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For book-related publicity queries and images, you can also contact:

My agent, Patrick Walsh, patrick@pewliterary.com

or my publishers:

in the UK: Ruth Waldrom,  rwaldram@penguinrandomhouse.co.uk  020 7840 8677

in the US: Casey O’Neil, casey_oneil@milkweed.org

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54 Comments leave one →
  1. December 5, 2008 2:17 pm

    I just stumbled upon your ‘How to unplug from the grid’. I cannot but gush that this is among the most illuminating and thrilling articles in my entire 69 years. Thank you.

    If 200,000 americans and 40,000 citizens of the rain drenched UK can do it, why at least a hundred million of the rest 6 billion of the planet can’t do likewise beats me.

    If nations can legislate that any consumer – corporate or individual, using electricity in excess of, say, 3000 KWH monthly will have to fend for himself energywise; surely he / she / it can well afford the initial investment for off-grid energy. That should, at one stroke [give them 3 year grace ] wipe out electricity shortage in the whole country. Won’t it ?

    Unfortunately and most perplexingly the headway in researching storage of electricity is extremely poor, nowhere near the pace of progress in all other spheres of life. Science must invigorate its focus on packing more, much more energy per unit volume; technology must focus on minimising, severely minimising the cost of storage per unit. Governments must manage legislation and finance policies [tax- holidays, subsidy] to compel acceleration of this approach.

  2. gaiavince permalink*
    December 5, 2008 2:29 pm

    Thanks so much for your kind words, SS, I agree wholeheartedly: why can’t the rest of us act now? I am optimistic however that little by little we will all switch to less damaging energy sources. I only hope we will be fast enough.

  3. Ian permalink
    January 26, 2009 8:18 pm

    Gaia and Nick

    As i sit here working another late night, i spent a fun 15 minutes going through your photos and your site. Unfortunately, this had the double impact of delaying my work and making me very jealous. However, i will return to see what else you get up to. Have fun.

    Ian

    • gaiavince permalink*
      January 27, 2009 5:26 am

      Hello! Glad to be distracting you from late-night working. You need to work less and play more Ian xx

  4. Kylie, James & Nate permalink
    January 28, 2009 10:54 am

    Hi Gaia and Nick, Glad to see the trip is going well and enjoying the posts and pictures. Really liked the Laptop piece -haven’t read the others yet (am supposed to be working afterall). Happy belated Australia Day back to you (we’ll leave the politics of it all aside to focus on the more positive aspects) and take care of each other. We’ll be logging back in to chek your progress! Lots of love, Kylie, James and Nate

    • gaiavince permalink*
      January 28, 2009 5:31 pm

      Cool, lovely to hear from you! x

  5. January 30, 2009 2:00 pm

    Dear Gaia! Thanks a lot for the interesting interview with James Lovelock! I am the environmental journalist and I work in Russian company Infox/(Our web site http://www.infox.ru ) I specialize on the problems of Global warming, biodiversity, pollution, sustainable development etc. I think that professional contacts could be useful – our web site is on Russian, unfortunately, but we work with a lot of scientists from Britain and another EU Universities and US. James Lovelock is very interesting person – he is unknown in Russia.
    Best wishes,
    Dr. Anna Govorova

  6. February 26, 2009 4:22 am

    i put thisinto DOT EARTH TODAy, to answer my critic GENE there”

    DANNY

    Dear Gene in No. #40 re danny in No. #32 re: “You are still on the
    polar cities kick! Why not domed cities all over the planet rather
    than just in the polar regions? Electric power from fusion or
    geothermal sources would readily support above ground cities and
    agriculture. If you confine yourself only to polar habitats [DO NOT!
    SEE BELOW.] you are implying a massive decrease in population. But, of
    course, you never mention that!”

