Light to Life

The miracle of photosynthesis and how it can save the planet

Raffael Jovine

Published by Short Books in Hardback (£14.99) on 22-04-2021

In this fascinating, revelatory new book, biologist Raffael Jovine takes us on a journey of discovery into the intricate, beautiful and often surprising processes that convert energy from the sun into life and how all-important these are to our survival.

Despite the unprecedented challenges the Earth faces from global warming, habitat loss, air pollution and population growth; Jovine shows us that there is hope to be found. Photosynthesis is the very source of life: it has the power not just to produce food, but to reshape continents, drive biogeochemical cycles, stabilise the climate and regulate weather.

Jovine unveils a blueprint for the future: greening the desert, bringing the ocean on land, planting mangrove forests and oyster banks, growing algae for animal feed, human food and soil carbon.  He demonstrates how by harnessing photosynthesis we can regenerate the planet and revise the way we human beings interact with it.

  • It took nearly three centuries for a roster of mystics, alchemists, priests, physicians, poets, cocaine-snorting scientists and adventurers to discover photosynthesis. Thanks to Raffael Jovine, it will take you less than three hours to understand the power and glory of this process. A scientist, a seer and a story-teller all in one, Jovine explains his passion for an idea that just might save the planet.

    Sebastian Mallaby, Journalist, Author and International Economist

  • This book is about the magic of photosynthesis and how plants and algae turn sunlight into energy to make life on this planet possible.  Read it and you will learn how photosynthesis was discovered, how it works, and how we can produce more food to feed the world.

    Paul Nurse, Nobel Prize winner and author of What is Life

  • Photosynthesis is not only remarkable, it is the foundation of who we are and the lives we can lead. This outstanding book shows that it is also fascinating, inspirational, and the key to building a sustainable future.”

    Lord Stern, IG Patel Professor of Economics and Government at the London School of Economics

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