Create a Ning Network!
compassion, collaboration & cooperation iN transistion
For two decades, James Lovelock was seen by many of his scientific peers as an eccentric loner who had ruined his otherwise solid reputation as an inventor and pioneering environmental chemist by insisting that the earth was “alive”, not very well, and living under the name of GAIA. BUT as global warming has moved up the agenda, he has increasingly appeared to be a prophet who deserves every honour the human race can bestow.
AN example of the change in acceptability of Gaia theories is the Amsterdam
declaration of the scientific communities of four international global change
research programmes — the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP),
the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change
(IHDP), the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and the international
biodiversity programme DIVERSITAS — recognise that, in addition to the threat
of significant climate change … THERE IS growing concern over the ever-increasing human
modification of other aspects of the global environment and
the consequent implications for human well-being. They state - “Research carried out over the past decade under the auspices of the four programmes
to address these concerns has shown that: 1. The Earth System behaves as a single, self-regulating system with physical, chemical, biological, and human components.
The interactions and feedbacks between the component parts are complex and exhibit multi-scale temporal and spatial variability. The understanding of the natural dynamics of the Earth System has advanced greatly in recent years and provides a sound basis for evaluating the effects and consequences of human-driven change. 2. Human activities are significantly influencing Earth's environment in many ways in addition to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.
Anthropogenic changes to Earth's land surface, oceans, coasts and atmosphere and to biological diversity, the water cycle and biogeochemical cycles are clearly identifiable beyond natural variability. They are equal to some of the great forces of nature in their extent and impact. Many are accelerating. Global change is real and is happening now. 3. Global change cannot be understood in terms of a simple cause-effect paradigm. Human-driven changes cause multiple effects that cascade through the Earth System in complex ways. These effects interact with each other and with local- and regional-scale changes in multidimensional patterns that are difficult to understand and even more difficult to predict. 4. Earth System dynamics are characterised by critical thresholds and abrupt changes. Human activities could inadvertently trigger such changes with severe consequences for Earth's environment and inhabitants. The Earth System has operated in different states over the last half million years, with abrupt transitions (a decade or less) sometimes occurring between them. Human activities have the potential to switch the Earth System to alternative modes of operation that may prove irreversible and less hospitable to humans and other life. The probability of a human-driven abrupt change in Earth's environment has yet to be quantified but is not negligible. 5. In terms of some key environmental parameters, the Earth System has moved well outside the range of the natural variability exhibited over the last half million years at least.
The nature of changes now occurring simultaneously in the Earth System, their magnitudes and rates of change are unprecedented. The Earth is currently operating in a no-analogue state.”
A meteorologist who broke down in tears, mused about a vasectomy, and vowed to give up
air travel - in the wake of the blockbuster report from the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC) has found himself at the centre of a storm about personal responses
to climate change.
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