The Human Planet: How We Created the Anthropocene (Pelican Books)
Meteorites, methane, mega-volcanoes and now human beings; the old forces of nature that transformed Earth many millions of years ago are joined by another: us. Our actions have driven Earth into a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. For the first time in our home planet's 4.5-billion year history a single species is dictating Earth's future.
To some the Anthropocene sy...more
'The Human Planet' is an excellent exsample on how to write popular and cross-disciplinary science book without giving up to presenting complex things in shallow way. Instead Lewis and Maslin provide us tour de force through natural sciences, history and critical social sciences. Everyone should read this! ...more
Lewis and Maslin have been most well known as the advocates for placing the 'Golden Spike' - the beginning of the Anthropocene - in 1610. This is the approximate date of the Orbis Spike, a hemispheric afforestation after the d ...more
What really enlightened me in this book are the disputes among geologists, and how they are acutely aware of the political implications of their work. Climate change is an immediate and pressing issue, and it is heartening that these concerns are being taken to heart. In any case ...more
Although the topic is fairly scientific and covers an area I have little knowledge in, Geology, the book gives a fantastic illustration of humanity's time and impact on the earth. The span and depth of the geological and anthropological insight was fascinating and I feel like my knowledge on the important subject of human impact on Earth has been hugely enriched.
Towards the end some of the points do start to grate a little, namely the complaints with geological society proce ...more
First, the authors explore the history of the idea of the Anthropocene - I really enjoyed this! Who knew that nineteenth-century geologists were both more forward-thinking and more willing to acknowledge the human impact ...more
Easily accessible science, but not Sapiens-level writing. Also a couple of thousand words longer than it needed to be - I felt - but enjoyable nonetheless.
Since the existence of Homo Sapiens ~600000 - 700000 years ago, we have undergone 5 modes of living - i) hunter gatherer ii) agricultural iii) mercantile capitalism iv) industrial capitalism v) consumer capitalism. In each stage, there were measurable impact to our environment and some irreversible impacts. As early as hunter gatherer mode of living, human beings’ ability to crea ...more
Sometimes interesting but mostly pretty boring.
To be honest, I'm not really sure I got what this book was about. It started well with the question of whether humans have really created their own geological era, called the Anthropocene. But then the first chapter basically answered the question with a resounding yes - it turns out that humans have thought so for hundreds of years (query then why this is a popular debate today...). That was followed by a pretty dull explanat ...more
I am particularly impressed by how well supported their arguments are, with the multitude of footnotes littering the book with references.
The writers have not shied away from pointing their fingers at th ...more
This was an excellent and detailed look at the history of human civilization and our impact on the environment. Trying to identify the best point in geologic time as the beginning of our impact is extremely difficult. This book provides well researched options for possible starting points while describing the process in how a new epoch is determined in geologic time. I would highly recommend this for anyone interested in a more general analysis of the climate change issue without diving f ...more
This book is so well-written in every way. The facts are presented without coddling the feelings of colonizers and imperial states. I can only hope my classmates actually do their reading and understand some of what's in this book, like the following quote from page 389:
“The West, as we have seen in earlier chapters, got rich by plundering the rest of the world, and used up most of the world’s global carbon budget. A third ...more
I read this book following Margaret Attwood’s MaddAddam trilogy and Richard Powers’s Overstory. What a mighty sequence... From imagining a world where human civilisation collapse ...more
It's one of the most important books of the decade, with very up-to-date scientific results and with an easy to understand story of how we f*cked up the only planet in the universe where life is known to exist.
Although I'm a science writer and know most of the things mentioned about our impact on the planet still the aouthors could give a higher level of information with connecting these facts into a network of kind of self sustaining ...more
The book is ...more
(We were lucky enough to attend a talk by Mark Maslin at the Cheltenham Science Festival this year.)
The topic of defining the Anthropocene Epoch and seeking solutions to the inevitable trends of 'business as usual' is fascinating, petrifying and necessary.
We should all be thinking about this, discussing this, and making strategic choices to minimise our impact on the natural environment and cycles. BAU is simply unsustainable. ...more
|Goodreads Librari...: Combine Editions - "The Human Planet: How We Created the Anthropocene" by Simon L. Lewis, Mark Maslin||2||14||Jun 04, 2019 01:26AM|