by James Lovelock - £10.99 Penguin Books Ltd (2007)
paperback ISBN 13: 9780141025971 | ISBN 10: 0141025972
For millenia humankind has exploited the Earth without counting the cost. Now, as the world warms and weather patterns dramatically change, the Earth is beginning to fight back. James Lovelock, one of the giants of environmental thinking, argues passionately and poetically that, although global warming is now inevitable, we are not yet too late to save at least part of human civilisation. This short book, written at the age of 86 after a lifetime engaged in the science of the Earth, is his testament.
Most thinking people now realise that changes in our environment are taking place as a result of human activity. But, like an addicted smoker, we continue to enjoy our cigarettes and imagine giving up only when the harm becomes tangible. Lovelock shows that this is the position we are now in and precisely why these changes are taking place and what can be done about them. Lovelock's profound understanding of the science of global warming, based on his physiological approach to Earth science, allows him to offer a true explanation. He analyses our need for energy and considers what the sources of that energy might be - reaching some surprising but convincing conclusions.
Not only is mankind on the brink of destroying itself and the Earth, he argues, but most of the alternative remedies that have been proposed, or are already being adopted, are also misguided. We must take drastic action now to safeguard the future of human life. Gaia, the living and self-regulating Earth, will look after itself as always. It is hubris of us to think otherwise.
(Price & availability last checked: May 2018)