It's not often you read a book, which fundamentally changes ones’ approach to life but that's what happened to me when I was introduced to the works of Prof James Lovelock.

When I was living in Devon I was privileged to spend half a day in the company of the great man and I was enthralled by his knowledge, his wisdom and his passion. Here was a scientist who cares about people and the planet more than any scientific reputation.

Prof Lovelock confirmed my views about the futility of covering our glorious landscape in inefficient, environmentally damaging wind turbines, which inspired me to launch the Renewable Energy Foundation. He also aroused my interest in the science of positive human energy.

The words of Martin Rees in the introduction to The Vanishing Face of Gaia will hopefully encourage you to learn more about the man and his message:

Gaia-the idea that the Earth's biosphere behaves as though it were a single organism-was the insight of a man who is undoubtedly one of the most original and influential living scientists: James Lovelock. He believes that our species is now putting the Earth under unprecedented stress, and that climate change could lead to a world with much impoverished ecology, that is barely habitable by humans. More scarily ( and more controversially) he claims that the point of no return may already have been passed….

.climate change and loss of biodiversity-have risen high on the international agenda. James Lovelock is hoping to keep them there. He is a hero to many scientists-certainly to me. His individualistic career is a welcome counterpoint to the specialised, quasi-industrial style in which most research is conducted.

In the 1960s he designed an instrument that was so sensitive at detecting minute traces of atmospheric pollutants that many colleagues refused to believe his claims. He is beholden to no institution. He ranges freely across the disciplinary boundaries that too often constrain ‘institutional’ thinkers.

Those of us who are scientists should aspire to emulate James Lovelock's inventiveness; all citizens should be inspired by his commitment and also altruism. It is no exaggeration to say that our civilisation's long-term future depends on whether the ‘call to arms’ in this riveting book is widely heeded.

Martin Rees

Trinity College, Cambridge.

I am so convinced about the significance of this book that I have purchased 25 copies which I would like to give, complete with a personal message from me, to the first 25 people who come up with the most interesting and constructive observations about climate change and how we can protect future generations.

Email your observations to

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