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The Revenge of Gaia: Why the Earth is…

The Revenge of Gaia: Why the Earth is Fighting Back - and How We Can Still Save Humanity (original 2006; edition 2006)

by James Lovelock

Series: Gaia Theory (book 5)

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7882028,088 (3.59)14
A call to address a major threat to our collective future
Title:The Revenge of Gaia: Why the Earth is Fighting Back - and How We Can Still Save Humanity
Authors:James Lovelock
Info:Allen Lane (2006), Hardcover, 192 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Revenge of Gaia: Earth's Climate Crisis and the Fate of Humanity by James E. Lovelock (2006)


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English (17)  Dutch (2)  French (1)  All languages (20)
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
Excellent book. I read James Lovelock's previous book, Gaia, and was impressed - in part. When I read that book, I felt he was unduly optimistic.

In this book, he struck a more pessimistic note. Since he wrote the earlier book, the world has moved closer to a tipping point. There is one theme that comes through persistently, which is this: the earth is a living system, and you cannot just address one small aspect at a time. It is only when we look at nature as a complex system, alive, that we will address how we live our lives.

He is skeptical about most clean energy projects and is a great proponent of nuclear energy. This is an area I need to explore.

James Lovelock pulls no punches, and his style is engaging.
Be prepared to have a few illusions shattered.

Read on.

There is another point he made consistently: we are almost out of time ( )
  RajivC | May 26, 2022 |
This book could've used a better editor. I often lost track during the chapters what Lovelock was talking about and many of his arguments seem to end halfway, without proper evidence or explanation. Having said that, I found it a provocative read that challenged some of the Green clichés and made me think about f.e. nuclear energy, the argumentative weight of carcinogenics and who are the actors that can make a change for the better occur. ( )
  Boreque | Feb 7, 2022 |
In this work, Lovelock had succumbed to the lunatic fringe of the apocalyptic climate cult and seems to project his own mid-life crisis through the environmental fatalism presented here. Luckily, he's a brilliant man whose ego allowed him to change his mind later in life and renounce the position he held in this book. ( )
  Chickenman | Sep 10, 2018 |
If consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, then Lovelock is surely a giant here. A true visionary and a wonderful writer with the ability both to analyze data and convey scientific understandings metaphorically to the lay reader, he sadly seems to have become the 21st century schizoid man through his love for two wholly incompatible entities: Gaia, the living planet he first (in modern times) identified as such, and British "civilization" which has been one of the forces most destructive of the whole relationship to Gaia he sees as essential to human survival.

So to keep the lovely British countryside free of ugly, awful wind farms, and still give Brits the power I guess to listen to Purcell concerts and read books on tape? he advocates--nuclear reactors? Leaving aside the bomb and waste threats (which he utterly dismisses) whose farm are they going to beautify? He talks about cellphones and the internet being good things because they keep us from getting on planes and in cars, in the absence of any evidence to this effect, and the presence of much evidence that they further disconnect us from any sense of ourselves as part of the natural world. Oh, and the third world has somehow unfairly been denied the DDT that's what Africa really needs to develop, by elitist liberals in the north.

His presentation of the science behind global heating and his knowledge of how Earth's ecosystems function are solid and compelling. But his fundamental flaw is in not seeing that it's not British civilization he ought to be trying to preserve at all costs but the lifeways of millions of people who actually have a knowledge and understanding of Gaia that extends back far before Lovelock and William Golding took their now-famous walk through that English village. The rest of us in the global north, including Lovelock, ought to be learning from their example. Then maybe we could produce the knowledge-book he advocates (one of his only good suggestions in my view) as a kind of farmer's almanac for the future, that could help every household reacquire at least some of the basic skills of how to live with instead of against nature. ( )
  CSRodgers | May 3, 2014 |
I do not know whether you, like me, listening to the moaning of the Greens, telling us that the world is doomed unless we give up our lifestyle, NOW. Eating lentils and chanting appear to be the only allowable pastimes. I become a rabid gain-sayer of Global Warming and the effects that planetary destruct will bring upon us. Then, we get the 'sensible view': some plutocrat in his best pin-stripe suit confidently preaching that it is all nonsense and that we should only be concerned with his accrual of more shiny coins to add to the mountain that he already possesses, and I am ready to lead the revolution - I might even eat the odd lentil!

This is not a healthy way in which to consider the health of our planet and so, thank God for James Lovelock. He states what he believes in a manner so lacking in the stridency of most advocates that he seems quite willing to be proved wrong - and admits to an error in one of his previous books in this text. Lovelock has a carefully considered argument, rather than a series of knee-jerk reactions. He accepts that it is impractical to suggest that we close down our way of life tomorrow and offers ideas that would slow our rape of Gaia.

This approach is far more scary than all the doom-mongers. When one is faced by a reasonable, well argued tract suggesting that it is imperative to take action now, it is hard to dig in one's heels. It is clearly time to do something and, whilst it might make us feel good to stick windmills on every bit of spare space and grow bio-fuels, Lovelock is disparaging about the likely success of these actions. He argues for nuclear power as the only system that will provide the power needed in the time available. He is not too caught up in green philosophy to accept the need for unpleasant actions.

This book should be compulsory reading by every school child. We have messed things up; it is time that we gave the next generation the tools to correct our stupidity and ignorance. ( )
  the.ken.petersen | Sep 12, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lovelock, James E.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tickell, CrispinForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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A call to address a major threat to our collective future

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