Synopses & Reviews
The Key Insight of Gaia Theory is that the entire Earth functions as a single living superorganism. But according to James Lovelock, the theory's originator, that organism is now sick. It is running a fever born of increased atmospheric greenhouse gases. Earth will adjust to these stresses, but the human race faces a severe test. It is already too late, Lovelock says, to prevent the global climate from "flipping" into an entirely new equilibrium that will threaten civilization as we know it. But we can do much to save humanity. In the tradition of Silent Spring, this is a call to address a major threat to our collective future.
"The end is all but nigh for Mother Earth's inhabitants unless drastic measures are soon taken: that's the rueful prognostication delivered by Lovelock (Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth), intuitive originator of the theory that the world is a self-regulating system that, over the eons, has been able to sustain an equilibrium between hot and cold so as to support life. Now, propelled by global warming, Lovelock says, a tipping point has almost been reached beyond which the Earth will not recover sufficiently to sustain human life comfortably. Lovelock dismisses biomass fuels, wind farms, solar energy and fuel cell innovations as technologies unlikely to mitigate greenhouse gases in time to save the planet. Instead he sees nuclear energy as the only energy source that can meet our needs in time to prevent catastrophe. Chernobyl was a calamity, he notes, but nuclear power's danger is 'insignificant compared with the real threat of intolerable and lethal heatwaves' and rising sea levels that could 'threaten every coastal city of the world.' Lovelock's pro-nuke enthusiasm, unexpected from one of the mid-20th century's most ardent environmental thinkers, is the well-reasoned core of this urgent call for braking at the brink of global catastrophe." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Lovelock will go down in history as the scientist who changed our view of the Earth....[The Revenge of Gaia]is the most important book ever to be published on the environmental crisis." John Gray, The Independent
"Lovelock's tough-minded presentation is a valuable contribution to the urgent debate over humankind's future." Booklist
A call to address a major threat to our collective future
About the Author
James Lovelock is the originator of Gaia Theory, on which he has written several books. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1974. He has received honorary Doctorates in Science from seven universities in England, Sweden, and the United States. He was made a C.B.E. in 1990, and in 2003 a Companion of Honour by Her Majesty the Queen. He lives in Cornwall, Britain.
From The Critics