Overnight, the land rises up and swallows their great earth-moving machines.
Add to Basket. Now, as the world warms and weather patterns dramatically change, the Earth is beginning to fight back. The Human Planet. Rather, we are programmed by American Idol to turn a blind eye to our misdeeds. A top down view of birds dying from DDT means considering the whole environment the birds live in, not just the birds themselves.
Storms destroy their newly installed chemical plants. Chains of volcanoes erupt. The planet fights back. In panic, the settlers contact Earth, only to find their own home world, and all the other planets mankind has colonised, are being similarly assailed. Nature has suffered enough indignities at our hands. Humanity is getting the heave-ho.
Sheckley, who died a few weeks ago, was a sci-fi satirist and his tale was merely meant as a joke, albeit a pointed one. Yet I found images of those startled colonists continually popping into mind on reading James Lovelock's latest diagnosis of the state of planet Earth. Just like those sci-fi settlers, humanity is about to get the elbow, it seems. Carbon dioxide is being pumped into the atmosphere at such rates that a point of no return, 'a tipping point', will be reached in a decade or so and global temperatures will abruptly soar.
And that will be that, says Lovelock. Icecaps will disappear and, without their reflectivity to bounce the Sun's rays back into space, temperatures will rise even faster.
Methane and carbon dioxide, currently trapped in frozen tundra, will then be released, leading to further warming. Dozens of other feedback cycles will be disrupted. Our planet will burn like a crisp and, along with it, civilisation. Humanity, returned to its former ape-man status, will be lucky to hang on, grunting in the odd, deep cave.
It is grand, biblical stuff, like an evangelical preacher cursing his wayward congregation. Miserable ecological sinners, we are all doomed.
Such rhetoric, turned up to regulo eight throughout the book, might tempt the odd snigger, if it wasn't also so hideously convincing and appalling in its implications. After all, Lovelock is one of our most distinguished ecologists, the environment movement's sanest pontificator and a scientist of considerable distinction. We should take note of his words, for all their fire and brimstone.
Lovelock is renowned for his development, with biologist Lynn Margulis, in the early s of the idea of Gaia, 'the dynamical physiological system that has kept our planet fit for life for more than three billion years'.
Responsibility James Lovelock ; foreword by Crispin Tickell. Physical description xiii, p.
The Revenge of Gaia: Why the Earth is Fighting Back – and How we Can Still Save Humanity () is a book by James Lovelock. Some editions of the book. Buy The Revenge of Gaia: Why the Earth is Fighting Back and How We Can Still Save Humanity 1 by James Lovelock (ISBN: ) from Amazon's.
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Find it at other libraries via WorldCat Limited preview. Bibliography Includes bibliographical references p. Summary Lovelock's unique authority and original perspective sets this book apart from other books on environmental change. He speaks as a planetary physician with more than forty years' experience of thinking about how to respond to the Earth's needs as a living organism. Illustrated with examples drawn from his experiences around the world, Lovelock draws many radical conclusions, most controversially a passionate advocacy of nuclear energy.
This, he argues, is not only a secure, safe and reliable source of energy but also the only way to counter the lethal heat waves and rising sea levels, which will increasingly threaten civilisations. Lovelock argues that the only way for humankind to come to terms with Gaia now, and have a chance of surviving, is to embrace science and technology, not reject them. This is his passionate manifesto of how to do that and so lessen our impact on the Earth before it is too late.
Gaia hypothesis. Local subject Stephen H.