BGCI Education Blog

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Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Climate Change on the Living Earth

Professor James Lovelock introduced us to the Gaia hypothesis back in the 1960s, where he postulated that the Earth functions as a kind of superorganism. Almost 50 years on, this extraordinary octogenarian is still making waves - and big ones at that! A thought provoking and terrifying lecture he gave to the Royal Society in October has recently been posted on the Society's website.

Professor Lovelock claims that the International Panel on Climate Change has considerably underestimated the rate at which Climate Change is taking place and talks about the devastating impact it will have on natural systems. He takes an apocalyptic view of the future seeing up to eight billions of humans faced with ever diminishing supplies of food and water in an increasingly intolerable climate. As you can imagine, most people left the lecture dumb struck!

Nevertheless, I believe we can't and musn't give up! Even if there's is nothing we can do to stop the earth warming because of the carbon already deposited (and continuing to be deposited) into the atmosphere, we still need to adapt our lifestyles to be more in tune with the earth. This of course requires a fundamental shift in the way we think about and relate to the planet - we have to see ourselves as part of it, not separate to it - which brings us back to Gaia.

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