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

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Basic Books, Aug 2, 2007 - Science - 208 pages
In The Revenge of Gaia , bestselling author James Lovelock- father of climate studies and originator of the influential Gaia theory which views the entire earth as a living meta-organism-provides a definitive look at our imminent global crisis. In this disturbing new book, Lovelock guides us toward a hard reality: soon, we may not be able to alter the oncoming climate crisis. Lovelock's influential Gaia theory, one of the building blocks of modern climate science, conceives of the Earth, including the atmosphere, oceans, biosphere and upper layers of rock, as a single living super-organism, regulating its internal environment much as an animal regulates its body temperature and chemical balance. But now, says Lovelock, that organism is sick. It is running a fever born of the combination of a sun whose intensity is slowly growing over millions of years, and an atmosphere whose greenhouse gases have recently spiked due to human activity. Earth will adjust to these stresses, but on time scales measured in the hundreds of millennia. It is already too late, Lovelock says, to prevent the global climate from "flipping" into an entirely new equilibrium state that will leave the tropics uninhabitable, and force migration to the poles. The Revenge of Gaia explains the stress the planetary system is under and how humans are contributing to it, what the consequences will be, and what humanity must do to rescue itself.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - the.ken.petersen - LibraryThing

I do not know whether you, like me, listening to the moaning of the Greens, telling us that the world is doomed unless we give up our lifestyle, NOW. Eating lentils and chanting appear to be the only ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Jewsbury - LibraryThing

Lovelock is a non-conformist thinker with an entertaining writing style. His book is an appeal from the heart. It is slightly rough around the edges but it carries a forceful message. Put simply the ... Read full review

Contents

The State of the Earth
1
What is Gaia?
15
The Life History of Gaia
39
Forecasts for the Twentyfirst Century
48
Sources of Energy
66
Chemicals Food and Raw Materials
106
Technology for a Sustainable Retreat
128
A Personal View of Environmentalism
135
Beyond the Terminus
146
Glossary
160
Further Reading
166
xi xiii xv 15 39 48
171
66
175
166
177
Copyright

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Page 46 - My candle burns at both ends; It will not last the night; But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends — It gives a lovely light!
Page 8 - I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows, Where ox-lips and the nodding violet grows ; Quite over-canopied with lush woodbine, With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine...
Page xvi - The Earth System behaves as a single, selfregulating system comprised of physical, chemical, biological and human components. The interactions and feedbacks between the component parts are complex and exhibit multi-scale temporal and spatial variability.
Page 5 - The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988.
Page 11 - We have no time to experiment with visionary energy sources; civilization is in imminent danger and has to use nuclear...
Page 96 - Madness, if corporate and government leaders continue their pronuclear course "the nuclear facilities stand to inherit the earth." As a physician, I contend that nuclear technology threatens life on our planet with extinction. If present trends continue, the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink will soon be contaminated with enough radioactive pollutants to pose a potential health hazard far greater than any plague humanity has ever experienced. Unknowingly exposed to these radioactive...
Page xiv - Before this century is over, billions of us will die, and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains...
Page 52 - ... for the last millennium (Figure 4.3). Sufficient data are not available for the same reconstruction to be carried out over the Southern Hemisphere. In Figure 4.3 it is just possible to identify the 'Medieval Warm Period...
Page 11 - I am a Green and I entreat my friends in the movement to drop their wrongheaded objection to nuclear energy. . . . We have no time to experiment with visionary energy sources; civilization is in imminent danger...

About the author (2007)

James Lovelock is the author of more than two hundred scientific papers and the originator of the Gaia Hypothesis (now Gaia Theory). In September 2005, Prospect magazine named him as one of the world's top 100 global public intellectuals. He lives in Louceston, England.

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