Synopses & Reviews
Celebrities drive hybrids, Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize, and supermarkets carry no end of so-called “green” products. And yet the environmental crisis is only getting worse. In The Vanishing Face of Gaia
, the eminent scientist James Lovelock argues that the earth is lurching ever closer to a permanent “hot state” – and much more quickly than most specialists think. There is nothing humans can do to reverse the process; the planet is simply too overpopulated to halt its own destruction by greenhouse gases.
In order to survive, mankind must start preparing now for life on a radically changed planet. The meliorist approach outlined in the Kyoto Treaty must be abandoned in favor of nuclear energy and aggressive agricultural development on the small areas of earth that will remain arable.
A reluctant jeremiad from one of the environmental movement’s elder statesmen, The Vanishing Face of Gaia offers an essential wake-up call for the human race.
"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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Los Angeles Times
“Lovelock is a plain and simple writer, and his prose has a natural grace that makes this book a pleasure to read despite its depressing thesis.”
“[The Vanishing Face of Gaia] seems to arise from frustration that society hasn’t been roused by the wake-up call of [The Revenge of Gaia]…. [It] has an elevated sense of urgency – stimulated in part by observations that anthropogenic influence and Earth’s response are accelerating at a pace that exceeds the projections of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report.”
Leonardo Reviews (International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology)
“Almost everyone today has glimpsed the abyss of extinction, but few have gazed into it as unflinchingly as Lovelock.… [He] gathers the knowledge of a lifetime to transcend the bounds of scientific discourse and sound a warning about matters of the greatest urgency.”
The New York Review of Books
“[An] idiosyncratic book…. James Lovelock has told it as he sees it…and at ninety he has nothing to lose, while readers, however skeptical, have much to gain.”
A preeminent environmental scientist contends that it’s too late to reverse global warmingand argues that mankind must prepare to adapt to a very hot future
About the Author
James Lovelock is the author of more than two hundred scientific papers and the originator of the Gaia Hypothesis (now Gaia Theory) on which he has written several books. Since 1994 he has been an honorary visiting fellow of Green College, University of Oxford. In September 2005, Prospect magazine named him as one of the world’s top 100 global public intellectuals. He lives in Louceston, England.