Climate change

The Vanishing Face of Gaia

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 November, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 November, 2011, 12:00am

The Vanishing Face of Gaia
by James Lovelock
Post Hypnotic Press (audiobook)

James Lovelock claims that he's not a willing Cassandra but says we have to take seriously the possibility that global heating may all but wipe us out. His depressing predictions fill The Vanishing Face of Gaia (his name for the living organism that is earth), which cautions that, at 7 billion, there are already too many people for the earth to sustain (our breathing and the gaseous emissions of pets and livestock alone account for 23 per cent of greenhouse gases). Which is why he appeals for adaptation to be made at least equal in importance to government-led attempts to reduce emissions. Lovelock censures the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for optimistic reports that strive for consensus. He also criticises the IPCC scientists' climate-change models that do not include the physiological response of land or ocean ecosystems. Naysayers will baulk at some of the geoengineering ideas he supports. These include mixing nutrient-rich deep water into that on the surface to promote algal growth that would increase cloud cover and cool temperatures.