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The God Species Paperback – 2 Feb 2012

3.7 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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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: 13 x 2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 141,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'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 www.oneworld.net 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.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Mark Lynas looks at the benefits of capitalism and the problems it has created for the environment. He suggests that a reconfiguration of capitalist enterprise may be far more beneficial to the survival of the planet than a retreat into an imagined rural idyll from the past. Of course the main problem is that the people who control the planet are in thrall to neo liberal, self serving policies which are neither beneficial nor fair to the earth and its flora and fauna. How to convince the 'fat controllers' seems to be the major problem we face.
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This book is a nice prequel to his "Nuclear 2.0", and lays out the thesis that it is time to really take responsibility - and that means finally acknowledging that we can do what needs to be done, not chase heedlessly over the abyss in search of whatever chimerae our particular fantasy dictates!
Buy.
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Act.
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If you read just one book on climate change, let it be this one. In fact, I would go further and say it should be mandatory reading, not just for governmental policy makers, but for everyone on the planet. Mark Lynas is both eloquent and persuasive in this important, extensively researched yet eminently readable and pragmatic account of the nine planetary boundaries within which humanity must now learn to live. But if you're expecting the usual `Greens' manifesto of opposing all `scary' scientific advances such as nuclear power and genetic engineering, think again. In what I found to be wonderfully refreshing departure from the usual literature, Lynas explodes the myths of nuclear power's alleged lack of safety, of GM's alleged risks, and perhaps most importantly of the incompatibility between economic growth and ecological sustainability. While the book in no way paints a rose-tinted picture of our current dire position on the road to planetary disaster, it shows that both the technology and geo-political processes to effect an immediate U-turn, already exist.
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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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The day you finish this book will resonate with you for years. His condemnation of out-dated, misleading and ultimately self-defeating environmentalist dogma is blistering. Lynas' book is the result of detailed research covering decades of scientific study. More to the point, it's written in plain English that any intelligent non-scientist will understand. The nine Planetary Boundaries were clearly explained and humanity ignores the science at its peril. Ultimately, the planet will survive while the human race might not. It's up to us.

At last, a book on real environmental issues that makes sense.
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Format: Paperback
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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