Earth in Human Hands is an optimistic book about our future, and the future of our planet. And in an unexpected way it touches upon a topic that has been of increasing interest to me these last few months: mind to mind communication. Well, not explicitly of course! It is a book about ecology and human and what to do with all of our power.

But the author revisited with insistance the “Gaia Hypothesis”, the idea that the planet is a single organism, with each elements interacting with all the others in endless feedback loops. And for the author, the humans could become a precursor to a planetary mind, the planet becoming self aware. No mind to mind communication here, but the idea is certainly a variation on the subject of integrating everything under a global and conscious entity. In a sense, it already is integrated, though we can’t say the planet is yet self-aware. Only by massively increasing the brain to brain bandwidth could we achieve that. But I disgress.

This book opened my eyes on just how tightly everything interacts with everything. For example, the CO2 in our atmosphere is absorbed into the ocean, integrated with organisms that die and fill up the bottom of the oceans, to finish in the Earth’s crust, then in its mantle, then back into the atmosphere when volcanoes erupt. This cycle keeps the climate under control, avoiding runaway greenhouse. That is until a species became so successful as to fill the whole planet with themselves and CO2 faster than the ocean can pull out. This just shows how fragile our planet is.

But no doomsday gloom here, no hatred of humanity, no wish to return to a pre-industrial state. David Grinspoon is not opposing human civilisation and ecology, on the contrary, he makes the case that only through our ingenuity, through moderation, through maturity, through worldwide cooperation, can we overcome the challenges that we created for the planet, and help it to enter a new eon he coined the “Sapiezoic”, an eon when the planet becomes self-aware.

This is a message for ecology we can all get behind!

Earth in Human Hands: Shaping Our Planet's FutureEarth in Human Hands: Shaping Our Planet’s Future by David Grinspoon
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a great read. There were so many powerful ideas crammed into it, though it certainly could have been written with a bit less anecdotes about who is who and did what etc

But all in all a very hopeful message for humanity.

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