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The God Species [Paperback]

Mark Lynas
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 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.

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The God Species + Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity + Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet
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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: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 112,964 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

2.8 out of 5 stars
2.8 out of 5 stars
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking 20 Mar 2014
I think some of this book's reviews are entirely unfair. They are correct in what they are saying: this book is subjective, and slightly misleading. But, it is not a text book, it is a good read! I imagine most people who would choose to read this book would always view another individuals opinions cautiously and seek to research the information further.
I really enjoyed the book, I just suggest you read the book in a manor the title suggests (light-hearted). The issues throughout are important and for those who simply view this as waffle and would rather read a text book. I personally suggest the most up to date IPCC report...
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Misleading readers into his way of thinking. 29 Dec 2013
By Shug
Mr. Lynas like to bring forward ideas and theories as if they are facts set in stone. Once the reader has taken on-board his point of view then his conclusions make sense. The problem is he bombards the reader with loads of hand picked scientific information which suits his arguments and then glosses over, or forgets to give the whole picture.
Like, the total amount of CO2 is about 380ppm, but he does not say how much of that is due to humans and how much is natural sources. If you look up the amount of CO2 for humans is less than 5% of the total in the atmosphere, therefore even if we stopped producing any CO2 today it would only reduce by 20ppm!!
He does admit at one point the the upper levels of the atmosphere are cooling but does not make the common sense connection with the fact that the SUN has reduced its output??

Sorry but this book is misleading people to make them think its all their fault and that's a lie.
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4 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a trustworthy source of information 17 Jan 2013
By R geist
Lynas has recently destroyed my trust in his research and the value of his thoughts. If he can flip flop so greatly on subjects that he has written about before, he obviously has little respect for the potential impact of his own words. Words must have little meaning to him, that he would write them and then change his opinion so drastically. He must be a very emotionally-driven, irrational man. I bought this and then sent it back. I have chosen another book by a different author writing about some of the same ideas.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.7 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing 25 July 2013
By Chelsea - Published on
This is a really great book. I often suffer from green angst, agonizing over every choice I make and its environmental implications. Feeling bad that I was born in the US and my lifestyle is destroying the entire earth. But the constant sadness and guilt was starting to remind me of religion (and I started to notice a factual inaccuracy here and there coming from the organic food movement) This book was a wonderful anticdote to all that. Mark Lynas explains the major environmental concerns of our time, but without the moralistic overtones that are usually present. Yes we must act immediatly to avert a catastrophe, but you don't have to give up showers, light bulbs, medicine, TV in order to save the earth as we know it. Its a very refreshing viewpoint. I hope he is right.
1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read 29 Dec 2012
By Read, exercise and no TV - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Straightforward approaches to solving the Earth's environmental problems. if you want to read just one book to get yourself up to speed on the issues facing us now and the real deal on how to tackle the problems, read this.
2 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Green lunacy 7 Jun 2012
By Dr. P. R. Lewis - Published on
The tidal wave of books by global control freaks continues with this new book by Lynas. Although it claims a scientific pedigree, there is little or no science at all, and most of the work is a diatribe against progress. The author alleges that we as a species now control the future of everything on the planet, from the climate to the seas and biodiversity. Hence the "God" species title. Forget rational argument if you actually try to read this book: his "facts" are predigested drivel from the IPCC and Greenpeace et al. The IPCC warned of advancing armageddon in 2007, but where has it gone? The only major disasters have been related to earthquakes and tsunamis, and even the climate scientists now believe that hurricanes for example, are not increasing in intensity or frequency. The temperature of the earth appears now to be in a cooling phase, rather than runaway warming as they would have has us believe. The real problem the world faces at the moment is economic meltdown, largely self-inflicted by arrogant and corrupt politicians who expected that house prices would rise forever, until they were caught off-balance in 2008, when the house of cards collapsed. Europe is in the worst state, with those same politicians so bewitched by their currency that they are now gambling with our future in an unprecedented way (the same politicians who imposed carbon taxes which the rest of the world rejects). I urge Mr Lynas to keep calm and carry on, but with the proviso that he undertakes some therapy in common sense thinking. Lunatic green policies are the first to go in an economic crisis, as we are now seeing with the wind turbine programme. Avoid this book and read something sensible.
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