Cycles of Life: Civilization and the Biosphere (Scientific American Library Series,)
by Vaclav Smil
Smil explores the scientific kernel in the mystical shell of the Gaia hypothesis. He describes how living organisms assure their survival by actively participating in the complex cycling of carbon, nitrogen and sulphur. He updates us on what has been learned about the complex interplay of human beings, other organisms, chemical reactions and geological changes in the Earth...more
Hardcover, 221 pages
Published January 1st 1997 by Scientific American Library
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Provides a data driven, systems perspective on a few of the fundamental environmental engines that shape our planet and the way human activities influence this. It would be great if all educated people endeavored to ground themselves with a little understanding of this science. Unfortunately, it takes a bit of patience, and a willingness to look beyond one's direct personal experiences to soldier through the material.