Gaia knows I’m miserable now

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James Lovelock is predicting the end of the world in today’s Independent:

The climate centres around the world, which are the equivalent of the pathology lab of a hospital, have reported the Earth’s physical condition, and the climate specialists see it as seriously ill, and soon to pass into a morbid fever that may last as long as 100,000 years. I have to tell you, as members of the Earth’s family and an intimate part of it, that you and especially civilisation are in grave danger.

Our planet has kept itself healthy and fit for life, just like an animal does, for most of the more than three billion years of its existence. It was ill luck that we started polluting at a time when the sun is too hot for comfort. We have given Gaia a fever and soon her condition will worsen to a state like a coma. She has been there before and recovered, but it took more than 100,000 years. We are responsible and will suffer the consequences: as the century progresses, the temperature will rise 8 degrees centigrade in temperate regions and 5 degrees in the tropics.

Much of the tropical land mass will become scrub and desert, and will no longer serve for regulation; this adds to the 40 per cent of the Earth’s surface we have depleted to feed ourselves.

This is really bleak stuff. I have no reason to disbelieve him, except that systems theory is by its very nature extremely highly complex and Lovelock only needs to have missed one thing in his calculations for the exact opposite to happen. We just don’t know what is going to happen, and apocalyptic predictions have a remarkable habit of being wrong. Of course, they only need to be right once.

Anyway, read it before the Indy firewall it.

3 thoughts on “Gaia knows I’m miserable now

  1. It is very bleak – and the situation is very bleak. But some things don’t make sense in the article. For example, the decline of heavy industry = less plumes = less reflected heat = accelerated warming. All true – but we can start making some dust if we need to!

  2. Indeed. I was going to go off on one about how we can surely find technological solutions to a lot of this, but I felt I was starting to pseud for English.

    I don’t actually have a clue about genetic modification and nano-technology, but if the apocalyptic predictions made about them are even partially true, then surely they have the potential to be the answer to our prayers?

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