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Home » Books » Nonfiction » Politics » Public Policy » Environmental Policy

The Vanishing Face of Gaia

A Final Warning

By James Lovelock

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Format: Paperback, 208 pages
Other Information: 8 pp colour inset
Published In: United Kingdom, 28 January 2010
James Lovelock's The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning is a prophetic message for mankind from one of the most influential scientists of our age. James Lovelock's Gaia theory, the idea that our planet is a living, self-regulating system, has transformed the way we see our planet and what is now happening to it. In this book he distils a lifetime's wisdom and observation of the Earth to reveal the rate at which our climate is altering, how conventional 'green' measures are not working, and how life as we know it is going to change forever. Only Gaia, he shows, can help us fully understand this, and prepare us for the future. 'The most influential scientist and writer since Charles Darwin' Irish Times 'Supremely life-affirming ... The definitive statement of the Gaia theory and its implications for the future' John Gray, Literary Review 'Exhilarating ... Lovelock is the closest thing we have to an Old Testament prophet' John Carey, Sunday Times 'Gripping, convincing and indeed terrifying' Michael McCarthy, Independent 'Lovelock's writing has enormous warmth and vitality ... we need scientists such as him' Fiona Harvey, Financial Times James Lovelock is the author of more than 200 scientific papers and the originator of the Gaia Hypothesis (now Gaia Theory). He has written three books on the subject: Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth, The Ages of Gaia and Gaia: The Practical Science of Planetary Medicine, as well as an autobiography, Homage to Gaia. In September 2005 Prospect magazine named him as one of the world's top 100 global public intellectuals.

About the Author

James Lovelock is the author of more than 200 scientific papers and the originator of the Gaia Hypothesis (now Gaia Theory). He has written three books on the subject: Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth, The Ages of Gaia and Gaia: The Practical Science of Planetary Medicine, as well as an autobiography, Homage to Gaia. In 2003 he was made a Companion of Honour by Her Majesty the Queen, and in September 2005 Prospect magazine named him as one of the world's top 100 global public intellectuals. In April 2006 he was awarded the Edinburgh Medal at the Edinburgh International Science Festival.

Reviews

In his sixth book on Gaia, the eminent 91-year-old British scientist who originated the Gaia Theory to explain the interconnectedness between our planet's climate and life takes an elegiac tone and cosmic perspective in predicting our near future. Challenging the scientific consensus of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, he believes it is too late to reverse global warming. We must accept that Earth is moving inexorably into a long-term "hot state." Most humans will die off, and we must prepare havens like northern Canada, where some climate refugees can survive. Lovelock rejects the results of climate computer modeling when they clash with scientific observation. For example, he points out that sea levels are rising significantly faster than models predicted. Lovelock advocates solar thermal and nuclear power as the best substitutes for burning fossil fuels, and he suggests emergency global geoengineering projects that might cool the planet. But Lovelock also avows today's ecological efforts are futile. This is a somber prophecy written with an authority that cannot be dismissed. Recommended for all academic and public libraries.-David Conn, Surrey P.L., B.C. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

Lovelock (The Revenge of Gaia) presents evidence of a dire future for our planet. The controversial originator of Gaia theory (which views Earth as a self-regulating, evolving system made of "organisms, the surface rocks, the ocean and the atmosphere" with the goal "always to be as favorable for contemporary life as possible") proposes an even more inconvenient truth than Al Gore's. No voluntary human act can reduce our numbers fast enough even to slow climate change." Nevertheless, human civilization has a "duty to survive" in the few safe havens-the far north and south, islands like Great Britain and Tasmania-free from the drought that will overtake most of the Earth. While Lovelock's propensity to ramble is disconcerting, his predictions are persuasive-although some readers will be appalled by his contention that democracy may need to be abandoned to appropriately confront the challenge. (May) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

EAN: 9780141039251
ISBN: 0141039256
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 1.3 centimetres (0.16 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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