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Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made

4.4 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1571313577
ISBN-10: 1571313575
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Shortlisted for the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books 2015

"A highly readable take of the planet’s pulse."
Star Tribune

"[An]impressive book, encyclopedic in its scope and relentless in its gumshoe derring-do. An emporium of fascinating information."
American Scholar

"A fascinating tour of the human side of climate change, complete with its perils, and the inspired efforts ordinary people are nonetheless finding to adapt and survive with grace."
Diane Ackerman, author of The Human Age

“Celebrates the wonders of nature and reminds us that we are a superbly adaptive species.”
Booklist, Starred Review

“A well-documented, upbeat alternative to doom-and-gloom prognostications.”
Kirkus, Starred Review

"Vince has produced a book, simultaneously deeply depressing and thoroughly uplifting, that is all but impossible to put down.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

"With its engaging, thought-provoking narratives, this volume will expand, or perhaps fundamentally change, readers' views about the planet's emerging future. Highly recommended. All readers."—CHOICE

"Our species has exploded into a new kind of force—one species able to alter the physical, chemical and biological properties of the planet on a geological scale. Gaia Vince’s important book provides the evolutionary, temporal and biophysical context to show with clarity the stunning speed and magnitude of the human footprint on the planet. She manages to inspire with hope while conveying a cry of urgency."
David Suzuki, author of The Sacred Balance

“A fine and timely book. Gaia Vince shows us how to stay steady and cheerful despite the ever intensifying drama of the Anthropocene”
James Lovelock, author of Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth

“A beautifully written book that raises the most profound question of our time: ‘How should we live?’ In the past this has been primarily a personal question, but now it has become the central question for us as a species—and the fate of nearly every species on our planet (including our own) rests on our answer.”
Ken Caldeira, Stanford University

“Gaia's remarkable journey is a unique inventory of life on earth, both wild and human, at this important moment in our history.”
Bill Oddie

“This is a remarkable journey from a remarkable journalist... The Anthropocene era she documents emerges as something richer, more vital and more interesting than any previous era. In her eyes people are heroes rather than villains. Read this and you can believe in the future.”
Fred Pearce, author of When the Rivers Run Dry

“Have you seen the state of our planet? Gaia Vince has. She travelled the globe for two years to investigate what we are doing to it, and this heroic feat of reporting is the result. She, and her readers, are left wiser, sometimes sadder, but still holding on to a core optimism about possible futures for our world.”
Jon Turney, author of The Rough Guide to the Future

About the Author

Gaia Vince is a journalist and broadcaster specializing in science and the environment. She has been the editor of the journal Nature Climate Change, the news editor of Nature and online editor of New Scientist. She writes for newspapers including the Guardian, The Times, Science, Scientific American, and Australian Geographic. She devises and presents programs about the Anthropocene on BBC radio, blogs at WanderingGaia.com and tweets at @WanderingGaia. She resides in London.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Milkweed Editions (December 9, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1571313575
  • ISBN-13: 978-1571313577
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 7 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #736,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gaia Vince's book's subtitle, "A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made," says it better than the title, and that's too bad because this book definitely has heart. I've read and re-read more than fifty books on the subject of sustainability and post-human philosophy, and there's none better than this one. It's well-written, though rambles at times, but that doesn't matter. The author has hit the nerve of the issue. As a self-aware species and geophysical force, our responsibility is great. Will we live up to the demand of our new role? So far, we have not. But the positive message of this book says we have to and will. Her's is the voice of the generation that will inherent want others have made, the voice I've been waiting to hear. J. E. Williams, author of "The Andean Codex" and Light of the Andes."
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sometimes seeing the word “Anthropocene” in a title can be daunting. It resonates with a lot of facts but also considerable emotion. This reviewer is pretty tired of emotion and moral imperatives when it comes to reading a book. The extraordinarily adventurous Vince did not do that. She looked at a lot of issues that are laden with “holier than thou” platitudes and provided several sides of the issues in order to present a very readable book on how we humans have changed the earth and what that might all mean.

As the title informs this is the planet we made. Any slightly knowledgeable and non-delusional person of average intelligence knows that. Certainly there are gainsayers but they are in a minority who either have their heads in the sand or have something to gain by their iconoclasm-like politicians for instance. Leaving that discussion aside, Vince was clear that we humans have changed the world dramatically and perhaps forever. Yet it is not a screed wrought with hopelessness. She presents a lot of good ideas along with her tales of interesting people she met in her worldwide travels done to complete this book.

Using ten chapters to describe aspects of earth and how they are changing, she met people who are doing things to improve the earth no matter how small their efforts. One of those chapters is about farmlands and she investigated ways to improve the harvests and feed more people. One litmus test of her even keeled presentation has to do with GMOs-genetically modified organisms. Despite the often shrill damnation of GMOs we do know that it has been going on since the dawn of agriculture.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A must read for anyone interested in climate change and human response to it across the globe. Engagingly told in a series of stories from the real-life adventure-travels in the Anthropocene by an author who writes intelligently from the heart. I wish that all Republicans would read it. This may help them divorce politics from what is a true world-wide crisis. This is a book I will treasure and pass on to friends.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
excellent info. seemingly well-researched - I should just loathe to live in a Mega-City amid a Landscape of Solar Panels, Windmills and Artificial Man-made Trees with a glass of well-worked de-salinated and de-polluted de-everything water in my hand.
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Format: Hardcover
I live in NYC going about life with millions of others away from many places described in this book but feeling guilty for being part of a generation that is destroying this planet. This book is awesome because it is well written, well organized with eye opening data regarding what we are doing to this planet. The author mixes objective data with her personal voyages to different places seamlessly.
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Format: Hardcover
Excellent armchair adventure visiting many places around the world that won't be around much longer. The section on the Potosi mountain in Bolivia offers a good example how human nature doesn't change when it comes to exploiting resources.
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