Animate Earth: Science, Intuition and Gaia Paperback – 30 Mar 2009
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A wonderful and beautiful book. --James Lovelock<br /><br />Animate Earth represents systems science at its best ... gives a whole new dimension to what environment-friendly really means. --Jonathon Porritt, Chairman, UK Sustainable Development Commission<br /><br />Animate Earth is a brilliant synthesis of Gaian science and forward-looking social theory. This is big-picture thinking that can truly help to heal the Earth. --Helena Norberg-Hodge, Director, International Society for Ecology and Culture
Animate Earth represents systems science at its best ... gives a whole new dimension to what environment-friendly really means. --Jonathon Porritt, Chairman, UK Sustainable Development Commission
Animate Earth is a brilliant synthesis of Gaian science and forward-looking social theory. This is big-picture thinking that can truly help to heal the Earth. --Helena Norberg-Hodge, Director, International Society for Ecology and Culture
From the Inside Flap
A wonderful and beautiful book James Lovelock
Animate Earth represents systems science at its best. I defy you not to be swept along by Stephan Harding's account of how the Earth's natural systems (particularly the carbon cycle) have evolved and of our part in them. In the process, he brings the concept of Gaia to life, not just in terms of the science, but philosophically and
personally-giving a whole new dimension to what 'environment-friendly' really means. Jonathon Porritt, Chairman of the UK Sustainable Development Commission
The conception of the Earth as a living, self-organising system, known today as Gaia theory, is an ancient idea and yet one of the most radical and far-reaching scientific theories of the 20th century. In this remarkable book, Stephan Harding, who has worked closely with James Lovelock, tells the story in a way that is scientifically sophisticated, yet easy to understand and captivating. Harding writes about Gaia with great passion, and he eloquently discusses the theorys philosophical, social and political implications. I recommend Animate Earth to everyone concerned about the fate of our planet. Fritjof Capra, author of The Web of Life and The Hidden Connections
Stephan Harding is one of the few people who knows how to link the science of Gaia with the spirit of Gaia. He shows us that we must understand Gaia not just as an idea in our heads; we must also experience ourselves as part of her living being. . . . A brave book which may upset people from both sides of the divide he seeks to
bridge-which makes it all the more essential reading for those seeking to respond to the challenges of our times. Peter Reason, Professor of Action Research Practice, School of Management, University of Bath
For depth of understanding of Earth functioning and our human role in the process, Stephan Harding's Animate Earth is the finest of recent studies. It should be read, meditated on, and adopted as a guide to our human course of action if we would avoid the disaster of an ecological collapse of life on Earth. Thomas Berry, author of The Great Work and The Dream of the Earth --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
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Harding has shown in his work at Schumacher College that he is a brilliant teacher -- witty, learned and just wonderfully alive. He invests all of himself in this book. It is Harding's gift to Gaia, a work of love.
Harding - the staff scientist at Schumacher College - brings a new, deeply participatory approach to the articulation of whole earth science, employing a nuanced sense of philosophy and the history of ideas in order to demonstrate the transformative, paradigm-shattering power of Gaian theory. Throughout his lucid presentation of recent and ongoing empirical research, Harding strives to show the relevance of these remarkable discoveries to our most personal experience of the world immediately around us.
Current evidence is pushing various researchers in the natural sciences away from the through-going objectivism of previous science toward a more animistic acknowledgment that the biosphere in which we're immersed is more a living subject than a determinate object, and hence that their research is less a pursuit of inert and unchanging "facts," than it is an ongoing participation, and dialog, with a vast, spherical sentience whose corporeal complexity we can never completely fathom, and whose actions we can never entirely predict. At every step in his presentation, Harding offers richly imaginative and meditative exercises for the reader to try, as a way to experience these insights viscerally and corporeally - as a way to EMBODY this new understanding of our physiological interdependence (or interbeing) with the animate earth, and so to let this understanding resonate within our daily life.
At such a precarious historical moment as this one we're in, such creative, interdisciplinary visions as Harding's are catalyzing a new and more mature kind of science. They provoke a new kind of intelligence - a rationality informed by our ongoing sensory experience of the world around us, and by the empathic heart beating within our chest - a keen and rigorous intelligence that places itself in service not to humankind alone, but to the wild, more-than-human community of life.
In our time Earth is desperate, Harding means; it wobbles between glacial periods and shorter hot periods like a top that is losing its speed. With his square reason man is not skilled to handle this. Instead, we need to feel that we live our lives in symbiotic relationship with a planetary being, so very much bigger than we - something similar to mitochondria in the cell. Gaia certainly is more like a living organism than a dead stone lump, but alive in the ordinary sense she is not, maybe. But Earth is something much bigger and more remarkable than we usually think.
Its not many 'university texts' that I would happily start again as soon as I'd finished reading it. I would recommend this to all my friends and family who have even the vaguest interest in the subject.
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