Revenge of Gaia
A P photo
I have been harboring this idea for over a year now, so I am glad in the most climate noir kind of way that someone who has briefed Margaret Thatcher on the issue has come to the same view. James Lovelock, the scientist and green guru who conceived the idea of Gaia, now believes that we are, well,
As much as I would like to think that most of this is for shock value,
I suspect it is not.
The story came out in the Independent
Environment in crisis: 'We are past the point of no return'
Copyright 2006, Independent
Date: January 16, 2006
Byline: Michael McCarthy
Thirty years ago, the scientist James Lovelock worked out that the Earth possessed a planetary-scale control system which kept the environment fit for life. He called it Gaia, and the theory has become widely accepted. Now, he believes mankind's abuse of the environment is making that mechanism work against us. His astonishing conclusion - that climate change is already insoluble, and life on Earth will never be the same again.
The world has already passed the point of no return for climate change, and civilisation as we know it is now unlikely to survive, according to James Lovelock, the scientist and green guru who conceived the idea of Gaia - the Earth which keeps itself fit for life.
In a profoundly pessimistic new assessment, published in today's Independent, Professor Lovelock suggests that efforts to counter global warming cannot succeed, and that, in effect, it is already too late.
The world and human society face disaster to a worse extent, and on a faster timescale, than almost anybody realises, he believes. He writes: " Before this century is over, billions of us will die, and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable."
In making such a statement, far gloomier than any yet made by a scientist of comparable international standing, Professor Lovelock accepts he is going out on a limb. But as the man who conceived the first wholly new way of looking at life on Earth since Charles Darwin, he feels his own analysis of what is happening leaves him no choice.
He believes that it is the self-regulating mechanism of Gaia itself - increasingly accepted by other scientists worldwide, although they prefer to term it the Earth System - which, perversely, will ensure that the warming cannot be mastered. This is because the system contains myriad feedback mechanisms which in the past have acted in concert to keep the Earth much cooler than it otherwise would be.
Now, however, they will come together to amplify the warming being caused by human activities such as transport and industry through huge emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2 ).
It means that the harmful consequences of human beings damaging the living planet's ancient regulatory system will be non-linear - in other words, likely to accelerate uncontrollably.
He terms this phenomenon "The Revenge of Gaia" and examines it in detail in a new book with that title, to be published next month. "
Even Bloomberg carried a version of the story,
Climate change will kill billions of people this century as the Earth warms, passing into a ``fever'' phase from which it may take 100,000 years to recover, James Lovelock, the scientist who propounded the ``Gaia'' theory, said.
Temperatures in temperate regions such as Europe and the U.S., will soar by 8 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit) this century, and those in the tropics will rise by 5 degrees as a result of man-made emissions, Lovelock wrote in today's Independent newspaper.
``We have given Gaia a fever and soon her condition will worsen to a state like a coma,'' Lovelock wrote. ``She has been there before and recovered, but it took more than 100,000 years.
We are responsible and will suffer the consequences.''
Last night, I watched as MSNBC raked Hillary over the coals
for her Plantation statement.
They went on and on.
We should be outlawing the use of coal,
not tearing down thoughtful, articulate leaders,
for stating the obvious about our current leadership.
This kind of media irresponsibility
will lead to the fullfilled prophecy of Lovelock for sure.
There are three strategies to employ against Climate Change.
This is not going to be a tea party folks.
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