'Brilliantly written and genuinely one of the most important books I have ever read' - Ellie Mae O'Hagan
A remarkable exploration of the science, history and politics of the Anthropocene, one of the most important scientific ideas of our time, from two world-renowned experts
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 symbolises a future of superlative control of our environment. To others it is the height of hubris, the illusion of our mastery over nature. Whatever your view, just below the surface of this odd-sounding scientific word, the Anthropocene, is a heady mix of science, philosophy, religion and politics linked to our deepest fears and utopian visions.
Tracing our environmental impact through time to reveal when humans began to dominate Earth, scientists Simon Lewis and Mark Maslin masterfully show what the new epoch means for all of us.
A careful explanation of what society is doing to this amazing planet and its people. I was absolutely gripped. Brilliantly written and genuinely one of the most important books I have ever read (Ellie Mae O’Hagan)
Profound and thought-provoking, this book does a remarkable job explaining where the current proposal to define a new human-dominated era properly fits (Thomas E. Lovejoy, winner of the Blue Planet Prize)
Understanding what it means for humans to have become a geological force reshaping the workings of the Earth is both a deep intellectual challenge and a political necessity. Richly thought through and provocative from its title onwards, The Human Planet rises to that challenge, bringing together Earth history and human history in a new way. Its reassessment of the past will equip its readers to understand the future -- and perhaps to improve it (Oliver Morton, author of The Planet Remade)
Today scientists increasingly believe that we have entered a new era, the Anthropocene. In this succinct but sweeping re-evaluation of the human story, Simon Lewis and Mark Maslin show exactly why this abstract-sounding contention should radically affect our views of today and tomorrow. The Human Planet packs more ideas into a small space than I would have thought possible (Charles C. Mann, author of The Wizard and the Prophet)
Immensely readable. . . Simon Lewis and Mark Maslin provide a compelling narrative, stretching from the emergence of hominins from Earth's long history some 3 million years ago, to our position today, as a species with planetary reach (Nature)