The God Species: Saving the Planet in the Age of Humans

Front Cover
National Geographic Books, 2011 - Nature - 280 pages
We humans are the God species, both the creators and destroyers of life on this planet. As we enter a new geological era - the Anthropocene - our collective power now overwhelms and dominates the major forces of nature.

But from the water cycle to the circulation of nitrogen and carbon through the entire Earth system, we are coming dangerously close to destroying the planetary life-support systems that sustain us. In this controversial new book, Royal Society Science Books Prize winner Mark Lynas shows us how we must use our new mastery over nature to save the planet from ourselves.

Taking forward the work of a brilliant new group of Earth-system scientists who have mapped out our real 'planetary boundaries', Lynas draws up a radical manifesto calling for the increased use of environmentally-friendly technologies like genetic engi- neering and nuclear power as part of a global effort to use humanity's best tools to protect and nurture the biosphere.

Ecological limits are real, but economic limits are not, Lynas contends. We can and must feed a richer population of nine billion people in decades to come, whilst also respecting the nine planetary boundaries - from biodiversity to ocean acidification - now identified and quantified by scientists.

Ripping up years of environmental orthodoxy, he reveals how the prescriptions of the current green movement are likely to hin- der as much as help our vitally-needed effort to use science and technology to play God and save the planet.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - SChant - LibraryThing

Didn't realise until I got into this book that it was from 2011 - much of the info was well out of date and there are more current environmental books out there. Read full review

THE GOD SPECIES: Saving the Planet in the Age of Humans

User Review  - Kirkus

A serious view of humans' negative environmental impact on Earth and the steps needed to correct these issues."Nature no longer runs the Earth. We do. It is our choice what happens from here. So ... Read full review

Contents

AcKNowledgMENTs
1
PREFACE
3
The Ascent of Man
15
Biodiversity
30
Climate Change
52
Nitrogen
85
Land Use
110
Freshwater
139
Toxics
157
Aerosols
183
00ean Acidification
198
020ne Layer
217
Managing the Planet
229
Notes
245
INDEx
275
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Mark Lynas has worked for nearly a decade as a specialist on climate change, and is author of three books on the subject: High Tide: News from a Warming World (2004), Carbon Calculator (2007), and Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet (2007).

High Tide was longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Award for Non-Fiction and short-listed for the Guardian First Book Award. Six Degrees was long- listed for the Orwell Prize in 2008 and won the Royal Society Prize for Science Books in the same year. The book has now been translated into 22 languages around the world.

Six Degrees is published in the US by National Geographic, which has also made a television documentary based on the book and broadcast on the National Geographic Channel internationally.

Lynas writes a fortnightly column for the New Statesman magazine, and is a regular contributor to the Guardian. He is also a Visiting Research Associate at Oxford University's School of Geography and the Environment.

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