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The God Species [Paperback]

Mark Lynas
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
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Book Description

2 Feb 2012

The green movement has got it very wrong.

Nature no longer controls our planet – it is humanity, ‘the god species’, that must save the environment we have inflicted unprecedented damage upon. And the tools we must use are the very technologies that environmentalist have told us for years will spell disaster: nuclear power, GM food and geo-engineering.

In this blistering and urgent manifesto, Mark Lynas identifies a new future for the green movement and an entirely fresh agenda for how we will save the Earth, and ourselves.

Frequently Bought Together

The God Species + Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity + What Has Nature Ever Done For Us?: How Money Really Does Grow On Trees
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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (2 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007375220
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007375226
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 124,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Radical. Will outrage many readers’ Independent

'Wonderfully sane and cogent’ Guardian

‘Mark Lynas is one of a growing band of influential figures, along with James Lovelock, Stewart Brand and George Monbiot, who now argue that the approach of most Greens to climate change needs to change… He is wonderfully sane and cogent on difficult issues… He has written the clearest exposition so far of the choices facing us. We may wince at the book's title (it derives from Stewart Brand's remark: "We are as gods and have to get good at it"), but Lynas is not playing God, simply making a passionate pitch for good global resource management.’ Peter Forbes, Guardian

‘An intriguing thesis and Lynas outlines it with clarity and panache’ Observer

‘Planetary boundaries richly merit a popular treatment, and The God Species taps their potential to offer a sharply focused vision of planetary dynamics that goes beyond warming and extinctions.’ Financial Times

‘The power of Lynas’s voice comes not just from his deep research but also his authority as a campaigner’ Sunday Times

‘This is a clear-eyed, hard-headed assessment of the ecological challenges facing us – and all the more bracing for it’ Evening Standard

‘Before reading this book, worrying about biodiversity had seemed a chattering class luxury to me’. Independent, Book of the Week

‘A redemptive manifesto for humanity’ New Scientist

About the Author

Mark Lynas is an activist, journalist and traveller. He was editor of the website and has made many appearances in the press and TV as a commentator on environmental issues. He is the author of High Tide and Six Degrees.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Peekos
In this book, Mark Lynas describes some of the challenges we together will face over the next 30-50 years, perhaps beyond. Many of these have been described or written about in other places, but Mark uses the concept of 'Planetary Limits' to bring it all together - show how many of the forces at work influence each other, and make sense of the whole. Some of the choices he makes are surprising - and he admits early on in the book that he's had to reverse some of his prior opinions, because in his earlier life as a 'green campaigner' he was stuck in dogma and parroting other people's views... (just like many 'climate sceptics' still are). Overall, I think it's an educational and enlightening look at the choices we are about to face as a global society - at times dishearteningly honest, but with a positive outlook.
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1.0 out of 5 stars The planet doesn't need saving. Humans do. 27 Sep 2014
By Kalense
I wanted to read a book yesterday evening, and plucked "The God Species" from my friend's bookshelf.

I read as far as the 6th page of the introduction, on which I discovered that "the overwhelming weight of scientific evidence suggests that we are fast approaching the point where our interference in the planet's great bio-geochemical cycles is threatening to endanger the Earth system itself..." which caused a mental stutter, not just because the evidence is that we have past several important tipping points some time ago, but also because I have some conceptual problems with the "Earth system". But I read swiftly on, "...and hence our own survival as a species." As I understand it, this translates to "we have the tiger, or perhaps it is a dragon, or Godzilla, by the tail, and our future is uncertain".

But then the author goes on, "Nature no longer runs the Earth. We do. It is our choice what happens from here." So either the author has a different concept of "nature" from me, or he has not internalised the idea that "the planet's great bio-geochemical cycles" will go on blithely "running the Earth", altered or unaltered, humans or no humans, and that gumming up a coffee grinder by sticking your finger into it is not "running" the coffee grinder.

I read on to the next page, but my heart wasn't in it, and I was terminally discouraged when I found that the author thinks that Limits to Growth was about economic growth (it is about the growth of human impact on the planet) and that the planetary boundaries concept does not "necessarily mean ditching capitalism, the profit principle or the market". Profit requires debt, and debt requires that tomorrow is bigger than today. End of. Oh well.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking "green" read 16 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this after attending a lecture by Mark Lynas on energy consumption of the future. Mark writes in an easy to read style about energy use, and also quashes many pre-conceptions with regard to energy. He admits to changing his opinion at one point, which is a very honest and humbling admission. If you are interested in green energy, nuclear, solar, wind power - give it a read - it will make you think!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Follow the link for more reviews. 4 Sep 2014

Follow the link and you'll find the same book with a different cover. There are more reviews on this page, and they will give you a better idea of how insightful this book really is.

I found the book to be compelling, clever and concise. A great read.
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