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James Lovelock

The Ages of Gaia A Biography of Our Living Earth Translated from the English by Bernard Sigaut. - Publication date : January 1, 1997

The fascinating, controversial and most-worshipped hypothesis of ecologists - that of considering the Earth as the biggest living organism, referred to as Gaïa. It is here discussed by its inventor in person, who shows us that if our planet hasn't always had the same face, it's because there have been several ages corresponding to the predominance of very different species : first of all, the anaerobes who fed on methane, then the aerobes (group to which we belong) who consume oxygen, which was a violently poisonous substance for the anaerobes. Lovelock tells us the story of our Earth in a global perspective, very different from that which forever divides the schools of geology and biology. He concludes that we are responsible : in three centuries, humanity has wrought more modifications to the face of Gaïa than natural evolution did in millions of years. Although he does not doubt that the Earth, today turned completely upside-down by industrial activities, will find a new equilibrium, he does suppose that it could at the price of the disappearance of man, whose reign represents only one of the ages of Gaïa.

Born in 1919, James Lovelock is the author of The Gaïa Hypothesis, a book which shook up the scientific world in the beginning of the seventies and met with great public acclaim.