Coming soon (spring 2018) – SEEDS OF SCIENCE: How we got it wrong on GMOs
“In the mid-1990s, UK newspapers picked up on a controversial issue that had been slowly gathering steam – genetically modified organisms. The media soon could talk about little else. Headlines screamed that this technological advance could pose serious health risks, that our food was already GM-rich and yet we didn’t even realise. How could this be? Of course there was science and statistics to back up these bold claims … or was there?
Twenty years on, the dust has settled. Scientists are working hard to devise new farming methods that will meet the world’s food requirements while causing the minimum amount of ecological harm. We’re now discovering that the environmentalist mainstream might have misjudged the GM issue completely, and as a consequence we have forfeited two decades’ worth of scientific progress in perhaps the most vital area of human need: food.
No one is more aware of this fact than the author of this book, Mark Lynas. Starting out as one of the leading activists in the fight against GM – from destroying experimental crop fields to leading the charge in the press – in 2013 Lynas famously admitted that he had got it all wrong. This book tells the story of how and why so many people were confused by genetic engineering. Lynas takes us back to the origins of the technology, and examines the histories of the people and companies who pioneered it. He explains what led him to question his assumptions on GM, and what he is doing now to further research in this field, making a difference in tackling poverty by using science to encourage better harvests.
Seeds of Science lifts the lid on the whole controversial GM story, from the perspective of someone who has fought prominently on both sides. It provides an explanation of the research that has enabled this technology – something that was sorely missing from the media in the late 90s, which led to countless misconceptions about the field, one that could provide perhaps the only solution to a planet with a population of ten billion people.”
Everything you thought you knew about nuclear power is wrong. This is just as well, according to Mark Lynas in Nuclear 2.0, because nuclear energy is essential to avoid catastrophic global warming. Using the latest world energy statistics Lynas shows that with wind and solar still at only about 1 percent of global primary energy, asking renewables to deliver all the world’s power is “dangerously delusional”. Moreover, there is no possibility of using less energy, he reminds us, when the developing world is fast extricating itself from poverty and adding the equivalent of a new Brazil to global electricity consumption each year. The anti-nuclear movement of the 1970s and 80s succeeded only in making the world more dependent on fossil fuels, he shows: its history is “not lit by sunshine, but shrouded in coal smoke”. Instead of making the same mistake again, all those who want to see a low-carbon future need to join forces, he insists, concluding the book with an ambitious proposal for an Apollo Program-style combined investment in wind, solar and nuclear power.
This book was originally published in digital only as a Kindle Single but is now available in paperback.
Free download: Nuclear 2.0 en Español.
4 October 2011 – US edition published by National Geographic Books:
The God Species: Saving the Planet in the Age of Humans
Buy now from Amazon.com
Or buy from National Geographic Store
From the back cover of the UK edition:
We humans are the God species, both the creators and destroyers of life. In this groundbreaking new book, Mark Lynas shows us how we must use our technological mastery over nature to save the planet from ourselves.
Building on recent scientific discoveries, Lynas explains that there are nine ‘planetary boundaries’ that humanity must not cross if Earth is to continue to support life an our civilisation. Climate change is one, but others – like ocean acidification, nitrogen use and biodiversity loss – are less well-known, though equally crucial. These boundaries all interact, and we can only hope to manage the planet successfully if we understand how they affect one another.
But this is no depressing lamentation of eco-doom. Instead, Lynas presents a radical manifesto that calls for the increased use of controversial but environmentally-friendly technologies, such as genetic engineering and nuclear power, as part of a global effort to protect and nurture the biosphere. Ripping up years of ‘green’ orthodoxy, he reveals how the prescriptions of the current environmental movement are likely to hinder as much as help our vitally-needed effort to use science and technology to play God and save the planet.
UK edition available online from the following sellers:
An edited extract from the introduction of The God Species was published by the Telegraph on 12 July 2011
Sunday Times, 3 July 2011
Evening Standard, 7 July 2011
The Economist, 14 July 2011
The Independent, 15 July 2011
Financial Times, 15 July 2011
Irish Times, 16 July 2011
The Guardian, 20 July 2011
Published in 2007:
Six Degrees: Our future on a hotter planet
Six Degrees was made into a TV film by National Geographic, which has now been viewed by tens of millions around the world.
First published in 2004:
High Tide: How climate crisis is engulfing our planet
‘With High Tide, Mark Lynas has given us a tremendous gift: he has time-travelled into our terrifying collective future, a future that has already arrived in the farthest reaches of the globe. Go with him on this breathtaking, beautifully told journey — to island nations being engulfed by rising tides, to towns swallowed by encroaching desert, to glaciers melting into oceans — and I promise that you will come back changed, determined to alter the course of history.’ Naomi Klein, author of No Logo
‘Clear, lucid and informative.’ New Statesman
‘A thoroughly engaging and well-researched book.’ TLS
‘If you are among those who think climate change is an uncertain, remote issue over which scientists are unsure, politicians talk endlessly to little effect, and mere individuals have no power at all, this book may be for you ! Lynas tells us to keep repeating the climate change message. Read his book, and that is exactly what you will do.’ Guardian
‘There will be many more books like High Tide, but this will be remembered as the first ! it’ll be the one with the original vision ! Not unworthy of comparison with Orwell and certainly the breaker of new ground.’ Independent