"The Earth System behaves as a single, self-regulating system with physical, chemical, biological, and human components." Amsterdam Declaration signed by 1000 scientists in 2001.
Back in 1986 James Lovelock came up with the original idea that the Earth acted like a living being and thus had the ability to absorb and control the health and stability of the our environment. He referred to the Earth as Gaia, the prehistoric Earth goddess, and his theory had widespread appeal because it was a new way of rationalizing how it was that the Earth’s systems were so interconnected and complex that the conditions for living creatures has been optimized over billions of years .
One problem with the Gaia principle is that we are tempted to ignore man’s lack of respect for the pollutants we increasingly spew into the biosphere, trusting that ‘nature’ will take care of them. As rising temperatures affect our oceans and weather systems with resulting violent storms and floods, it is becoming increasingly clear that we are testing the Earth’s capacity to deal with our emissions and I am very concerned with the possibility that before we know it, runaway and irreversible global warming will occur. That ultimate disaster has the potential to wipe out life on Earth as we know it.
To prevent this catastrophe, it is imperative that those concerned with the economy be persuaded to work with, not against, environmentalists to convert the engines that power industry from fossil fuels to green forms of energy. It’s a daunting task and I can’t see it happening if we wait for global agreements and regulations from political leaders who have their own vested interests. It must come from the bottom up with a ground swell of public opinion so powerful it cannot be ignored.
My New Year’s resolution is to be part of promoting that ‘ground swell’ by passing on the link to Avaaz, an already well established world wide action group with over 10 million members [and growing]. I implore you to consider adding your voice to petitions for improvements in global matters of immediate concern. The link is www.avaaz.org/en/. Please be part of the 'ground swell' by adding your voice to ours – it is the only realistic way I know that can make that positive impact needed before it is too late.
My best wishes for personal and improved planetary health in the New Year. Rie