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James Lovelock: Creativity in Science & Gaia Theory:

Life of a lone scientist

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  • The Debate

    James Lovelock: Creativity in Science & Gaia Theory

    Science relies on imaginative breakthroughs made by visionary men and women working alone or in groups. Has the corporate collectivism of modern laboratory work begun to stifle the creativity and insight on which scientific discovery relies? Independent scientist James Lovelock, whose work led to a Nobel prize, makes a powerful case for the freedom of scientific speech.

    Lovelock also discusses the origins of the Gaia theory with diplomat and environmentalist Crispin Tickell. From hypothesis to theory, he reviews the relevance of Gaia in the light of recent data on climate change and global warming.

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ThoughtSnacker on 26/02/2013 5:14pm

I think that Lovelock's Gaia Hypothesis is by far the most convincing holistic bio-geohphysical theories presented to date. But I do have great concern about his relative celebration of cities in this talk.

He argues that we are better off all being bunched together in cities, letting out large single blocks of emissions, rather than spreading ourselves and our emissions across the earth more thinly. But surely the modern city, THE epitomy of industrialism, is the greatest structural and instituional threat to our climate, bar none.

The way we live must change. Some argue we must build up and not out, but I would argue along with Tickell that advanced connectivity and comms will allow us to leave the city en mass - hopefully, over time, we can decreass the mass block of emissions produced by our mega-cities, and forsake our thirst for the urban, cosmopolitan life for the sake of our envrionment's longevity.

Duckduckgo on 26/02/2013 2:15pm

I love how James Lovelock has fought like generations of scientists on the Gaia hypothesis. Coming back every time with more sophisticated computer models (over 30 years) to show that his intuition might just be right. In the end it's just that so many misunderstood it and took it for some kind of naive wishful thinking. Even I did at the beginning, but then you realise that he's considering the relationship between biosphere and Earth at a whole other level.

Even if I wouldn't be so blunt as he is on climate change, his honesty is quite amazing. But honestly you don't have to destroy the atmosphere to make Earth an unlivable place. There's plenty enough to ruin that will damage our quality of life and that won't necessarily have to do with global warming. But maybe that's a different issue.

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