On Gaia

A Critical Investigation of the Relationship between Life and Earth

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Author: Toby Tyrrell

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400847915

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 2466

One of the enduring questions about our planet is how it has remained continuously habitable over vast stretches of geological time despite the fact that its atmosphere and climate are potentially unstable. James Lovelock's Gaia hypothesis posits that life itself has intervened in the regulation of the planetary environment in order to keep it stable and favorable for life. First proposed in the 1970s, Lovelock's hypothesis remains highly controversial and continues to provoke fierce debate. On Gaia undertakes the first in-depth investigation of the arguments put forward by Lovelock and others--and concludes that the evidence doesn't stack up in support of Gaia. Toby Tyrrell draws on the latest findings in fields as diverse as climate science, oceanography, atmospheric science, geology, ecology, and evolutionary biology. He takes readers to obscure corners of the natural world, from southern Africa where ancient rocks reveal that icebergs were once present near the equator, to mimics of cleaner fish on Indonesian reefs, to blind fish deep in Mexican caves. Tyrrell weaves these and many other intriguing observations into a comprehensive analysis of the major assertions and lines of argument underpinning Gaia, and finds that it is not a credible picture of how life and Earth interact. On Gaia reflects on the scientific evidence indicating that life and environment mutually affect each other, and proposes that feedbacks on Earth do not provide robust protection against the environment becoming uninhabitable--or against poor stewardship by us.

The Gaia Hypothesis

Science on a Pagan Planet

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Author: Michael Ruse

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022606039X

Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 5002

In 1965 English scientist James Lovelock had a flash of insight: the Earth is not just teeming with life; the Earth, in some sense, is life. He mulled this revolutionary idea over for several years, first with his close friend the novelist William Golding, and then in an extensive collaboration with the American scientist Lynn Margulis. In the early 1970s, he finally went public with the Gaia hypothesis, the idea that everything happens for an end: the good of planet Earth. Lovelock and Margulis were scorned by professional scientists, but the general public enthusiastically embraced Lovelock and his hypothesis. People joined Gaia groups; churches had Gaia services, sometimes with new music written especially for the occasion. There was a Gaia atlas, Gaia gardening, Gaia herbs, Gaia retreats, Gaia networking, and much more. And the range of enthusiasts was—and still is—broad. In The Gaia Hypothesis, philosopher Michael Ruse, with his characteristic clarity and wit, uses Gaia and its history, its supporters and detractors, to illuminate the nature of science itself. Gaia emerged in the 1960s, a decade when authority was questioned and status and dignity stood for nothing, but its story is much older. Ruse traces Gaia’s connection to Plato and a long history of goal-directed and holistic—or organicist—thinking and explains why Lovelock and Margulis’s peers rejected it as pseudoscience. But Ruse also shows why the project was a success. He argues that Lovelock and Margulis should be commended for giving philosophy firm scientific basis and for provoking important scientific discussion about the world as a whole, its homeostasis or—in this age of global environmental uncertainty—its lack thereof. Melding the world of science and technology with the world of feeling, mysticism, and religion, The Gaia Hypothesis will appeal to a broad range of readers, from students and scholars of the history and philosophy of science to anyone interested in New Age culture.

Gaia

A New Look at Life on Earth

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Author: James Lovelock,J. E. Lovelock

Publisher: Oxford Paperbacks

ISBN: 0192862189

Category: Nature

Page: 148

View: 8944

This classic work is now reissued in new covers with a new Preface by the author. Written for non-scientists, this is an original work in which James Lovelock puts forward his inspirational idea that life on earth functions as a single organism.

Gaia

A New Look at Life on Earth

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Author: Mohammad Shamsudduha

Publisher: CRC Press

ISBN: 1351350463

Category:

Page: N.A

View: 2986

Gaia: A New Look At Life on Earth may continue to divide opinion, but nobody can deny that the book offers a powerful insight into the creative thinking of its author, James E. Lovelock. Published in 1979, Gaia offered a radically new hypothesis: the Earth, Lovelock argued, is a living entity. Together, the planet and all its separate living organisms form a single self-regulating body, sustaining life and helping it evolve through time. Lovelock sees humans as no more special than other elements of the planet, railing against the once widely-held belief that the good of mankind is the only thing that matters. Despite being seen as radical, and even idiotic on its publication, a version of Lovelock's viewpoint has found resonance in contemporary debates about the environment and climate, and has now broadly come to be accepted by modern thinkers. As man's effects on the climate become increasingly extreme, more and more elements of the Earth's self-regulation seem to be unveiled - forcing scientists to ask how far the planet might be able to go in order self-regulate effectively. Indeed, despite its far-fetched elements, Lovelock's Gaia thesis seems to ring more convincingly today than ever before; that it does is largely a result of the critical thinking skills that allowed Lovelock to produce novel explanations for existing evidence and, above all, to connect existing fragments of evidence together in new ways.

