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Catastrophe watch

Super-eruptions, asteroid impacts and cosmic winters—such cataclysmic events, known as gee-gees, are no longer science fiction. The tsunami has helped focus minds on the potential dangers. We must act now
Bill McGuire  

Scots on the rocks

Neal Ascherson has found geological origins for Scottish nationalism. This is not as mad as it sounds but it is still no reason to abandon the Union
Malcolm Rifkind  

James Lovelock

What kind of man suggests the world is an organism—and wins scientific acceptance for his idea?
Philip Ball  

Millennium briefing: climate change

Climate is complex. Greenhouse gases, living systems, the circulation of the oceans and the planet's orbit all influence the earth's climate. But can the study of past climate change allow us to predict future trends?
Philip Ball  

The men of rock

Richard Fortey has written an elegant and informative biography of life on earth. But his preference for the rock over the intriguing idea lets him down
Oliver Morton  

The lab

John Maddox looks at new research which sheds light on the differences between Earth and the other planets
John Maddox