    Gene,
    Please understand. My polar cities project is not a “kick”. It has the
    backing of James Lovelock and other top scientists and climatologists
    and “climate refugee” adaptation planners. Gene, I am not on any kick,
    you should know that. It’s a cri du coeur, and I think you know that.
    And actually, these “climate retreats” (aka Polar Cities) are not
    sci-fi domed cities in the North Pole, but survivable climate refugee
    retreats and safe refugees that will be built in central Canada,
    central Alaska, central Russia and on the island nations of NZ and
    Auststralia (Tasmania). They will not be sci fi domed cities, but
    small settlements of between 1000 to 3000 people, and some might even
    be sited in places like Colorado, Michigan and Washington state. The
    term “polar cites” will just a concept coined to get the project
    going, and there is even more of an urgent need to think about these
    things now, a year later. But we still have 499 more years to go
    before we need them, in fact. So relax, Gene.

    As for massive decrease in population by year 2500, yes, Gene, world
    pop will drop from an estimated 25 billion at that time to just
    200,000 “breeding pairs” in the Arctic and further south in some
    regions of a warmned-up world. How did I arrive at this figure? Ask Dr
    Lovelock. This all stems from his pioneering and courageous books and
    speeches.

    Yes, Gene, there will be massive die-offs. Only 200,000 men and women
    and children will remain. They will live in polar cities (climate
    retreats) in most countries that are still functioning at that time.
    They will survive and breed. The human species will survive. I am an
    optimist. But the time to start “thinking” about these things, Gene,
    is now. Planning, designing, siting them.

    This is no “kick”. This is about the very survival of the human
    species, 30 generations from now. I care.

    See images here, new and older:

    http://northwardho.blogspot.com/2008/10/life-in-future-climate-retreats-for.html

    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/30/polar-cities-a-haven-in-warming-world/?apage=5

  7. February 26, 2009 4:22 am

    gaia

    can you interview me one day about my POLAR CITES ideas?

    danny

    i put thisinto DOT EARTH TODAy, to answer my critic GENE there”

    DANNY

    Dear Gene in No. #40 re danny in No. #32 re: “You are still on the
    polar cities kick! Why not domed cities all over the planet rather
    than just in the polar regions? Electric power from fusion or
    geothermal sources would readily support above ground cities and
    agriculture. If you confine yourself only to polar habitats [DO NOT!
    SEE BELOW.] you are implying a massive decrease in population. But, of
    course, you never mention that!”

    Gene,
    Please understand. My polar cities project is not a “kick”. It has the
    backing of James Lovelock and other top scientists and climatologists
    and “climate refugee” adaptation planners. Gene, I am not on any kick,
    you should know that. It’s a cri du coeur, and I think you know that.
    And actually, these “climate retreats” (aka Polar Cities) are not
    sci-fi domed cities in the North Pole, but survivable climate refugee
    retreats and safe refugees that will be built in central Canada,
    central Alaska, central Russia and on the island nations of NZ and
    Auststralia (Tasmania). They will not be sci fi domed cities, but
    small settlements of between 1000 to 3000 people, and some might even
    be sited in places like Colorado, Michigan and Washington state. The
    term “polar cites” will just a concept coined to get the project
    going, and there is even more of an urgent need to think about these
    things now, a year later. But we still have 499 more years to go
    before we need them, in fact. So relax, Gene.

    As for massive decrease in population by year 2500, yes, Gene, world
    pop will drop from an estimated 25 billion at that time to just
    200,000 “breeding pairs” in the Arctic and further south in some
    regions of a warmned-up world. How did I arrive at this figure? Ask Dr
    Lovelock. This all stems from his pioneering and courageous books and
    speeches.

    Yes, Gene, there will be massive die-offs. Only 200,000 men and women
    and children will remain. They will live in polar cities (climate
    retreats) in most countries that are still functioning at that time.
    They will survive and breed. The human species will survive. I am an
    optimist. But the time to start “thinking” about these things, Gene,
    is now. Planning, designing, siting them.

    This is no “kick”. This is about the very survival of the human
    species, 30 generations from now. I care.

    See images here, new and older:

    http://northwardho.blogspot.com/2008/10/life-in-future-climate-retreats-for.html

    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/30/polar-cities-a-haven-in-warming-world/?apage=5

  8. Rod McDonald permalink
    March 13, 2009 1:04 am

    Hi Gaia

    Your article in New Scientist 25 Feb had a dramatic map of the world warmed by 4C. I would like to use that map in discussions. Unfortunately the map apears in the print edition only – the online edition “interactive map” is quite different and conveys little.

