The Earth as a Cradle for Life aims to fill the gap between readers who have a strong and informed scientific interest in the environment (but no access to the journal literature), and their desire for a basic understanding of the environment. It provides a comprehensive account, and requires no advanced mathematical skills. It will also satisfy a need for a textbook on fundamental science for students in tertiary environmental science courses that may otherwise neglect the underlying basis of their subject.The Earth as a Cradle takes a step back from common perceptions of the environment, and presents a new fundamental perspective. It draws attention to observations that have been neglected or discounted for reasons the authors found invalid, and which allow a more coherent account of the environment than is possible without them.Misunderstandings about the environment are common, even in the scientific community. They arise in part from the multi-disciplinary nature of the subject and the difficulty in keeping all relevant observations in mind and assessing their validity. These misunderstandings are often consequences of the band-wagon effect: when an idea is reinforced by repeated quotation and becomes difficult to contradict even when it is in obvious conflict with observations. This is especially so in a subject with strong media interest and conflicting commercial interests - and Cradle sweeps these considerations aside and presents a new environmental scenario.This book draws on several decades of research by the authors on fundamental Earth science, and presents probing insights on environmental questions that are not widely recognized - even in the professional community. For this reason it will become a landmark in the environmental science and Earth science literature.