Gaia and the City

Urban solutions to overpopulation.

One of the most famous names in environmentalism, James Lovelock is the originator of the Gaia Hypothesis, which sees the biosphere is a self-regulating entity. He is less well known as the inventor of both the microwave oven and the electron capture device. Here, he sits down with diplomat, academic and environmentalist Crispin Tickell to discuss the lone scientist, the “population problem” and why we shouldn’t try to air condition the whole of the Earth.

 

Crispin Tickell: I would argue that the work you’ve done in the past has been that of a lone scientist, and we all agree that lone scientists don’t operate in a void. Maybe you can say something about that?

James Lovelock: That's a good one to start with, yes. Lone scientists are not very usual. In America they're considered very dangerous and people walk on the other side of the street if you come down.

I was born in Letchworth Garden City, which I think was one of the first g

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