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Publisher's Summary

For the first time in Earth's history, our planet is experiencing a confluence of rapidly accelerating changes prompted by one species: humans. Climate change is only the most visible of the modifications we've made - up until this point, inadvertently - to the planet. And our current behavior threatens not only our own future but that of countless other creatures. By comparing Earth's story to those of other planets, astrobiologist David Grinspoon shows what a strange and novel development it is for a species to evolve to build machines, and ultimately, global societies with world-shaping influence.

Without minimizing the challenges of the next century, Grinspoon suggests that our present moment is not only one of peril, but also great potential, especially when viewed from a 10,000-year perspective. Our species has surmounted the threat of extinction before, thanks to our innate ingenuity and ability to adapt, and there's every reason to believe we can do so again.

Our challenge now is to awaken to our role as a force of planetary change, and to grow into this task. We must become graceful planetary engineers, conscious shapers of our environment and caretakers of Earth's biosphere. This is a perspective that begs us to ask not just what future do we want to avoid, but what do we seek to build? What kind of world do we want? Are humans the worst thing or the best thing to ever happen to our planet? Today we stand at a pivotal juncture, and the answer will depend on the choices we make.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2016 David Grinspoon (P)2016 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"David Grinspoon's books are always high-spirited, insightful, elegantly-written, and full of fascinations, but Earth in Human Hands is especially so, because he focuses on our home planet and exciting/dangerous new age, crisscrossing the globe and traveling deep into the unknown reaches of space, where other lifeforms may be facing their own planetary challenges. I'm sure readers will love voyaging through the cosmos with him again, as I do." (Diane Ackerman, New York Times best-selling author)

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful listen.

Grinspoon narrative is hopeful, but is not sugar coated. We face many titanic dilemmas for our generation and our following generations, that must be addressed to transcend to the next level of humanity.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Planetary Perspective

This is a great view of global warming and management of the world from a long-term global viewpoint. Grinspoon reads well for an amateur, but it would've been better with a professional reader.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An amazing book loaded with valuable insight!

Earth in Human Hands is a terrific read for anyone with a desire to make a powerful impact in the world! Loaded with easy to read science and entertaining anecdotes, Earth in Human Hands was both delightful and educational.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Zing!

David, was absolutely fantastic. The writing was significantly profound. And the fact that the author IS the narrator, makes it all the best.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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New perspective

This is a great and wide ranging book. I was pleasantly surprised to find the focus more on a cosmic perspective than one constrained to that of Earth alone.

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Inspiring view of the human story, told with verve

Would you listen to Earth in Human Hands again? Why?

Yes. I found it inspiring, thought provoking and thoroughly enjoyable. It gave me a new, hopeful way of thinking about the human presence on Earth.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The planet!

What about David Grinspoon’s performance did you like?

He sounds like someone you'd want to spend time with.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The very end.

Any additional comments?

I love that Grinspoon also wrote the music.