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Gaia Vince is a journalist and broadcaster specialising in science and the environment. She has been the front editor of the journal Nature Climate Change, the news editor of Nature and online editor of New Scientist. Her work has appeared in the Guardian, The Times, Science, Scientific American, Australian Geographic and the Australian. She has a regular column, Smart Planet, on BBC Online, and devises and presents programmes about the Anthropocene for BBC radio. She blogs at WanderingGaia.com and tweets at @WanderingGaia.
We live in epoch-making times. Literally. The changes we humans have made in recent decades have altered our world beyond anything it has experienced in its 4.5 billion-year history - we have become a force on a par with earth-shattering asteroids and planet-cloaking volcanoes. As a result, our planet is said to be crossing a geological boundary - from the Holocene into the Anthropocene, or Age of Man. Gaia Vince decided to quit her job at science journal Nature, and travel the world at the start of this new age to explore what all these changes really mean - especially for the people living on the frontline of the planet we've made. She found ordinary people solving severe crises in ingenious, effective ways. Take the retired railway worker who's building artificial glaciers in the Himalayas, for example, or the Peruvian painting mountains white to retain snowfall. Meet the villagers in India using satellite technology to glean water; and the women farmers in Africa combining the latest genetic discoveries with ancient irrigation techniques; witness the electrified reefs in the Maldives and the man who's making islands out of rubbish in the Caribbean. Alongside these extraordinary - and inspiring - stories, Gaia looks at how humanity's changes are reshaping our living planet, transforming our relationshiop with the natural world, and explores how we might engineer Earth for our future.
'A wondrous, visionary work' Tim Flannery, scientist and author of the bestselling The Weather Makers From the prize-winning author of Adventures in the Anthropocene, the astonishing story of how culture enabled us to become the most successful species on Earth Humans are the most successful species on Earth; a planet-altering force of nature. Meanwhile, our closest living relatives, the now-endangered chimpanzees, continue to live as they have for millions of years. Yet we evolved through the same process. What are we then? And now we have remade the world, what are we becoming? Setting out to answer this question, Gaia Vince retells our evolution story. Unlike any other species on earth we determine the course of our own destiny, something that she argues rests on a special relationship between our genes, environment and culture going back into deep time. It is our collective culture, rather than our individual intelligence, that makes humans unique. Vince shows how our four evolutionary drivers - Fire, Language, Beauty and Time - are further transforming our species into a superorganism: a hyper-cooperative mass of humanity that she calls Homo omnis, or 'Homni'. Drawing on cutting-edge advances in population genetics, archaeology, palaeontology and neuroscience, Transcendence compels us to reimagine ourselves, showing us to be on the brink of something grander - and potentially more destructive. To think of humans as a smarter sort of chimp with cool tools is to miss what is truly extraordinary about us. Look around you: we are the intelligent designers of all you see - including ourselves.
Explore the impact of humans on the planet in this beautiful new edition of Gaia Vincent's powerful work. In recent decades human beings have altered the planet beyond anything it has experienced in its 4.5 billion-year history. We have become a force on a par with earth-shattering asteroids and planet-cloaking volcanoes. As a result, our planet is said to be crossing a geological boundary - from the Holocene into the Anthropocene, or the Age of Man. Gaia Vince quit her job to travel the world and to explore what all these changes really mean to our daily lives. She discovers the shocking ways in which we have reshaped our living planet and reveals the ingenious solutions we've evolved to engineer Earth for the future. PATTERNS OF LIFE: SPECIAL EDITIONS OF GROUNDBREAKING SCIENCE BOOKS
** Winner of Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books 2015 ** We live in epoch-making times. The changes we humans have made in recent decades have altered our world beyond anything it has experienced in its 4.6 billion-year history. As a result, our planet is said to be crossing into the Anthropocene - the Age of Humans. Gaia Vince decided to travel the world at the start of this new age to see what life is really like for the people on the frontline of the planet we've made. From artificial glaciers in the Himalayas to painted mountains in Peru, electrified reefs in the Maldives to garbage islands in the Caribbean, Gaia found people doing the most extraordinary things to solve the problems that we ourselves have created. These stories show what the Anthropocene means for all of us - and they illuminate how we might engineer Earth for our future.