Earth in Human Hands by David Grinspoon
The Rise of Terra Sapiens and Hope for Our Planet

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If you're interested in learning the bleeding-edge science of how the Earth has come to be the way it is today -- over its 4.5 billion year history and particularly over the last 10,000 years -- this book is for you. This book could have strongly benefited from an editor who wasn't afraid to make cuts, however.
-Forbes

Synopsis

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.
 

About David Grinspoon

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David Grinspoon is principal scientist in the Department of Space Studies at the South-west Research Institute, and adjunct professor of Astrophysical and Planetary Sciences at the University of Colorado. His previous book, Venus Revealed, was a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist. An adviser for NASA on space exploration strategy, he lectures widely and has appeared on numerous television and radio programs. His writing has appeared in Astronomy, Nature, Science, Scientific American, Natural History, and The Sciences. He maintains the Funky Science Web site at www.funkyscience.net.
 
Published December 6, 2016 by Grand Central Publishing. 545 pages
Genres: Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Earth in Human Hands
All: 2 | Positive: 0 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Above average
on Oct 11 2016

A scattershot approach to an admittedly diffuse set of problems but of broad interest and with a refreshing chaser of optimism.

Read Full Review of Earth in Human Hands: The Ris... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Forbes

Below average
Reviewed by Ethan Siegel on Nov 17 2016

If you're interested in learning the bleeding-edge science of how the Earth has come to be the way it is today -- over its 4.5 billion year history and particularly over the last 10,000 years -- this book is for you. This book could have strongly benefited from an editor who wasn't afraid to make cuts, however.

Read Full Review of Earth in Human Hands: The Ris... | See more reviews from Forbes
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