    Can you give me a pointer to a copy of the print-edition map, for private and educational use?

    Good work

    Rod

  9. Peter Shepherd permalink
    March 21, 2009 10:54 pm

    Really enjoyed reading your Feb 28 New Scientist article. Could you say what is the source of the page 31 map of “The World: 4 C warmer”?

    It’s quite different in projection of growing areas compared to those I’ve seen for the Canadian prairies at http://www.parc.ca/pdf/research_publications/agriculture4.pdf

    Kind Regards,

    Peter Shepherd

  10. March 29, 2009 2:42 am

    dear gaia,l have several new geo-engineering solutions to global warming crisis,including lowering sealevels.

    how do l email them to you?

    sincerely,ROBERT PARKE,AUSTRALIA

  11. April 8, 2009 10:52 pm

    If you want to read a reader’s feedback 🙂 , I rate this post for 4/5. Decent info, but I have to go to that damn google to find the missed pieces. Thank you, anyway!

  12. February 18, 2010 9:19 am

    Hi Gaia,

    We (my wife and I) have been experimenting with sustainable farming over last 5 years near Bangalore and trying to grow most of the stuff we need.

    It was wonderful to come across your website and would love to meet you.

    Our website is http://www.vanashree.in .

    Keep in touch

    Regards
    – Srikanth

  13. Claudio permalink
    May 15, 2010 3:18 am

    Dear Gaia and Nick
    Reading your notes give me a very vivid picture of the country I live in. I hope you have had a good time in Isla de Pascua and Santiago. Where are you going next? The Atacama Desert?
    Have you had time to have a look at the powerpoint presentation I copied in your PC? Any questions on that?

    Well, keep in touch.

    From these southern lands

    Claudio, Patty and Gabriela

    ps. a little misprint: the place where I was kept kidnapped is called Villa Grimaldi (although it sounds like Viagimaldi).

  14. July 16, 2010 8:33 pm

    New to your site so forgive me if my questions have been addressed in comments or articles elsewhere. Anyway, while I intend to do my part in reducing my carbon footprint and speaking to those I know and meet about doing the same, I can’t help but think I should prepare myself for an escalating worse case scenario. Your travels and contact to experts, on global warming, gives you a more in depth knowledge and visceral feel for what seems likely to be a massively different world than most can, or seem to have the interest to, imagine. My first question is: where is it that you are building a home? I will assume this location might fair better than most for potential survival. Maybe you see yourself as being semi-nomadic in order to adjust for surprises as warming unfolds? Maybe like minded people can coordinate moves to survivable regions to be a help to each other. Possibly a book exists that outlines survival regions and practices such as crop selection, water issues etc. Most info I come across is macro and political in scope. Thanks for any ideas that might lead me to information that is more practical on a personal/micro level…

  15. July 25, 2010 1:25 am

    American politicians have yet again given in to their usual short sighted shenanigans with the result that any hope of passing energy legislation, before the August recess, has now ended. There is no hope that efforts can be re-focused before the new year. I’m guessing congress won’t have a new year’s resolution that includes meaningful climate saving legislation. It’s a pathetic insular empire most capable of destruction and of giving its citizenry useless trivial and mostly materialistic choices…

  16. Olivier Galland permalink
    August 2, 2010 8:21 am

    Dear Gaia,

    I am geoscientist at the University of Oslo, Norway, and I read with great interest your article published in Science a couple of weeks ago on the dams of Patagonia. I feel particularly concerned about this issue, as I did a 9-month bike journey with my girlfriend last year along the Andean Cordillera, including the region of Aysén. We have been particularly sensitive about the future of the region and the impact of the dam project on the pristine nature of this part of the world, as we lived during a month in the wild there.

    This explains why I read with careful attention your article. It describes very well the problem raised by the dam project and the implication for Chile and its need for energy. However, I noticed some geographical discrepancies, if not mistakes, that can give a negative feeling to your article. The purpose of my comment is not to provide criticisms, but to provide some corrections. If my comments appear rude, I want to apologise in advance, as it is really not my purpose.

