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

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Length: 288 pages

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“If there is one reason to read Mark Lynas​’ book The God Species, it’s because of his exposition of the ‘planetary boundaries’ concept.” –Scientific American
 
“I believe it would behoove anyone who has an opinion about the future of our planet to read The God Species.” –Forbes 
 
“Lynas’s book is at the top of my must-read pile.” –Dot Earth blog, Andrew Revkin, New York Times
 
“An accurate portrayal of the state of the planet and a call to action using all means possible before boundaries are crossed with irreversible results.” –Kirkus
 
“Readers who were previously unaware of the scope of humanity’s effects on the world—on its climate, its biogeochemical cycles, the chemistry of its oceans, the color of its sky, the flow of its rivers, the number of its species and more—may find themselves shocked by its relentless exposition. Meanwhile many readers who are already alarmed by the state of the environment will find themselves shocked by what Mr. Lynas wants to do about it…his views are certainly not yet common currency, and…that makes his position both more interesting and more compelling.” –The Economist
 
“For all the angst this book may cause his Green allies, there can be no doubting his seriousness about climate change…This is a clear-eyed, hard-headed assessment of the ecological challenges facing us - and all the more bracing for it...vigorously provocative” –London Evening Standard
 
 "The power of Lynas’s voice comes not just from his famously deep research... but also his authority as a campaigner." --Sunday Times of London
“The most attention-grabbing passages in the book come in Lynas’s denunciations of the green movement.” –The Guardian
 “Lynas is to be commended for producing a work that challenges so many green movement taboos and for recognising the importance of hard science – such as nuclear power and genetic engineering – and sound economics as potential saviours of the planet. This is an insightful, honest book.” –Guardian.co.uk
 
“offer[s] planet-scale strategies for a sustainable future…sure to spark debate…at the heart of the book is the optimistic belief that humans are capable of understanding Nature and able to repair the damage that we have done and continue to do…” –Technorati Green
 
“Eco-activist and journalist Mark Lynas, famous for shoving a pie in the face of sane skeptic Bjorn Lomborg, has…changed some of his positions…Nuclear power? Certainly part of the solution…As is genetic modification…That's a win for science, for the future of policy and responsible stewardship of mother Earth.” –Science2
 
“Mark Lynas has written the clearest exposition so far of the environmental choices we face…He is wonderfully sane and cogent on difficult issues.” –American Public Media

About the Author

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.

Product Details

  • File Size: 596 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Publisher: National Geographic (October 4, 2011)
  • Publication Date: October 4, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004ZZKT70
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #554,770 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Malvin VINE VOICE on October 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"The God Species" by Mark Lynas suggests that humanity, as the earth's dominant species, must face up to its environmental responsibilities in a timely, pragmatic and life-affirming manner. As a veteran environmental activist and consultant to the low-lying Republic of Maldives (an island nation that is severely threatened by climate change and rising sea levels), Mr. Lynas believes that urgent solutions to the environmental crisis must not be held captive to ideology or politics. In this passionate and intelligent book, the author presents a positive and politically-centrist vision of how humanity can and must use its ingenuity to save the planet.

Mr. Lynas' thesis holds that the Anthropocene era has arrived -- whether religious fundamentalists on the right or deep green advocates on the left care to admit it, or not. As Mr. Lynas discusses the nine environmental tipping points of biodiversity, climate change, nitrogen, land use, freshwater, toxics, aerosols, ocean acidification, and ozone, we come to understand that one way or another, humanity's actions (and inactions) matter a great deal. For example, Mr. Lynas helps us see that the decision to not build a nuclear power plant must be weighed against the cost of burning coal and accumulating more excess CO2 in the atmosphere. Mr. Lynas believes quite sensibly that conservatives must recognize that the indefinite and unlimited use of fossil fuels is not possible for the planet; while progressives must recognize the usefulness and (in his view) very limited downside risk of deploying nuclear power on a wide scale.

When not discussing the science around environmental issues, Mr. Lynas is keen to break through the ideological impasse that he feels has kept viable solutions off the table as time grows short.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Autonomeus TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Mark Lynas is a well-informed journalist on the issue of climate change. There is much of value in his latest book, including the uncompromising assertion that we (that is we, the human species) need to stop using carbon-rich fossil fuels COMPLETELY as rapidly as possible.

So far so good. We must phase out the production of CO2 by burning fossil fuels in order to stop runaway global warming and catastrophic climate change. I disagree with Lynas's vehement promotion of nuclear power as a source of electricity. But the deeper problem is that Lynas is in denial about the possibility of continuing economic growth.

Herman Daly and other ecological economists argue that growth as material throughput simply cannot continue -- we must move to a steady-state economy in order to stabilize the relationship between humans and the ecosystem. Qualitative growth can continue, but not quantitative growth. Infinite growth is simply impossible in a finite ecosystem.

Lynas seems to think that this is a choice. He simply fails to understand that mainstream economics contradicts physics and biology. Endless growth is not just a bad choice, it is an impossibility. This is the conclusion of one of the more important books of our time, Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update (see my review).

See anything by Daly, including his classic Steady-State Economics, on the economics, and Thomas Homer-Dixon's The Upside of Down on making the best of social breakdown, which seems increasingly likely with every passing year that radical structural changes are avoided.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jodie on November 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
For years I have felt the weight of the fact that people will not change their habits and that we cannot function as modern societies without growth - so how do we prevent the calamities that have befallen every other age once they move past the 350ppm planetary boundary scientists acknowledge is the crucial game changer?

Lynas's argument for nuclear has tipped my lifelong opposition to the energy source and has at the same time given me a way to see a future where we can have growth and a stable climate. Simply put, I never thought that would happen.

And as he says, evidence about the reality of global warming is far more overwhelming today than it was about the threat to the ozone layer in the 1980's, when the USA took political leadership.

I am yet to be persuaded on his GM argument.
But on nuclear and the need for clean energy that can transform emissions throughout our world, I say, 'bring it on'.

A fantastic gift for all republicans.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By DragonWing VINE VOICE on September 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The title of this book is bound to infuriate the very religious among us, those who believe that a God created everything; that He created mankind to worship him, and that there "some things we are not meant to know." That we musn't "play God." (And as far as that goes, we musn't. Play around with chicken hearts in a Petrie dish and next thing you know you've got a gigantic chicken heart devouring the planet. (An episode of Lights Out, for those of you who don't know their radio horror history). Or we'll have clone farms where people will store many copies of themselves just in case they need the occasional kidney or eye somewhere down the line...and who cares what happens to these clones once these parts are removed? (Jefferson 55).

But that's biotechnology. In The God Species, author Mark Lynas is well aware that we as humans, in this Anthropocene Age (Age of Humans) aren't doing nearly as good a job of protecting our planet - our only home - as we should be able to do considering the fact that we are an intelligent species. Unlike animals, we know what will happen if we do Action A. It will lead to Action B. It may then lead to Action C or D, and we as humans have the intelligence to forsee those actions! The fact that a lot of people don't bother to think into the future is a literal crime.

(I'm thinking of those fishermen on islands that were once tropical paradise. Rather than fish the hard way, they'll drop dynamite or poor bleach into coral reefs to drive out the fish. Instant easy harvest. But then the reef dies and the rest of the fish go away, and there goes the fisherman's livelihood. All because they wanted to take the easy way to begin with.
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