In our post “What A Beautiful Day, A Humpin’ an’ a Shovin'” Ecolizzy commented on the work of the work of James Lovelock, such as this review of The Revenge of Gaia, and asked what I thought. Lizzy also said she may have heard the same theories somewhere else. It was probably me again on a Newsnight Blog.
The state of the Earth and the climate change debate in the 21st century was stimulated by two influential works. First was our submission to a UN Environment and Development-UK report commissioned by the UK Government. Here in 2002 we gave the risk assessment that climate change was a greater threat than terrorism. after the UK Government’s Chief Scientist gave it global publicity in 2004, it became a cliche on the environment. World leaders, media and environmental organisations all used it. TV companies based programming around it. Al Gore even quoted it when he was notified of his Nobel Prize.
Though to be fair it was more an attempt to draw attention away from the build up of war in Iraq, and towards a greater awareness of the ecological and environmental situation of the planet in general. The recommendation was to look at climate change and Africa rather than war as a solution to resolving problems with the global dynamic. Climate change and Africa becoming the agenda of the 2005 Perthshire G8. The Stern Report then following on from the G8.
The second influential work was the report to the President from the Pentagon, An Abrupt Climate Change Scenario. This brought the climate problem to the White House and the American media.
Now Lovelock considers we have gone past a point of no return. That we have done so much damage to the planet it is irreversible. Later this week Prince Charles will make a statement that we have 100 months before change cannot be reversed.
Our view is in between. Our models indicate we have about 3.5 years. It is not though just an isolated climate change situation, it is the collapse of the planet’s total ecological life support system which is the problem.
Once we recognise that and all work together, we might just have a future for this beautiful planet and all life we share it with.