Wake Up, We Are On The Brink of Extinction! Says Ecoactivist
September 3, 2008
If we don't act now to change our dependence on fossil fuels and stop our CO2 emissions, then it will be curtains for human beings on Earth in the not so distant future-- James Lovelock, respected British scientist in warning to the world
by Dan Bloom
The world is on the brink of a terrible natural disaster and even the gloomiest predictions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's latest report are underestimating the current severity of climate change," eminent British scientist James Lovelock said at a public lecture in London this week.
Lovelock, as usual, at 89, did not mince words. He told the audience at the Royal Society lecture about his real concerns about the impending consequences of global warming, and he forcefully argued that although the scientific language of the IPCC report is "properly cautious", it nevertheless "gives the impression that the worst consequences of climate change are avoidable if we take action now".
However, Dr. Lovelock, one of the most important voices today trying to alert the world to the very real dangers of climate change and global warming, said he believes we are in over our necks now, and we might soon find ourselves over our heads.
How much time remains? That is the big question.
Lovelock says maybe just 40 years. Other scientists say 50 to 80 years remain to turn this thing around. Others give humankind 100 to 200 years, and one climatologist in Florida says things won't get bad until the year 2500 or so.
Everyone has their own time line. Lovelock is the most pessimistic, although he says he remains an optimist.
What do you
think? What's your
take on all this?
A hoax? Something to worry about? Nothing to write home about? Scary? A real threat to humankind and civilization as we know it? Send in your thoughts. I want to hear from you. All points of view and opinions will be respected. Pro and con. Yes, let's talk. Let's start talking. And keep talking.
We need to listen closely to Dr. Lovelock who lives in a quiet part of Britain called Cornwall. He's almost 90 years old, and he's seen a lot in his lifetime. He's a scientist who has studied biology, chemistry and climate history. He written several books and he came up with a theory of Earth that he calls the Gaia theory.
So what did Dr. Lovelock say in London this week? Among other things, he said:
-- Humans may
have to attempt planet-scale geo-engineering of the climate because global warming is happening faster than predicted.
-- Safe "geo-engineering" should
be used if it can buy time to adapt.
-- Scandinavia and Britain will be spared
the worst heat and drought but carrying on "business as usual" would probably kill most of us before 2100 A.D.
-- Planetary scale geo-engineering might
be able to combat global warming, but, as with 19th Century medicine, the best option may simply be "kind words and letting Nature take its course".
Lovelock concluded his speech with a sobering thought: "Perhaps the saddest thing is that if we fail to fight climate change and humans become extinct, the Earth System -- what I call Gaia -- will lose as much as or more than we do. In human civilization, the planet has a precious resource. We are not merely a disease; we are, through our intelligence and communication, the planetary equivalent of a nervous system."
And he added: "We should be the heart and mind of the Earth not its malady. Perhaps the greatest value of the Gaia concept lies in its metaphor of a living Earth, which reminds us that we are part of it and that our contract with Gaia is not about human rights alone, but includes human obligations."
So the time to act is now
. The time to fight climate change forcefully is now
. The time to transform our lifestyles of "slash! burn!
. Not in 20 years, not in ten years, not next year.
Lovelock spoke. Who is listening?
The James Lovelock Virtual Museum of Polar Cities
Blueprints of polar cities by Deng Cheng-hong in Taiwan
About the author
: Dan Bloom is a Rush PR News political and environmental news columnist/reporter and a freelance writer from Boston who has been based in Asia since 1991. He graduated from Tufts University in 1971 and has worked in media, public relations and education in several countries around the world. He is currently doing research on climate change and global warming as a director of the Polar Cities Research Institute.
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