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Summary

In this classic work that continues to inspire its many fans, James Lovelock deftly explains his idea that life on Earth functions as a single organism. Written for the non-scientist, Gaia is a journey through time and space in search of evidence with which to support a new and radically different model of our planet. In contrast to conventional belief that living matter is passive in the face of threats to its existence, the book explores the hypothesis that the Earth's living matter - air, ocean, and land surfaces - forms a complex system that has the capacity to keep the Earth a fit place for life.

Since Gaia was first published, many of Jim Lovelock's predictions have come true, and his theory has become a hotly argued topic in scientific circles. Here, in a new preface, Lovelock outlines the present state of the debate.

©1995 J. E. Lovelock (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A good way to digest a dense book!

I had been trying to read this book for a while and by having it piped straight into my ears worked wonders. I could zone out at the irrelevant sections and bookmark and make notes in the relevant parts.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Community service

This book is clearly read by someone who doesn't want to be doing it, he sounds like he was forced to do it as some sort of community service. He reminds me of that jaded university lecturer who can't think of anything worse than lecturing first years. I've read the book before and enjoyed it, but this audio book is a hard listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not an easy book to listen to

The science and ideas in the book are fascinating. For a non scientist it is impossible to know if the science he puts forward is correct or not. He does not explain how or why he thinks Planet Earth has achieved its state of Gaia.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • JF
  • 14-07-17

Interesting content marred by lacklustre read

This is a great look at the first public iteration of the Gaia hypothesis. Though some of the analysis is dated (the first edition is from 1979, after all), the data is still the same, and the conclusions drawn still quite relevant.

The analysis of different 'Gaian' control systems was particularly fascinating, as some of them are far more complex than I - a fairly knowledgeable person, but no expert - would have thought: for example, ocean salinity and the controls involved with keeping it constant.

Unfortunately, this read is particularly lacklustre. The performance requires extra effort to engage with the content, and I came to the book excited to listen to it. It may be worth reading a hard copy or finding a different performance, if one exists.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful