Thursday, January 19, 2006

Lovelock, Gaia, and 100,000-Year Fevers

I've been watching the debate unfold over James Lovelock's Independent article from Monday with fascination: so far, there are discussions going on at the Neo Commons, Gristmill and Treehugger, with the latter two getting heated at times. I think these discussions are particularly interesting for what they reveal about the environmental community: at the very least, we're a pretty diverse group. Lovelock's Gaia hypothesis strikes me as a bit kooky taken literally, but I got the sense in the Independent article that a metaphorical reading of it is appropriate. Lovelock's rather pessimistic position (as Dave mentions) seems counterproductive, in that it will certainly energize the "it's too late to do anything, so why bother?" crowd. But, of course, Lovelock's never shied away from controversial positions: he was advocating increased use of nuclear power last year. I think Norene hits it on the head in her response to Ranger Bob: "Could be too late. But I'd rather act as if it's not." That sums it for me, also... Fire away...

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