We live in epoch-making times. The changes we humans have made in recent decades have altered our world beyond anything it has experienced in its 4.6 billion-year history. As a result, our planet is said to be crossing into the Anthropocene – the Age of Humans.
Gaia Vince decided to travel the world at the start of this new age to see what life is really like for the people on the frontline of the planet we've made. From artificial glaciers in the Himalayas to painted mountains in Peru, electrified reefs in the Maldives to garbage islands in the Caribbean, Gaia found people doing the most extraordinary things to solve the problems that we ourselves have created.
These stories show what the Anthropocene means for all of us – and they illuminate how we might engineer Earth for our future.
"This is an underreported area of science and a truly original story. We were all humbled by Vince's commitment to this book – she quit her job and spent 800 days on the global road to gather her evidence. She has captured the issue of the day in a way that is ultimately empowering without ever being complacent."
– Ian Stewart, Chair of judges, Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books 2015
"Gaia Vince effortlessly weaves individual stories into an epic, global narrative, to present us with a positive vision of a humane, brave new world"
– Alice Roberts
"A fine and timely book. Gaia Vince shows us how to stay steady and cheerful despite the ever irntensifying drama of the Anthropocene"
– James Lovelock
"'Gaia's remarkable journey is a unique inventory of life on earth, a both wild and human, at this important moment in our history"
– Bill Oddie
"The aptly named Gaia Vince has wandered the world seeking the truth about the Anthropocene, the name given to the new era in which humans dominate the planet and its fundamental processes. The result is a marvellous book: high-class reportage rooted in good science. At the same time, Vince has created a love letter to life on the road and to the people she meets: an ode to humanity. [...] Too many travel books end up navel-gazing, or padded out with literary quotes. This one, however, is fresh and unencumbered. Vince glides from ecology to economics, politics to philosophy, seeing it all through the people she meets. [...] Vince never denies that the Anthropocene could come to a sticky end, as brief and devastating as the aftermath of an asteroid strike. But I like her optimism and her faith in people, who she sees as "resourceful, intelligent and endlessly adaptable". We can make it, she says. Maybe we will."
– Fred Pearce, New Scientist, 30-06-2014
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Gaia Vince is a journalist and broadcaster specialising in science and the environment. She has been the front editor of the journal Nature Climate Change, the news editor of Nature and online editor of New Scientist. Her book Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet we Made won the 2015 Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books. Her work has appeared in the Guardian, The Times, Science, Scientific American, Australian Geographic and the Australian. She has a regular column, Smart Planet, on BBC Online, and devises and presents programmes about the Anthropocene for BBC radio.