    1- Most of the pictures your show are Argentinean sceneries (Fitz Roy, Glacier Perito Moreno) whereas the dams project are in Chile. In addition, both cites mentioned above are part of the Southern Patagonian Ice Cap, whereas the rivers involved in the projects are mainly supplied by the Northern Patagonian Ice Cap. I however acknowledge that those famous landscapes can be useful for illustrating the region you are talking about.

    2- Nevertheless, more precisely, the legend of figure of page 384-385 is wrong: the glacier Perito Moreno, in the Southern Patagonian Ice Cap, does not supply the Río Baker. The waters of this glacier supply the Lago Argentino, in Argentina, far south of the Río Baker, this latter being supplied mainly by the Lago General Carrera and the glaciers of the Northern Patagonian Ice Cap.

    3- The volcano Fabien Bourlon tells about is called Volcán Hudson, not Hudsen.

    These simple discrepancies can easily been verified on any map of Southern Patagonia. Thus, such little mistakes can give a reader who knows the area the feeling that the investigation has not been completed rigorously, though I think it has been done rigorously. This would be a bit silly that just because of those mistakes, such a reader does not consider seriously the content of the paper, which is both very important and right. I would just recommend to double check these basic geographical aspects that can be important for the consideration of the content of the paper, especially for publication in a journal such as Science.

    Once again, my purpose is not to be rude neither to be critical. I just want to raise that point, hoping that it would be a constructive comment.

    Best regards.

    • Gaia permalink*
      August 2, 2010 4:29 pm

      Hi Olivier, thanks very much for your comments. Yes, the article has a couple of errors: the Hudson spelling and the Perito Moreno glacier error are unfortunate and both being corrected in the next issue. The images are, as you say, from picturesque locations in Patagonia and not all from Aysen, but the types of landscape from mountainous glaciers to Antarctic beech forest are the same. Thanks again for your comments.
      all the best, Gaia

  17. August 11, 2010 6:19 pm

    Ms. Vince,

    I enjoyed your recent Science article about the dams for electricity in Chile. You didn’t mention the recent and current water shortage concerns in Chile. I wonder if part of the driving force for the dams construction is the formation of water reservoirs. Presumably these dams/reservoirs would add greatly to the water storage capacity in Chile. I would be surprised if this were not a factor that is discussed in Chile.

    Population growth (low, but real in Chile), increasing urbanization and the desire to enter the developed world are powerful drivers and all require adequate energy and safe water supplies. India is an extreme example of a country that has failed to address its water supply and storage needs. They are now under severe pressure from major population growth and urbanization. Chile would probably prefer to avoid the mess that India is in.

    Blaise

    Chicago

    • Gaia permalink*
      August 11, 2010 9:57 pm

      Hi Blaise, Indeed water shortages are an issue, and I mention them in my article.

  18. Joel & Lish permalink
    August 29, 2010 2:36 am

    Hi Gaia and Nick — so sorry we didn`t get to say proper goodbyes. We enjoyed meeting you, and were inspired by your travels. Hope you got some more good time with the tapirs, and that your further travels down the Madre de Dios were less frantic than ours. (Rainstorms, flat tires, mud… We barely made the plane.) If your travels take you to Brooklyn or to Seattle, please look us up! We`ll treat you to tea, but — sorry Nick — most likely without any coca in it.

    All the best to you,
    Joel and Lish

  19. September 17, 2010 7:15 pm

    Hey there, this is the BEST brazilian here ; )
    How are you? Hope that you are doing fine, just wanted to drop a few lines to remind you that may you need ANYTHING just let me know, ok?
    All the best

    Georges

    • Gaia permalink*
      September 19, 2010 11:49 pm

      Hey Georges, Lovely to hear from the BEST Brazilian! We’ve just got to Manaus off the 4-day boat (full of very beautiful people), and off to find the guarana powder you told us about. Thanks so much for your offer of help – we will hound you down when we get stuck. Are you back in Sao Paulo now?

  20. October 13, 2010 3:29 am

    Funny how I found your site. I am a former volunteer at La Senda Verde Animal Sanctuary. I am currently throwing an event to raise money for them, I was looking up pictures of parrots smuggled for the event and came across a very familiar parrot. It’s funny how I could actually tell a parrot apart from the rest. Sure enough it was one of your pics, great work with the blog. LSV is a great place and we need more people to spread the word! The illegal pet trade is huge and especially in Bolivia! It needs to end!

