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Gaia Hypothesis

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World 'appeasing' climate threat

By Alex Kirby

BBC News Online environment correspondent

One of the UK's best-known scientists, Professor James Lovelock, says only a catastrophe will prompt the world to tackle the threat of climate change.

He says the global climate treaty, the Kyoto Protocol, is simply an attempt to appease a self-regulating Earth system.

Professor Lovelock thinks the Earth's attempts to restore its equilibrium may eliminate civilisation and most humans.

He wants a rapid end to the destruction of natural habitats, which he says are key to planetary climate and chemistry.

? We are at war with the Earth itself. We are Gaia's target now ?

Professor James Lovelock

Professor Lovelock won acclaim for developing the Gaia Hypothesis, which suggests the Earth functions as a single organism which maintains the conditions necessary for its survival.

His latest comments were made at a conference at Dartington Hall in Devon. He told a collection of scientists, civil servants and others concerned about climate change of his concern at the prospect facing the Earth.

Professor Lovelock said: "In the late 1930s when I was a student we knew that war was imminent, but there was no clear idea of what to do about it.

Future fears

"I find a marked similarity between attitudes over 60 years ago and those now towards the threat of global [climate] change.

"Most of us think that something unpleasant may soon happen but we are as confused over what to do about it as we were in 1938.

"Our response so far is just like that in 1938, an attempt to appease. The Kyoto agreement is uncannily like that of Munich, with politicians out to show that they do respond but in reality are bidding for time."

Professor Lovelock said global warming was "the response of our outraged planet", and the consequences for humanity were likely to be far worse than any war.

"We are at war with the Earth itself", he said. "We are Gaia's target now." Professor Lovelock added that we had still to wake up to the seriousness of our plight, with some people continuing to deny that global change even existed.

Heeding them, or the deep Greens who rejected science, would allow the planet to return to its normal state of health, "but by eliminating the majority of humans and probably civilization as well".

Repeating his call for humans to use the best technology, including nuclear energy, Professor Lovelock said: "There may be a way to come to terms with Gaia and survive, and it is to take the hi-tech road.

"We must stop fretting over the minute statistical risks of cancer from chemicals or radiation.

Scorched Earth policy

"Our goal should be the cessation of fossil fuel consumption as quickly as possible, and there must be no more natural habitat destruction anywhere.

"To attempt to farm the whole Earth to feed people, even with organic farming, would make us like sailors who burnt the timbers and rigging of their ship to keep warm."

"The natural ecosystems of the Earth are not just there for us to take as farmland; they are there to sustain the climate and the chemistry of the planet."

In place of sustainable development, Professor Lovelock called for "a well-planned sustainable retreat", a programme that would dwarf the space and military programmes.

He said his hope lay "in that powerful force that takes over our lives when we sense that our tribe or nation is threatened from outside".

Professor Lovelock told BBC News Online: "I do think it will take a disaster to wake us up.

"We had one in Europe last summer with the heatwaves which killed 20,000 people. I'm afraid it will take more of the same, or something else like that, to stir us."

Tony Juniper, from Friends of the Earth, said there was much to admire in Professor Lovelock's thinking but it was crazy to consider nuclear power as a solution.

"One of the advantages of nuclear power is that it produces fewer carbon dioxide emissions than fossil fuels, but weighed against this are a great many disadvantages - and top of the list is what to do with the very deadly radioactive waste," he told the BBC.

Story from BBC NEWS:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/science/nature/3766831.stm

Published: 2004/06/03 13:52:32 GMT

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_theory_(science)

The Gaia hypothesis is an ecological hypothesis proposing that the biosphere and the physical components of the Earth (atmosphere, cryosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere) are closely integrated to form a complex interacting system that maintains the climatic and biogeochemical conditions on Earth in a preferred homeostasis. Originally proposed by James Lovelock as the earth feedback hypothesis, it was named?at the suggestion of his neighbor William Golding?the Gaia Hypothesis, after the Greek supreme goddess of Earth.

The hypothesis is frequently described as viewing the Earth as a single organism. Lovelock and other supporters of the idea now call it Gaia theory, regarding it as a scientific theory and not mere hypothesis, since they believe it has passed predictive tests.

The Gaia hypothesis was first scientifically formulated in the 1960s by the independent research scientist James Lovelock, as a consequence of his work for NASA on methods of detecting life on Mars. He initially published the Gaia Hypothesis in journal articles in the early 1970s followed by a popularizing 1979 book Gaia: A new look at life on Earth.

It seems the Gaia hypothesis is still being widely debated at learning centers worldwide.

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Regarding the usual alarmist anti-nuclear comments fom the Greens, the following article is extremely interesting, and provides a very different view of nuclear energy, especially when it comes to the statements made regarding the nuclear waste and carcinogens...

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig9/hogan3.1.1.html

I think the green lobby have really pulled the wool over our eyes...

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Regarding the usual alarmist anti-nuclear comments fom the Greens, the following article is extremely interesting, and provides a very different view of nuclear energy, especially when it comes to the statements made regarding the nuclear waste and carcinogens...

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig9/hogan3.1.1.html

I think the green lobby have really pulled the wool over our eyes...

while I am sure that the propaganda of the greens, or indeed the anti nuclear left, is often full of exaggerations, I am not sure whether I am ready to accept an article by a science fiction writer, on a website funded by an organisation opposed to ALL forms of state intervention, is really going to be the sort of unbiased view that I want to accept.

:)

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Its the thinking of the new age which is ironic as the native peoples have always lived that way ,for the most part. So modern man has to re-teach himself how to live in harmony with his environment for the same reason so called primitive cultures did, survival.

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"Professor Lovelock thinks the Earth's attempts to restore its equilibrium may eliminate civilisation and most humans."

so scary for us.....

For Man is indeed the final product. Not because homo sap is the apogee of perfection, before which God himself gasps in awe - "i can do nothing more" - but because Man is an unsuccessful experiment, caught in a biologic dead end and inexorably headed for extinction.

William Burroughs (1987)

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Some good news,

In a speech to G20 leaders on Sept. 25, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said the government was crafting a policy that would cut emissions by 26 percent by 2020 from "business as usual" (BAU) levels.

The policy would be a mix of stepping up investment in renewable energy, such as geothermal power, and curbing emissions from deforestation and changes in land use.

With international support, he said he was confident Indonesia could cut emissions by as much as 41 percent.

"This target is entirely achievable because most of our emissions come from forest-related issues, such as forest fires and deforestation," he said during a working lunch in the U.S city of Pittsburgh.

Hopefully the US Senate will follow Indonesia lead and make strong commitment to reducing GHG emissions.

Three Rules of Work: Out of clutter find simplicity; From discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. ? Albert Einstein

Let's hope these rules apply to the Climate Change meetings in Bangkok.

Maybe we are part of Gaia attempt to become self-aware. We should act as custodians of the earth and the Bio-sphere. Striving for harmony with Gaia.

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