Yesterday I travelled into rural Devon to meet with James Lovelock, the renowned author and scientist. James is the originator of the Gaia hypothesis, which proposes 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.
James has written much about climate change and his latest book, “The Vanishing Face of Gaia“, puts forward a very different agenda for the world than that being discussed globally today. Whilst he recognises the importance of efforts to reduce emissions, his view is that the earth is about ready to jump to a new much hotter homeostatis with a transition that will be rapid and extraordinarily damaging to us.
I must confess that whilst I had heard and read much about James in the press, I had never taken the time to read one of his books. I did so with “Vanishing” before visiting Devon and found it to be a fascinating insight into the possible reaction of the earth to our CO2 onslaught, although it does tend to leave the reader feeling a bit helpless and hopeless.
Whilst many may disagree with the views of Lovelock, they are not to be simply dismissed either. This is a man with an immense science background dotted with very significant contributions to fields such as atmospheric chemistry. But best you hear it from James himself in the short interview below. Finally, my sincere thanks to James and his wife Sandy for meeting with me and James Smith, Chairman of Shell UK.