  21. February 21, 2011 5:30 pm

    Hi Gaia! It’s Sajib here from Bangladesh. I would love myself to address as an aspiring writer. My first language is not English but I love writing in English because it helps me reach wider audience. I have worked in local newspaper writing in Bangla, but I never found it satisfactory. But I always loved journalism and writing in English and that’s why these days I’m more active in blogging than newspaper journalism (in Bangla). Hope to be able to write for big news agencies someday. 🙂

    I found you here from Freshly Pressed and noticed that you write actively for various agencies including the BBC. That’s why I wanted to say hi!

    I’d love to keep in contact with you (in case I get some exclusive tips on improving my English writing and reporting 😉 ). Would you like to add me on Facebook ( you got my email address ) ?

    And of course, if your 800 days somehow covers up Bangladesh, please let me know. 🙂

  22. Manoj Gautam permalink
    June 6, 2011 5:02 pm

    Dear Gaia,
    This is Manoj Gautam from Nepal. Just wanted to say that I have been following your blog and I love it. I went to Bardiya and Kailali to study the dolphins there and produced a draft of my paper. Just wanted to share the results. I lost your card and have no email, I could send the copy of my report once I have your email. Keep up the great work.

    Cheers !
    Manoj Gautam,
    Kathmandu, Nepal

  23. glenn tourville permalink
    November 21, 2011 4:23 am

    You state in your Granada article tha Nicaragua is the second poorest country in the world. It’s actually raknks about 136 out of 183.

    • Gaia permalink*
      November 21, 2011 10:15 am

      You are right Glenn – I meant that it is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. I will correct the post now.

      Thanks!

  24. December 8, 2011 6:40 pm

    Hi Gaia, what’s new ? We meet a few month ago in Belize / Caye Caulker. Would you be interested in partipating in a radio talk show (broadcast in Costa Rica, LA and Internet). I know the Jana of the jungle who is doing it : http://www.rainforestradio.com http://www.latalkradio.com.
    I’m sure she would be very intered to have you on her show as it talks only about environment protection. Let me know. Tom

    • Gaia permalink*
      December 8, 2011 6:47 pm

      Hi Tom, good to hear from you. Of course, I’d be happy to. I’m at the conference in Durban at the moment, but you can email me details on gaiavince at wanderinggaia.com

  25. Caitlin haigh permalink
    May 15, 2012 11:08 am

    Dearest Gaia,
    My name is Caitlin Haigh, I am 19 years of age and am currently studying at Macquarie university, Sydney Australia. For so long I have had an interest in our planet, it’s biodiversity,it’s ecology, its geology… And it has only occurred to me in the last few years, the way we as a civilization are living; using and unfortunately abusing this planets resources.
    I made the mistake of previously thinking that this planet will last forever, that we will last forever!! But through reading and watching and listening I sadly come to my own understanding that if we continue to live the way we are, this planet will rot at the hands of our misuse and yearn for commercial greed! So I say to you, I thank you most sincerely for having such a genuine interest in the wellbeing of this planet.
    It is my life long ambition to enter into conservation, to spread the word and make people aware of the devastation that will undoubtly follow us if we do not bring about change. It feels almost 19years too late I discover your blog, and your articles. But it is never too late for change and inspiration; for ACTION!!! Earlier this week I felt I had no passion…typing into google “how to find a passion” haha. I am studying a bachelor of science, majoring in brain, behaviour and evolution. It is through this course that I discovered you and your work.
    The October 2011 article you published in Science: The Epoch Debate. It was like a breath of fresh air, of new life (quite ironic in light of the article). It was that eureka moment, where I found that much needed piece of inspiration!

    I have joined your blog, jumped aboard the Gaia bandwagon (an electrically powered wagon of course) and shouted lets get up, let’s go out and do something! A collective will is needed to change this pattern of apathy. I was quite shocked to see that only a little over a thousand people followed your blog…

    Hopefully, with your wise words that number change and will entice a more productive attitude among society, among the mass corporations and the commercial fat cats! Among the everyday person and wider demographic.

