The Revenge of Gaia (quick review)

James Lovelock’s book on the steady decimation of the Earth, and the simultaneous ending of human culture is highly engaging; and shocking. Lovelock tells presents the background and societal drivers for the changes in our climate, and never hides the fact that he thinks we are already too late to save most of our civilisation.

This is a thought provoking discussion, and will disappoint readers who are looking for a casual and light style. It is also not a novel – you will need to be ready to read about scientific concepts to engage with this book.

For: A great reality check for issues around global environments, and while its not a neutral perspective (no apologies); it is passionate and direct. What if he’s right?
Against: Lovelock’s opinion of our situation is dire, and this is depressing. Not for those who don’t like science-ish books.
Overall: 9/10

Anyone who would like to know more about the effect of global warming and our apathy around the issue should read this book.
I loved The Revenge of Gaia and think that everyone should at least read the first 3 chapters. If nothing else you’ll understand why the discussions are revving up in the media, and why concentrating on the micro-battles is totally missing the point.

If half of this book proves to be only 20% right, we face the possibility of a terrible future. Change is needed now.

But if you can’t stomach the book (yup – its dry), then try the ABC – Science Show Podcast on 20 Jan 2007. This podcast was a less depressing and wider view of the effects of climate change, and can be absorbed by any listen keen enough to take the time.

You’ll have to dig through the ABC site to find the URL, but my advice is to subscribe to it using iTunes and be a little nerdy each week on the way home.