A Rough Ride to the Future Hardcover – 3 Apr 2014
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About the Author
James Lovelock, who was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1974, is the author of more than 200 scientific papers and the originator of the Gaia Hypothesis (now Gaia Theory). His many books on the subject include Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth (1979), The Revenge of Gaia (2006), and The Vanishing Face of Gaia (2009). In 2003 he was made a Companion of Honour by Her Majesty the Queen, in 2005 Prospect magazine named him one of the world's top 100 public intellectuals, and in 2006 he received the Wollaston Medal, the highest Award of the UK Geological Society.
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Top Customer Reviews
Rough Ride (not to be confused with Jon Turney’s Rough Guide to the Future) is an important book, but it is also flawed, and I wanted to get those flaws out of the way, as I’ve awarded it four stars for the significance of its content, rather than its well-written nature. It is, frankly, distinctly irritating to read – meandering, highly repetitive and rather too full of admiration for Lovelock’s achievements. But I am not giving the book a top rating as a ‘well done for being so old’ award – far from it. Instead it’s because Lovelock has some very powerful things to say about climate change. I’ve been labelled a green heretic in the past, and there is no doubt that Lovelock deserves this accolade far more, as he tears into the naivety of much green thinking and green politics.
He begins, though, by taking on the scientific establishment, pointing out the limitations of modern, peer reviewed, team-oriented science in the way that it blocks the individual and creative scientific thinker – the kind of person who has come up with most of our good scientific ideas and inventions over the centuries. He does this primarily to establish that he is worth listening to, rather than being some lone voice spouting nonsense. I’m not sure he needs to do this – I think there are few who wouldn’t respect Lovelock and give him an ear, but it’s a good point and significant that he feels it necessary.
The main thrust of the book is to suggest that our politicians (almost universally ignorant of science) are taking the wrong approach to climate change.Read more ›
His authority as a world class scientist / inventor was established by his identification and measurement of CFC’s in the atmosphere and the linkage he made to the hole in the ozone layer. He subsequently mobilised international cooperation to ban CFC’s despite the resistance of a huge industry with heavy investment in repellent spray cans. The result was the successful prevention of the destruction of the ozone layer.
Lovelock has a proven record as an inventor / scientist. His Gaia theory of the universe established him as a philosopher.
In this book, Lovelock takes a very broad look at the sweep of history of life on earth, looking at the environment billions of years ago and the future of our planet. The book argues that there was a huge discontinuity that began at the start of the eighteenth century that made the evolution of our artefacts accelerate to a pace far beyond the capabilities of natural selection. In the last 300 years there has been an exponential growth in artefacts through invention inspired by necessity. He forecasts exponential growth will decelerate due to the rising cost of energy.
As an environmentalist with his background and a supporter of the Kyoto Agreement, you would expect him to be predicting dire consequences of the climate change brought about by industry through rising concentrations of CO2. He argues the case for adaptation to climate change rather than visionary attempts to save the planet.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great book from one of the UK's most eminent yet iconoclastic senior scientists. In it, he punctures numerous myths and widespread misunderstandings as only someone with his... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Dr. Paul G. Ellis
Photographs sometimes capture Jim Lovelock with a naughty boy grin. He is sometimes like the almost-too-smart student who knows that he is cleverer than everyone in the class... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Mark Hayward
This guy writes will but is retarded in terms of capitalism's purpose of killing everyone. He seems to think its inherent in man. NOPE!Published 12 months ago by Mr H.
Far too repetitive and, occasionally, excessively self-aggrandising . . . but I doubt there is anyone alive who has a better grasp of the viable options
open to us today in... Read more
A refreshingly different take on the climate change debate.
James Lovelock has a wealth of experience to back up his views on this subject.