    So thanks Gaia! I cannot wait to read more, better my understanding, broaden my mind, feed my thirst for change! Learn and take ACTION.

    Kind regards
    Caitlin Haigh

    • Gaia permalink*
      May 15, 2012 1:58 pm

      Hello Caitlin, thanks for your lovely message! It’s great to know that you’re studying hard to help us solve the important problem of how we can all live comfortably on this biodiverse planet without suffering environmental catastrophe.
      best wishes,
      Gaia

  26. June 16, 2012 6:16 am

    Ms. Gaia Vince,

    Recently came across your article entitled: “Earth: Have we reached an environmental tipping point?” on the BBC website. I was intrigued by the concept you describe for resolving the world’s environmental problem(s) through two main approaches: “Conservative” (Do as little harm as possible) or “Radical” (Do any and every thing that is beneficial).

    I am working on a watershed project in southern California…attempting to improve a small segment of an ephemeral creek by removing invasive weed species, educating the private and public landowners on natural resource management, and attempting to restore native plant species recently lost to fire, flooding, and of course humankind. I have witnessed in my lifetime the native ecology of this particular riparian habitat significantly diminish, remembering those summer days when, as child, I could ride an innertube along segments of a quiet stream….to now a dry arroyo bed that seems to only get drier….However, there is much more to this problem than what meets the eye…

    If you should ever get a chance to travel through southern California, I would be happy to share and tour you through a simple “on-the-ground” approach to restoring the environment, one that is attempting to harness the use of those two given energies: “gravity” and “sunlight”…..!!!!

    Roger A. Haring, CCA / QAL / Project Coordinator

  27. John permalink
    August 29, 2012 10:39 pm

    Dear Gaia,
    I am writing in response to your article that appeared on the BBC website on 29th August 2012. Fertiliser: Enriching the world’s soil. As I understand it, your article promotes the use of chemical fertilisers and poses the question of how we can get the third-world to start using more on their land.
    As you will know the fertilisers you mention are derived from fossil fuels, which are the second biggest use of oil after transport. As oil production declines chemical fertilisers will become unaffordable for many farmers worldwide. They are simply not going to be viable in the coming decades.
    You could have pointed out that one reason why we need to use them in the first place is that we have already killed much of the natural fertility in the soil using 20th century farming methods. Countries with shallow soil such as Australia found this out first. It is perhaps surprising that soil biology has started to be understood only relatively recently in agriculture. Some people may not be aware that traditional ploughing (tillage) is one of the worst things you can do to soil. It kills weeds, but it also kills fertility in the soil created by bacteria, microbes, networks of fungi and earthworms. The exposed soil is left for dead (ecocide) and therefore many farmers use chemical fertiliser in order to grow anything at all.
    You correctly point out that the ingredients of chemical fertiliser are similar to those developed for the weapons used during World War I and subsequent warfare. It is no coincidence that much of the stockpiles of chemicals left over after WWII became fertilisers and pesticides. Refined processes continue to produce chemicals that fight a war against our ecosystems instead.
    Holistic, integrated, chemical-free farming is not inherently ‘inefficient’ as you have suggested. Nature has evolved over a long period of time and is the most efficient method of growing and should be more respected. Its only desire is to be alive and productive. As oil supplies decline we will have to implement systems that more closely mimic nature in order to attain high yields from sustainable cycles where our harvest is almost a by-product of nature.
    Perhaps you could have brought to your readers’ attention some of the exciting alternative methods pioneering farmers are using successfully in order to build rich fertile soil rather than deplete it. They are able to do this whilst increasing yields without using chemicals and even sequester a significant amount of carbon at the same time. These methods can and are already being done in many places in the world. Perhaps you could visit these farms and write about them in a forthcoming article.

    • Gaia permalink*
      August 30, 2012 7:43 am

      Hello John, thanks for the interest. Just to correct you on a couple of points: fertilisers are not made from oil, they are made from hydrogen (which at the moment comes from natural gas, but could come from the solar splitting of water, for example). The process is very energy intensive, and currently this energy comes from fossil fuels, as I say in the article, but this could come from other sources in the future.

