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Earth in Human Hands : Shaping Our Planet's Future
by David Grinspoon


Overview - For the first time in Earth's history, our planet is experiencing a confluence of rapidly accelerating changes prompted by one species: humans. Climate change is only the most visible of the modifications we've made--up until this point, inadvertently--to the planet.  Read more...

 
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More About Earth in Human Hands by David Grinspoon
 
 
 
Overview
For the first time in Earth's history, our planet is experiencing a confluence of rapidly accelerating changes prompted by one species: humans. Climate change is only the most visible of the modifications we've made--up until this point, inadvertently--to the planet. And our current behavior threatens not only our own future but that of countless other creatures. By comparing Earth's story to those of other planets, astrobiologist David Grinspoon shows what a strange and novel development it is for a species to evolve to build machines, and ultimately, global societies with world-shaping influence. Without minimizing the challenges of the next century, Grinspoon suggests that our present moment is not only one of peril, but also great potential, especially when viewed from a 10,000-year perspective. Our species has surmounted the threat of extinction before, thanks to our innate ingenuity and ability to adapt, and there's every reason to believe we can do so again. Our challenge now is to awaken to our role as a force of planetary change, and to grow into this task. We must become graceful planetary engineers, conscious shapers of our environment and caretakers of Earth's biosphere. This is a perspective that begs us to ask not just what future do we want to avoid, but what do we seek to build? What kind of world do we want? Are humans the worst thing or the best thing to ever happen to our planet? Today we stand at a pivotal juncture, and the answer will depend on the choices we make.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781455589128
  • ISBN-10: 1455589128
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • Publish Date: December 2016
  • Page Count: 544
  • Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Science > Chemistry - Environmental
Books > Science > Environmental Science
Books > Science > Global Warming & Climate Change

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-10-10
  • Reviewer: Staff

Grinspoon (Lonely Planets: The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life) brings an astrobiologists perspective to Earths current environmental woes. Without downplaying the planetary havoc humans have wrought, including global warming and habitat destruction, Grinspoon focuses on the long-term health of Earths ecosystemsmeaning millions of years. He wonders whether humans will survive far enough into the future to have a lasting impact on life on Earth and throughout the cosmos. Grinspoon makes clear that while humans are not the first of Earths species to radically alter the environment, we are the first to be able to reflect on our actions. He argues that intentionally or not, humans have become novice planetary engineers, changing the nature of biogeochemical and atmospheric cycles. If humans learn to take control of planetary systems, they can make conscious choices that benefit future life, including preventing future ice ages and protecting the planet from devastating meteor impacts. Though Grinspoon overplays the Gaia metaphor of Earth being an integrated and sentient being, he broadens the scope of his work dramatically by paying a great deal of attention to the search for intelligent life in the universe. This is an optimistic and informative take on the future of Earth and humankind. Agent: Eric Lupfer, WME. (Dec.)

 
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