The Revenge of Gaia: Why the Earth is Fighting Back – and How We Can Still Save Humanity

John Lanchester writes:

It is possible that we are already too late to avoid climate change of a type that would destroy civilisation as we have known it. Humanity would be reduced to a small number of ‘breeding pairs’. James Lovelock ends his powerful and extremely depressing book with a glimpse of what that might look like:

In the hot arid world survivors gather for the journey to the new Arctic centres of civilisation; I see them in the desert as the dawn breaks and the sun throws its piercing gaze across the horizon at the camp. The cool fresh night air lingers for a while and then, like smoke, dissipates as the heat takes charge. Their camel wakes, blinks and slowly rises on her haunches. The few remaining members of the tribe mount. She belches, and sets off on the long unbearably hot journey to the next oasis.

(LRB 22 March 2007)

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