      I do discuss other methods of soil enrichment in the article, and also in previous BBC articles (http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20120209-mud-mud-glorious-vanishing-mud) and there’s a video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhvAjEUFH-Q

  28. John permalink
    August 30, 2012 12:51 pm

    Thanks for the correction Gaia.

    Yes, it is in fact derived from natural gas not oil. But without gas, making chemical fertiliser by the solar-splitting of water to form hydrogen would require 600% more energy. Until a viable alternative comes along perhaps we should try harder to preserve and improve soil fertility which your other article rightly mentions.

    I am sure you are already familiar with the soil improvement techniques involved in permaculture, Yeoman ploughing and also Joel Salatin’s grazing method which has built 12 inches of topsoil in 51 years. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_MRYSA5q1E

  29. August 31, 2012 7:14 am

    Hello Gaia, Just saw your BBC article http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20120828-enriching-the-soil and am glad that you are raising these vitally important issues whilst I also wonder where is the serious scientific support? Most research funding focusses on the sea and when on soil it is for chemicals or genetics (GMOs). I personally think the future must return to an information-rich form of organic farming and I challenge your assumption that yields are lower or that more land would be needed (this is agchem cartel propaganda). Current agriculture requires something like 9 calories of fossil fuel input to produce one calorie of food energy, much of this subsidised by tax. Also, so what if organic farming is more labour intensive? Dont we have underemployment and arent people needing more fresh-air and exercise? What better than a return to the land but without the indenture of the earlier times. And permaculture organic has a means to reclaim desert lands – please take 5 mins to watch Jeff Lawton’s “Greening the Desert” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sohI6vnWZmk
    For 30 years I have researched organic soil and earthworm ecology, with very little funding support. My (academic) website is http://www.annelida.net/earthworm/ and here is my (popular) article : UNU World 2.0 article http://ourworld.unu.edu/en/wonder-worm-to-the-rescue/
    Cheers, Rob B

    • Gaia permalink*
      August 31, 2012 9:13 am

      Hi Rob, the 25% comes from this paper: Nature 485, 229-232, 10 May 2012, doi:10.1038/nature11069

      • Rob Blakemore permalink
        August 31, 2012 4:40 pm

        Thank you for reply Gaia. Yes Nature wants me to pay $32 to read the article – so Science is commercial. Check funding bodies – often it is chemical companies, now turned over to “safer” GMOs, who fund the research and reject critical results. Even when it is government funded, don’t expect transparency – for example CSIRO, Australia’s prime research org deliberately excludes anything even slightly organic – as stated publicly and applied surreptitiously (i.e., any organic researchers get the elbow out – me included!). This is on record if you wish to check – http://www.truefood.org.au/newsandevents/?news=50 for Dr Maarten Stapper. And I am sure if you track back vehement critics of organics you will find Monsanto or Bayer behind. The Meta data paper in Nature that you cite (http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v485/n7397/full/nature11069.html) used alpha data from published reports, but in comments we find that “the USDA budget for agricultural R&D … found that only 1.65% of funds are directed towards organic farming systems.” Please rely on Pimental, and perhaps Paoletti. You can also check my Haughley paper that was blocked by CSIRO and published 20 years later (Blakemore, 2000)…
        Sad to say that Science, our best and only hope, is also biased and easily bought out. I am an honest scientist because no-one buys me out hence my poverty and exile… Anyway, kudos to your good work (except your promoting zero-till which is another Monsanto glyphosate franchise).
        Best, Rob B

  30. September 21, 2012 10:00 am

    Thank you Gaia, for the two excellent articles I just read, on the un-sustainability of our rapacious harvesting of global fish-stocks, and on the saving of the coral reefs. I confess to some shame as a participant in the former, as I do use Omega-3 fish oil capsules! I however am left with some despair in that as it appears the world’s leaders are all “hands-tied” politicians, perhaps you (we) should now concentrate on changing the mind-set of the young, and coming generations. Do we need a sort of Disney film (finding Nemo) to excite and stir into action the young? The conundrum seems to be, that while we older folks can appreciate the data, but refuse to act, and the young do not understand the data but have the power and opportunity to grow up- and into- a different life-style??!! Keep up your really fine work. Tony Webster, Barbados

