Mark Lynas – The God Species

Mark Lynas – The God Species – Saving the Planet in the Age of Humans (2011)

An attempt to reinvent the Green movement as more pro-human and pro-science. Humanity should aim to live within certain planetary boundaries, (such as 350 ppm CO2, and max 0.001% yearly extinction rates). With the help of planning, science, and glorious futuretech, we can achieve this without compromising living standards or growth.

Read: Half.

Recommended: Weakly. If you’re a traditionalist Green, you may find his support of genetic modification, nuclear power, and economic growth usefully provocative. Environmentalists will certainly become more effective if they listen to him. The rest of us don’t need to be told that solving environmental problems with the use of authoritarianism and population reduction is .. wrong. And, at times, Lynas tips over into a kind of technocratic mysticism that sounds like the Green version of the Singularity. He dreams of a new age, the age of the God Species, where humanity will manage its own ecosystem, like a Gaia made manifest. Humility would be a better approach. Even if these planetary boundaries are as important as he says, (and he doesn’t really make that case convincingly), respecting them does not mean we must or should become planet-scale gardeners.