Born in the United Kingdom. Education: Attended Cambridge University.
Writer, journalist, consultant, television broadcaster, and radio broadcaster.
BEMA (British Environment and Media Awards) Environment Journalist of the Year Award, 2001; Peter Kent Conservation Book Award; Times Educational Supplement Junior Information Book Award.
Green Warriors: The People and the Politics behind the Environmental Revolution, Bodley Head (London, England), 1991.
Ian & Fred's Big Green Book, illustrated by Ian Winton, foreword by James Lovelock, Kingfisher Books (London, England), 1991.
Dammed: Rivers, Dams and the Coming World Water Crisis, Bodley Head (London, England), 1992.
Wetlands and Water Resources, Medwet (Tour du Valat, Arles, France), 1996.
Climate Change Impacts in the UK, World Wildlife Fund (Washington, DC), 1997.
(With Paul Harrison) AAAS Atlas of Population & Environment, foreword by Peter H. Raven, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 2000.
Global Warming, DK Publishing (New York, NY), 2002.
REGIS: Regional Climate Change Impact and Response Studies in East Anglia and North West England, UK Climate Impacts Programme (United Kingdom), 2002.
Keepers of the Spring: Reclaiming Our Water in an Age of Globalization, Island Press (Washington, DC), 2004.
Deep Jungle, Eden Project (London, England), 2005.
The Last Generation: How Nature Will Take Her Revenge for Climate Change, Eden Project (London, England), 2006.
When the Rivers Run Dry: Water, the Defining Crisis of the Twenty-first Century, Beacon Press (Boston, MA), 2006, published as When the Rivers Run Dry: What Happens When Our Water Runs Out?, Eden Project (London, England), 2006.
With Speed and Violence: Why Scientists Fear Tipping Points in Climate Change, Beacon Press (Boston, MA), 2007.
Contributor of articles to periodicals, including the New Scientist, Boston Globe, Independent, Times Educational Supplement, Country Living, and the Ecologist; author of reports for World Wildlife Fund, the United Nations Environment Program, the Red Cross, UNESCO, the World Bank, and the UK Environment Agency. Author's books have been translated into French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Norwegian, and Portuguese.
Fred Pearce is a journalist and environmental consultant who has authored numerous books about the environment, focusing on topics from global warming to the loss of drinking water and environmental impacts on jungles. In one of his first books, titled The Big Green Book, Pearce presents a primer for young readers about the Earth's environment. Using descriptions such as "the Goldilocks planet" (not too hot or too cold), the author presents an environmental message concerning issues such as the Greenhouse Effect and the cutting down of rain forests. A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that the author "packs his lucid, eye-opening text with analogies young readers will easily grasp." Richard Nilsen, writing in the Whole Earth Review, noted: "The environmental facts are simplified without distortion, and kids roughly eight to twelve can read it themselves."
Dammed: Rivers, Dams and the Coming World Water Crisis explores the potential of a future water crisis as a result of humans manipulating rivers such as the Amazon and the Mississippi. The author primarily focuses on how damming up rivers has numerous negative impacts, from the time of ancient Sumeria 7,000 years ago to China's modern damming of the Three Gorges. An Economist contributor wrote that the author "asks good questions" in his book.
Pearce collaborated with Paul Harrison to write the AAAS Atlas of Population & Environment, which presents a wide variety of information to show how human population growth is impacting the world's environment. Writing in Environment, Robert Harriss noted that AAAS Atlas of Population & Environment "presents a useful synthesis of information on the status of and trends in global population, natural resources, land use, environmental quality, ecosystems, and biodiversity." Marina Alberti, writing in the Journal of the American Planning Association, commented that the book "provides an excellent synthesis of the current understanding of the complex relationships between population dynamics (rates of growth, density, movement, resource consumption, and technology) and ecosystems."
Pearce examines the growing loss of jungle ecosystems due to human development in his book Deep Jungle, a companion book to a television series. According to the book, the world may lose many, if not most, of its complex jungle ecosystems well within the twenty-first century. "The book has a light and conversational tone," noted Geordie Torr in Geographical. Booklist contributor Nancy Bent called Deep Jungle "an excellent primer on rain forests."
In his book When the Rivers Run Dry: Water, the Defining Crisis of the Twenty-first Century, called "a brisk, alarming primer on water scarcity" by OnEarth contributor Jacques Leslie, Pearce examines early water crises throughout the world, from the Amazon to Colorado. He discusses factors that may impact water supply, such as climate change and disputes over water rights, and investigates the relationship between water scarcity and threats to humanity's food supply. Carol Haggas wrote in Booklist that the author's "powerful imagery, penetrating analyses, and passionate advocacy make this required reading." A California Bookwatch contributor called When the Rivers Run Dry "a ‘must’ for any serious discussion on water rights management."
