Eating the Sun

Eating the Sun

How Plants Power the Planet

Book - 2008
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Traces the science of photosysthesis and its relevance in both history and the modern world, exploring the phenomenon's key role in confronting today's environmental challenges.
Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, c2008
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780007163649
Characteristics: xix, 460 p. : ill. ; 24 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Apr 29, 2016

I know of Oliver Morton from his frequent contributions to The Economist's science podcast, Babbage. This is such a fascinating book with so much going on that I find it hard to summarize. The first third is about the discovery of the chemistry that is photosynthesis at the molecular and atomic levels. The middle third changes suddenly into a macro view of the evolution of the earth and the role of plants in shaping the biosphere from bacteria, to ferns, to forests, to grasses. It also waxes lyrical about the English countryside, relating today's landscape to its bio- and geo-evolutionary history. In the final third it returns to the discovery of photosynthesis, but before an understanding of chemistry and then jumps to address the modern day issue of climate change. I found the middle third the most compelling. It provides a macro view of all the parameters that affect the earth's climate and how they have shifted over time. It makes one realize how challenging it must be to model the climate. The book is extremely well written and a pleasure to read.


Add a Quote
Apr 29, 2016

And yet so great is the number of molecules we exhale in a life, and so great is the number that a tree makes use of, that . . . [y]our breath and your great-grandmother's and Joseph Priestly's ... are intermingled throughout the the biosphere. Trees are made from the breath of the world, not just the breath of those who seek its shade.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at SSFPL

To Top