In Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth, James Lovelock originated the Gaia Theory that the biosphere of our planet is, in essence, a large complex system which we can influence.
In Healing Gaia, he takes that idea a step further, he seeks to understand the damage that humanity has done to that biosphere and how we can use the biosphere to heal itself and us.
Why We Love Healing Gaia
It’s important to note that this book was originally published in 1991 and that, of course, there have been scientific advances in some fields which would change some of the flow or direction of this book had they been known when it was written.
However, James Lovelock’s work as a whole, in Healing Gaia, has more than stood the test of time.
By breaking down each problem such as ozone depletion or the formulation of acid rain as a problem that affects the whole system – he can show how a “medical science” approach can alleviate it.
Sure, the technical details might not be perfect, but that would be a big ask from one man, but the strategic approach is absolutely solid and one we can learn from today.
It’s also fascinating to dig into the history of the biosphere’s regulatory mechanisms and see how good they are at protecting life on Earth, to see that we’re not facing these challenges on our own.
Final Thoughts On Healing Gaia
It may not be an instruction manual to heal the planet but Healing Gaia is very close to that and if you’re seriously interested in a better world, this book is essential reading.
James Lovelock has also written Homage to Gaia and Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth and his influence can also be found in What Is Life?
You can grab a copy online here.