The Last Generation: How Nature Will Take Her Revenge for Climate Change focuses on how growth in the human population and an industrialized society requiring ever-increasing amounts of polluting sources of power is likely taking away the Earth's ability to recover its natural environmental state. As a result, according to the author, the planet may become intolerable for life as humans know it today. In the course of his discussion, Pearce points to issues such as polluted oceans, greenhouse gases and the ozone, and global warming. Noting the book's apocalyptic outlook toward the future, Geographical contributor Mark Lynas commented that "even Pearce's well crafted prose can't make this grim catalogue an enjoyable read." Nevertheless, Lynas added: "That doesn't mean it should be ignored."
In With Speed and Violence: Why Scientists Fear Tipping Points in Climate Change, Pearce lands firmly on the side of those who believe global warming is a real threat to humanity and a potentially devastating one. The author consulted with numerous experts for his book, and Library Journal contributor Betty Galbraith noted: "His grasp of their work is exceptional." In his book, the author reports on impending environmental catastrophes that are already in progress, such as the melting of the polar ice caps. In addition to explaining various scientific theories, he also discusses how everything on earth is interconnected, resulting in small changes having a big impacts. Donna Seaman, writing in Booklist, noted that the author "provides careful analysis of evidence indicating that climatic change has never been gradual." Noting that the author "even-handedly explains the minor details on which some climate scientists disagree," America contributor Kristin Shrader-Frechette added: "He uses up-to-date science, explains difficult concepts in accurate, entertaining ways and includes a scientific glossary. The result is a gripping, highly readable book—perhaps the best discussion of climate change for lay readers."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
America, April 30, 2007, Kristin Shrader-Frechette, "Turning Up the Heat," p. 31.
Audubon, May-June, 2006, Todd Neale, review of When the Rivers Run Dry: Water, the Defining Crisis of the Twenty-first Century, p. 76.
Booklist, July, 2005, Nancy Bent, review of Deep Jungle, p. 1884; March 1, 2006, Carol Haggas, review of When the Rivers Run Dry, p. 50; December 1, 2006, Donna Seaman, review of With Speed and Violence: Why Scientists Fear Tipping Points in Climate Change, p. 15.
California Bookwatch, May, 2006, review of When the Rivers Run Dry.
Economist, November 14, 1992, review of Dammed: Rivers, Dams and the Coming World Water Crisis, p. 112.
Environment, May, 2002, Robert Harriss, review of AAAS Atlas of Population & Environment, p. 45.
Foreign Affairs, May-June, 2006, Richard N. Cooper, "Economic, Social, and Environmental— When the Rivers Run Dry—the Defining Crisis of the Twenty-first Century," p. 155.
Geographical, August, 2005, Geordie Torr, review of Deep Jungle, p. 82; May, 2006, Mick Herron, review of When the Rivers Run Dry, p. 81; September, 2006, Mark Lynas, "Pushing the Planet to Its Limits," p. 88.
Journal of the American Planning Association, spring, 2002, Marina Alberti, review of AAAS Atlas of Population & Environment.
Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2006, review of With Speed and Violence, p. 1165.
Library Journal, January 1, 2007, Betty Galbraith, review of With Speed and Violence, p. 142.
OnEarth, fall, 2006, Jacques Leslie, "A Thirst We Can't Quench: What Happens When the World Runs Low on Water—the One Thing Critical to Our Survival?," p. 38.
Population & Development Review, September, 2001, Geoffrey McNicoll, review of AAAS Atlas of Population & Environment, p. 612.
Publishers Weekly, August 9, 1991, review of The Big Green Book, p. 59; January 23, 2006, review of When the Rivers Run Dry, p. 200; November 20, 2006, review of With Speed and Violence, p. 47.
Science News, April 1, 2006, review of When the Rivers Run Dry, p. 207; April 7, 2007, review of With Speed and Violence, p. 223.
Whole Earth Review, winter, 1991, Richard Nilsen, review of The Big Green Book, p. 105.
California Literary Review,http://calitreview.com/ (April 3, 2007), Paul Comstock, "An Interview with Fred Pearce."
PopMatters,http://www.popmatters.com/ (August 24, 2007), Jason B. Jones, review of With Speed and Violence.
Ready Steady Books,http://www.readysteadybook.com/ (December 6, 2006), Janelle Martin, review of When the Rivers Run Dry.