Gaia Theory tells us that the entire Earth, including the atmosphere, oceans, biosphere and upper layers of rock, functions as a single living superorganism, regulating its internal environment much as an animal regulates its body temperature and chemical balance. But now, says the theory's founder, James Lovelock, that organism is sick. It is running a fever born of a sun whose intensity is slowly growing over millions of years, and an atmosphere whose greenhouse gases have recently spiked due to human activity. Earth will adjust to these stresses, but on time scales measured in the hundreds of millennia - and in the meantime, humanity faces a severe test. It is already too late, Lovelock says, to prevent the global climate from "flipping" into an entirely new equilibrium state that will leave the tropics uninhabitable, force much of humanity to flee to the poles, and threaten civilization along the way. In the tradition of Silent Spring and The Diversity of Life, this is a call to action to address a major threat to our collective future.
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"Starred review. Lovelock's pro-nuke enthusiasm, unexpected from one of the mid-20th century's most ardent environmental thinkers, is the well-reasoned core of this urgent call for braking at the brink of global catastrophe." - PW
"His final testament about the catastrophe of global warming is probably the most important book for decades." - Daily Telegraph
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For the other point of view see Nuclear Power is Not The Answer by Helen Caldecott, publishing in September.
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