Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Revenge of Gaia

The Revenge of Gaia: Earth's Climate Crisis & The Fate of Humanity
James Lovelock

From Booklist — British geophysicist Lovelock introduced the Gaia theory in the early 1970s, envisioning the biosphere as "an active, adaptive control system able to maintain the earth in homeostasis." Since then, Lovelock has expanded the Gaia concept to embrace "physical, chemical, biological, and human components," recognizing that organisms do change the environment, none more radically than humanity. Lovelock now describes Gaia as fighting for its very existence as a rapidly increasing human population threatens to upset the precise balance of forces the make the earth conducive to life. Lovelock looks beyond biodiversity (see E. O. Wilson's The Creation, p.19) to elucidate the functions of the polar ice caps, Amazon rain forests, and ocean currents, and then explains the causes and consequences of global warming. This is solid science, a practice Lovelock seems to abandon in his strangely irresponsible arguments for nuclear energy and against sustainable energy sources (see Helen Caldicott, p.15). In spite of its flaws, Lovelock's tough-minded presentation is a valuable contribution to the urgent debate over humankind's future. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Amazon: The Revenge of Gaia: Earth's Climate Crisis & The Fate of Humanity [Paperback, 2007]

The key insight of Gaia Theory is that the entire Earth functions as a single living super-organism. 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.

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