Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth (Oxford Landmark Science) Paperback – 28 Sep 2000
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"This may turn out to be one of the epochal insights of the 20th century."--CoEvolution Quarterly"The most fascinating book that I have read for a long time....Both original and well-written."--New Scientist"Places a daring hypothesis before the general reader....[His book] is the exciting and personal argument of an original thinker caught up in wonder."--Philip Morrison, Scientific American"A book that I have read with immense pleasure."--Rene Dubos, Nature" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
James Lovelock is an independent scientist, inventor, and author. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1974 and in 1990 was awarded the first Amsterdam Prize for the Environment by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. One of his inventions is the electron capture detector, which was important in the development of environmental awareness. It revealed for the first time the ubiquitous distribution of pesticide residues. He co-operated with NASA and some of his inventions were adopted in their programme of planetary exploration.
Top customer reviews
It takes this idea much further to a planetwide scale. The entire book firstly explains the ideas behind this hypothesis and then spends the remainder of the book considering possible evidence to support it. It ranges over all forms of life from algae, bacteria and other plant and animal life and how it influences the planet through the concentration of gases in the atmosphere for example or how excessive amounts of carbon are "sinked" and so on.
A fascinating book and remarkable especially for its time. In a sense it has defined the time as well and much of his ideas have preoccupied scientists from all walks of life.
Having said that, any system can overload. Thus, we need to be good stewards of our planet.
As the astronauts left the earth in the 1960's and headed towards the moon they looked back at our planet and did not see borders or countries. They saw the earth as a single unit...beautiful and fragile. It rotated on an invisible string in the blackness of night. It affected many of the astronauts profoundly.
The book has already helped many more people see the earth as a single unit. If it can continue to do that, hopefully we will find a way to live more harmoniously with the environment on our planet.
Gaia is a great read and a way of looking at things that is both fascination and enlightening!
The Re-Discovery of Common Sense: A Guide To: The Lost Art of Critical Thinking
What this unique book may also prove to have done is act as a pivotal stepping stone in time: a step back into our most atavistic, indigenous roots, a time when we lived in harmony with the Earth - talk to any Inuit, Aborigine, or Sioux elder and they retain that deeply intuitive and spiritual connection; but just as significantly, a step into the future - towards a re-newed awareness of our responsibility and acute vulnerability as part of the Earth's 'living' ecology. Climate change is the moment that latter reality is returned home to us with the harshest and most dangerous of lessons. And in a sense, climate change was the mighty prediction James Lovelock issued with his Gaia Hypothesis.
More recently he's said his hope lies "in that powerful force that takes over our lives when we sense that our tribe or nation is threatened from outside". However, he's also said "I do think it will take a disaster to wake us up''. Let's hope, on that score at least, and for all our sakes, he's wrong.
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