Facing Gaia

Eight Lectures on the New Climatic Regime

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Author: Bruno Latour

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0745684351

Category: Science

Page: 300

View: 3046

The emergence of modern sciences in the seventeenth century profoundly renewed our understanding of nature. For the last three centuries new ideas of nature have been continually developed by theology, politics, economics, and science, especially the sciences of the material world. The situation is even more unstable today, now that we have entered an ecological mutation of unprecedented scale. Some call it the Anthropocene, but it is best described as a new climatic regime. And a new regime it certainly is, since the many unexpected connections between human activity and the natural world oblige every one of us to reopen the earlier notions of nature and redistribute what had been packed inside. So the question now arises: what will replace the old ways of looking at nature? This book explores a potential candidate proposed by James Lovelock when he chose the name 'Gaia' for the fragile, complex system through which living phenomena modify the Earth. The fact that he was immediately misunderstood proves simply that his readers have tried to fit this new notion into an older frame, transforming Gaia into a single organism, a kind of giant thermostat, some sort of New Age goddess, or even divine Providence. In this series of lectures on 'natural religion,' Bruno Latour argues that the complex and ambiguous figure of Gaia offers, on the contrary, an ideal way to disentangle the ethical, political, theological, and scientific aspects of the now obsolete notion of nature. He lays the groundwork for a future collaboration among scientists, theologians, activists, and artists as they, and we, begin to adjust to the new climatic regime.

The Revenge of Gaia

Earth's Climate Crisis & The Fate of Humanity

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Author: James Lovelock

Publisher: Basic Books

ISBN: 0465008666

Category: Science

Page: 208

View: 1656

The key insight of Gaia Theory is that the entire Earth functions as a single living super-organism. But according to James Lovelock, the theory's originator, that organism is now sick. It is running a fever born of increased atmospheric greenhouse gases. Earth will adjust to these stresses, but the human race faces a severe test. It is already too late, Lovelock says, to prevent the global climate from “flipping” into an entirely new equilibrium that will threaten civilization as we know it. But we can do much to save humanity. In the tradition of Silent Spring, this is a call to address a major threat to our collective future.

Living Downstream

An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment

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Author: Sandra Steingraber

Publisher: Virago Press

ISBN: 9781860495359

Category: Cancer

Page: 357

View: 343

Published more than three decades after Rachel Carson's Silent Spring warned of the impact of chemicals on the environment, this book offers a critique of current thinking on cancer and its causes. It argues that the evidence has been wilfully ignored, and that the environment is still being poisoned. Throughout her study, the author weaves two stories - of Rachel Carson and her battle to be heard and of her own cancer of the bladder, which she traces back to agricultural and industrial contamination.

Dreamers, Visionaries, and Revolutionaries in the Life Sciences

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Author: Oren Harman,Michael R. Dietrich

Publisher: University of Chicago Press

ISBN: 022657007X

Category: Science

Page: 336

View: 3722

What are the conditions that foster true novelty and allow visionaries to set their eyes on unknown horizons? What have been the challenges that have spawned new innovations, and how have they shaped modern biology? In Dreamers, Visionaries, and Revolutionaries in the Life Sciences, editors Oren Harman and Michael R. Dietrich explore these questions through the lives of eighteen exemplary biologists who had grand and often radical ideas that went far beyond the run-of-the-mill science of their peers. From the Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, who coined the word “biology” in the early nineteenth century, to the American James Lovelock, for whom the Earth is a living, breathing organism, these dreamers innovated in ways that forced their contemporaries to reexamine comfortable truths. With this collection readers will follow Jane Goodall into the hidden world of apes in African jungles and Francis Crick as he attacks the problem of consciousness. Join Mary Lasker on her campaign to conquer cancer and follow geneticist George Church as he dreams of bringing back woolly mammoths and Neanderthals. In these lives and the many others featured in these pages, we discover visions that were sometimes fantastical, quixotic, and even threatening and destabilizing, but always a challenge to the status quo.

