Saturday, May 2, 2009

Gaia

From Tom Bailey's TLS review of James Lovelock's The Vanishing Face of Gaia: a final warning:

The Vanishing Face of Gaia displays Lovelock's characteristic approach: autobiographical material, intelligent criticism of orthodox opinion and contemplation of the foibles of Homo sapiens. His tone is that of the upright doctor in an Ibsen play: tough words of wisdom, simply coined, addressed to a pathologically destructive protagonist incapable of averting his tragic course. Lovelock, our first geophsiologist, prescribes neither technological "climate fixes" nor renewable energy schemes. In a brief but pragmatic review of energy alternatives, he criticizes large-scale wind farms (favoured in the EU), calling them an "elaborate scam" which will never meet our energy demands. We are given a dose of stoic counsel: accept as fate that the tipping point has passed, leave Gaia to herself, and prepare to adapt to the new stifling climate. Meddling with the Earth tends to make things worse, and it is doubtful if there is time for a technlogical solution to the problems of climate change. Head north; it will be cooler. Generate nuclear energy; it makes perfect sense. And, please, don't fight.

Source: Times Literary Supplement, April 24, 2009, p. 24.