  31. October 24, 2014 8:01 pm

    What a book. I’ve just finished reading ‘Adventures in the Anthroposcene’ and found it fascinating. I have listened (for over 50 years!) to doom and gloom over the fate of this planet and the species that inhabit it and yes your book goes to great length to highlight clearly and succinctly what is happening. Unlike other books on the same theme, yours is the first I have seen that shows ordinary people tackling the issues in innovative ways. I also applaud your stance on energy sources – we cannot continue to rely on fossil fuels and must look to other ways of providing the huge demands being made everywhere. I have always felt that Fusion (if they ever get it right) will be the way forward as regards the supply of electricity, but something needs to be done about transport. Politicians will trumpet on about cutting emissions and greenhouse gases but in reality will do little of substance – in fact I am not sure they understand what is going on!
    I could go on but enough – you are doing a better job than I in publicizing than I ever could – keep up the good work.

    • Gaia permalink*
      October 25, 2014 10:24 am

      Thanks so much Jim! So glad you enjoyed it.

  32. Rebecca Manning permalink
    January 18, 2015 9:28 pm

    Wow….. I am inspired, overwhelmed, don’t know where to start, but so desperately want to get on board to make a difference. I am only a quarter of the way through your book and can’t wait to turn the page for the interesting facts you include and the ways in which ordinary people are making a difference. As I read on one thing seems to come up often; lack of money and man power to help each project. Have you thought of writing a follow up book of where people can donate to the projects they are interested in, or adventure to these places to spend a day or week to help on their gap years and adventures around the world? Imagine how quickly the mountains in Peru could be painted with the works help.

    • Gaia permalink*
      January 19, 2015 7:28 am

      Thanks so much. And good suggestion!

  33. Charlotte Mermier permalink
    January 28, 2015 8:54 pm

    Hello Gaia,

    I recently obtained my Master’s degree in Bioengineering and currently work in a biotechnology company, and I am really interested in scientific journalism. I recently read one of your articles in the Technologist, that I receive through my former school, and ended up on Wandering Gaia.

    I am really interested in the topics that you address, and also impressed by what you have done. It really makes me want to be more useful and contribute to make a difference in our world.

    If you don’t mind, I would love to know more about what you have done to get there. I read that you have a Chemistry and Physics degree. Have you ever studied journalism ? What would you advice if I want to have a career similar to yours in the future?

    I am sorry to write this message as a comment, but the link to your email doesn’t seem to be working.

    I wish you all the best with your book !

    Charlotte Mermier

    • Gaia permalink*
      January 31, 2015 3:02 pm

      Hi Charlotte, if you want to get into science journalism, I recommend doing a journalism course. Good luck with it! G

  34. Ronald D'Addario permalink
    March 11, 2015 1:58 pm

    Hi Gaia, I just finished reading Adventures in the Anthropocene; what a great book! I suggest it be mandatory reading for every high school senior — a requirement for graduation. Thank you the very hard work in travelling, writing and research you accomplished. The book is a great achievement. Thank you, Ron D’Addario

    • Gaia permalink*
      March 11, 2015 7:57 pm

      Thank you Ronald, I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  35. January 5, 2016 12:32 pm

    I am reading Adventures in the Anthropocene. What an amazing book. Simply Eye-opening! Just read an article in the New York Times about the Bill Gates Bump. Hope your book will be on his short list one day (especially your chapter on “Rocks”). Wonder, Gaia, what’s your take on the creation of the multibillion-dollar fund for clean energy technology that was just announced.

  36. A.C. Stark permalink
    February 6, 2016 10:24 pm

    Gaia, amazing work. I presume you’re familiar with George Monbiot’s writings. What are your thoughts on rewilding? Also, I’ve recently posted a blog article on overpopulation. I’d like to know your perspective on it. I feel it’s incredibly intertwined with global warming.

  37. thatzjazz permalink
    January 30, 2017 12:20 pm

    keep waving! and pointing out. even if you feel like things are sinking and people are busy drilling holes in this ship called Earth. sinking is not an option. floaties available at blaustift.wordpress.com. drop round for a thought and a chuckle – always welcome.
    The bubble won’t be burst – together we’ll manage the upstroke

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