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Gaia: and the Theory of the Living Planet Paperback – May 15, 2005


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About the Author

Inventive, unorthodox, ingenious and a latter day Darwin, James Lovelock is undoubtedly one of the most outstanding and influential scientist-thinkers of our time. His establishment-science career reads like an honour role, and is reflected by his knighthood in 2002. Lovelock's many inventions include the electron capture detector (ecd), which has been of major significance in increasing our knowledge of the environment. The ecd was also instrumental in the discovery of global pollution by fluoro-carbons, critical to both global warming and the hole in the ozone layer.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Gaia Books Ltd; 2nd edition (May 15, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1856752313
  • ISBN-13: 978-1856752312
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 0.6 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,144,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By E. M. HAMILTON on January 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
If you're familiar with the Gaia Theory, this book offers little new information; however, if you are just beginning your investigation into this theory of growing popularity, I would highly recommend this work. It is plalinly laid out, and lovingly expounded upon. Lovelock didn't break any records with this literary publication, but he created a lovely springboard work for anyone who is interested in the idea of Earth as a Living Planet.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By James Bond 007 on May 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
The book is quite good and made me aware of planetary processes that I did not know of such as the sulphur cycle with the role of DMS, and in a clear and beautiful way. However, there are some points that I do not agree with him.

The most important point that I do not agree is the part on Oxygen, on which the author said the limit of the oxygen concentration in the atmosphere is set at 21% because of fires. He also said that if the concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere is above 25% then "combustion is instant and awesome fires would rage, destroying all forests". Is there any convincing evidence of this claim? I don't see any mentioned in the book except for a brief statement that "An increase of oxygen of more than 1% to 22% (in a submarine), however, cannot be allowed because of the greatly increased risk of fire it would bring". Sorry, but I am not convinced of this, especially from the author.

Actually, what was said in the book "Oxygen -- The molecule that made the world" by Nick Lane was quite different. In that book the author claimed that oxygen levels of more than 30% (may be as high as 35%) existed in the Carboniferous period, about 300 million years ago, and he provided detailed arguments and evidence why this might be so. The author also pointed out problems in the "experiments" done by Lovelock and his students to "prove" Lovelock's claim that at no point in the history of the Earth was the oxygen level in the atmosphere higher than 25%.

I find Nick Lane's arguments much more convincing, and I am sure Lovelock should have been aware of this work. I would really want to see a reaction from Lovelock to Nick Lane's arguments but unfortunately there is none. He just repeated what he said in his earlier books written during the 1970's.
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By linda speer on July 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I never received this book. I read one of Lovelock's books a long time ago and liked it very much. I am very disappointed that it never came.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Laura on July 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book of Gaia is a very interesting theory and if theory holds true the human race may survive afterall.
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