Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Global Heating Will Cook People, Too

Billions of people could be wiped out over the next century because of climate change, according to James Lovelock, a leading expert who pioneered the idea of the Earth as a living organism. Lovelock warned that as the climate warms, the global population which is currently around 6.5 billion, may sink as low as 500 million.

Given the dire situation we face, Lovelock urged people to drop the phrase “global warming,” which has cosy connotations, and instead start to think of it as “global heating.” He also claims that any attempts to tackle climate change will not be able to solve the problem, merely buy us time.

Lovelock is an independent scientist who first proposed the Gaia Theory that argues that the Earth is like a complex living body that is infested with organisms such as humans. .


Cited story.



  1. #1 llewelly
    November 30, 2006

    It’s worth pointing out that the Lovelockian Cataclysm is way beyond what any other climate scientist expects from global heating.
    See for example the Stern report, or the impacts section of the IPCC TAR.

    Nonetheless … we should keep in mind that poor land use decisions during China’s Great Leap Forward resulted in tens of millions of deaths .. and poor atmosphere use decisions could do the same (but don’t push that analogy too hard), yet civilization did not collapse (outside of China, that is).

  2. #2 Anita @ Say No to Crack
    December 1, 2006

    Lovelock has been preaching this for years, and only recently would people listen even a bit. In my opinion, the problem is that he keeps referring to Earth and it’s integrated systems as ‘Gaia’. Had he come up with some better, non-hippie, sounding name I think his theories would have caught more wind.

    Can you imagine sitting in front of a conference of scientists talking about ‘Gaia’? I’d feel rather foolish without my magic crystals and hoodie in such a conversation.

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