A Sense of Wonder Towards Nature

Healing the Planet through Belonging

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Author: Haydn Washington

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 0429956320

Category: Nature

Page: 232

View: 460

Environmental scientist and writer Haydn Washington argues that we will not solve the environmental crisis unless we change our worldview and ethics, and to do so we must rejuvenate our sense of wonder at nature. This book focuses on humanity’s relation with nature, and the sense of wonder and belonging common to indigenous cultures and children everywhere. Drawing on events in the author’s own five decades working to protect wild places, and the current literature on wonder, it examines what a sense of wonder is, what it has been called in different cultures and our high points of wonder at nature. It also looks at the ‘Great Divide’ in worldview between anthropocentrism and eco-centrism, and considers the problem of anthropocentric theory in academia, arguing that the focus should instead be on harmony with nature. The book concludes with an examination of why wonder has become buried in Western society and considers ways in which it can be revived, including rituals and education. It also considers how wonder helps humanity to become ‘whole’. The final chapter presents the road back to wonder and how wonder at nature can be restored in Western society. This book will be of great interest to environmental scientists, conservation biologists, environmental philosophers and ecological ethicists, as well as environmentalists, educators, eco-psychologists and students looking at sustainability, deep ecology and environmental philosophy and ethics.

Earth

Evolution of a Habitable World

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Author: Jonathan I. Lunine

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 0521850010

Category: Science

Page: 327

View: 4064

Fully updated, this new edition provides a uniquely interdisciplinary overview of Earth's history and evolution for Earth science undergraduates.

Slanted Truths

Essays on Gaia, Symbiosis and Evolution

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Author: Lynn Margulis,Dorion Sagan

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 1461222842

Category: Medical

Page: 368

View: 9864

"Lynn Margulis is one of the most successful synthetic thinkers in modern biology. This collection of her work, enhanced by essays co-authored with Dorion Sagan, is a welcome introduction to the full breadth of her many contributions." EDWARD O. WILSON, AUTHOR OF THE DIVERSITY OF LIFE "An important contribution to the history of the 20th century. Read it and you will taste the flavor of real science." JAMES LOVELOCK, AUTHOR OF GAIA: A NEW LOOK AT LIFE ON EARTH "Truly inspirational and of fundamental importance. This thoughtful series of essays on some of the largest questions concerning the nature of life on earth deserves careful study."PETER RAVEN, MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN

The Ages of Gaia

A Biography of Our Living Earth

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Author: James Lovelock

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780192862174

Category: Biology

Page: 255

View: 9855

In his first book, Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth, James Lovelock proposed a startling new theory of life: the Earth, its rocks, oceans, atmosphere, and all living things are part of one great organism, evolving over the vast span of geological time. Much scientific work has since confirmed his theory and in The Ages of Gaia he examines environmental and scientific issues in detail, including the greenhouse effect, acid rain, the depletion of the ozone layer, and the destruction of tropical forests. For this second edition he has updated thetext throughout and added a new chapter on recent advances in our scientific knowledge. He sounds a warning of the damage man is doing to the health of the planet. 'We have already changed the atmosphere to an extent unprecedented in recent geological history. We seem to be driving ourselvesheedlessly down a slope into a sea that is rising to drown us.'

The Future of the World's Climate

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Author: Ann Henderson-Sellers,K. McGuffie

Publisher: Elsevier

ISBN: 012386917X

Category: Science

Page: 650

View: 1965

The study of climate today seems to be dominated by global warming, but these predictions of climatic models must be placed in their geological, paleo-climatic, and astronomical context to create a complete picture of the Earth's future climate. The Future of the World's Climate presents that perspective with data and projections that have emerged from more technologically advanced and accurate climate modeling. The book is comprised of 18 new and revised chapters that feature reviews of current climate science. The authors are drawn from all over the world and from the highest regarded peer-reviewed groups. Each chapter has undergone major revisions and new content has been added throughout. Authored by the world's leading climate scientists, most of whom are also contributing authors to the IPCC Assessment Reports. More than 200 tables, diagrams, illustrations, and photographs Climate modeling technology is more advanced and precise than it was 15 years ago-a major implication featured in this new edition.

Animals of the Serengeti

And Ngorongoro Conservation Area

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Author: Adam Scott Kennedy,Vicki Kennedy

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400851386

Category: Nature

Page: 152

View: 8813

Containing 146 stunning color photos, Animals of the Serengeti is a remarkable look at the mammals and reptiles most likely to be encountered in the world-famous Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Crater. With an eye-catching layout, accessible text, and easy-to-use format, this detailed photographic guide includes 89 species of mammal and reptile. Useful "Top Tips"—shared by local Tanzanian guides that work in the region—provide visitors with insights into behavioral habits and how to locate specific animals. Filled with vivid anecdotes, Animals of the Serengeti will enable any safari traveler to identify the area's wildlife with ease. Covers the 89 species likely to be encountered in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park and Ngorongoro Conservation Area Features male and female variations Accessible text aimed at safari visitors of all levels

Homage to Gaia

The Life of an Independent Scientist

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Author: J. E. Lovelock,James Lovelock

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780198604297

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 428

View: 3137

Homage to Gaia is a fascinating autobiographical sketch of the remarkable life of an 'independent scientist' whose revolutionary, and often controversial research has changed forever the way we see the Earth and our place on it. James Lovelock is most famous for his revolutionary theory that life and the material Earth evolved together as a single system, known as Gaia. His ability to continually challenge orthodox ways of thinking about science has established him as one of the outstanding and creative thinkers of the twentieth century.

