forestland filtration purify and conserve water.
  • Wild fisheries offer...

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

Inconspicuous Consumption
The Unnatural World
The New North
The Future Is Faster Than You Think
Visionary Women
Dark Commerce

Related Channels

Comment on this summary