Chimeras and Consciousness

Evolution of the Sensory Self

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Author: Lynn Margulis,Celeste A. Asikainen,Wolfgang E. Krumbein

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262015390

Category: Medical

Page: 321

View: 2963

Scientists elucidate the astounding collective sensory capacity of Earth and its evolution through time.

The Mushroom at the End of the World

On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins

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Author: Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 1400873541

Category: Social Science

Page: 352

View: 4866

Matsutake is the most valuable mushroom in the world—and a weed that grows in human-disturbed forests across the northern hemisphere. Through its ability to nurture trees, matsutake helps forests to grow in daunting places. It is also an edible delicacy in Japan, where it sometimes commands astronomical prices. In all its contradictions, matsutake offers insights into areas far beyond just mushrooms and addresses a crucial question: what manages to live in the ruins we have made? A tale of diversity within our damaged landscapes, The Mushroom at the End of the World follows one of the strangest commodity chains of our times to explore the unexpected corners of capitalism. Here, we witness the varied and peculiar worlds of matsutake commerce: the worlds of Japanese gourmets, capitalist traders, Hmong jungle fighters, industrial forests, Yi Chinese goat herders, Finnish nature guides, and more. These companions also lead us into fungal ecologies and forest histories to better understand the promise of cohabitation in a time of massive human destruction. By investigating one of the world's most sought-after fungi, The Mushroom at the End of the World presents an original examination into the relation between capitalist destruction and collaborative survival within multispecies landscapes, the prerequisite for continuing life on earth.

Architecture in the Anthropocene

Encounters Among Design, Deep Time, Science and Philosophy

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Author: Etienne Turpin

Publisher: Anexact

ISBN: 9781607853077

Category: Architecture

Page: 262

View: 5324

"Research regarding the significance and consequence of anthropogenic transformations of the earth's land, oceans, biosphere and climate have demonstrated that, from a wide variety of perspectives, it is very likely that humans have initiated a new geological epoch, their own. First labeled the Anthropocene by the chemist Paul Crutzen, the consideration of the merits of the Anthropocene thesis by the International Commission on Stratigraphy and the International Union of Geological Sciences has also garnered the attention of philosophers, historians, and legal scholars, as well as an increasing number of researchers from a range of scientific backgrounds. Architecture in the Anthropocene: Encounters Among Design, Deep Time, Science and Philosophy intensifies the potential of this multidisciplinary discourse by bringing together essays, conversations, and design proposals that respond to the "geological imperative" for contemporary architecture scholarship and practice. Contributors include Nabil Ahmed, Meghan Archer, Adam Bobbette, Emily Cheng, Heather Davis, Sara Dean, Seth Denizen, Mark Dorrian, Elizabeth Grosz, Lisa Hirmer, Jane Hutton, Eleanor Kaufman, Amy Catania Kulper, Clinton Langevin, Michael C.C. Lin, Amy Norris, John Palmesino, Chester Rennie, François Roche, Ann-Sofi Rönnskog, Isabelle Stengers, Paulo Tavares, Etienne Turpin, Eyal Weizman, Jane Wolff, Guy Zimmerman."--Publisher's description.

Thanatia

The Destiny of the Earth's Mineral Resources : a Thermodynamic Cradle-to-cradle Assessment

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Author: Antonio Valero Capilla,Alicia Valero Delgado

Publisher: World Scientific Publishing Company Incorporated

ISBN: 9789814273930

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 629

View: 5309

Is Gaia becoming Thanatia, a resource exhausted planet? For how long can our high-tech society be sustained in the light of declining mineral ore grades, heavy dependence on un-recycled critical metals and accelerated material dispersion? These are all root causes of future disruptions that need to be addressed today. This book presents a cradle-to-cradle view of the Earth's abiotic resources through a novel and rigorous approach based on the Second Law of Thermodynamics: heat dissipates and materials deteriorate and disperse. Quality is irreversibly lost. This allows for the assessment of such depletion and can be used to estimate the year where production of the main mineral commodities could reach its zenith. By postulating Thanatia, one acquires a sense of destiny and a concern for a unified global management of the planet's abiotic resource endowment. The book covers the core aspects of geology, geochemistry, mining, metallurgy, economics, the environment, thermodynamics and thermochemistry. It is supported by comprehensive databases related to mineral resources, including detailed compositions of the Earth's layers, thermochemical properties of over 300 substances, historical energy and mineral resource inventories, energy consumption and environmental impacts in the mining and metallurgical sector and world recycling rates of commodities.