Dr James Ephraim Lovelock CH CBE FRS (born July 26, 1919) is a British independent scientist, author, researcher, environmentalist and futurologist. He is most famous for proposing and popularizing the Gaia hypothesis, in which he postulates that the Earth functions as a kind of superorganism (a term coined by w:Lynn Margulis).
Gaia: A new look at life on Earth
- The climate and the chemical properties of the Earth now and throughout its history seem always to have been optimal for life. For this to have happened by chance is as unlikely as to survive unscathed a drive blindfold through rush hour traffic.
- In the current fashionable denigration of technology, it is easy to forget that nuclear fission is a natural process. If something as intricate as life can assemble by accident, we need not marvel at the fission reactor, a relatively simple contraption, doing likewise.
- Our planet...consists largely of lumps of fall-out from a star-sized hydrogen bomb...Within our bodies, no less than three million atoms rendered unstable in that event still erupt every minute, releasing a tiny fraction of the energy stored from that fierce fire of long ago.
- We have since defined Gaia as a complex entity involving the Earth's biosphere, atmosphere, oceans, and soil; the totality constituting a feedback or cybernetic system which seeks an optimal physical and chemical environment for life on this planet.
Interview - March 29, 2010 - guardian.co.uk
- I don't think we're yet evolved to the point where we're clever enough to handle a complex a situation as climate change...The inertia of humans is so huge that you can't really do anything meaningful.
- Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.
- Fudging the data in any way whatsoever is quite literally a sin against the holy ghost of science...I'm not religious, but I put it that way because I feel so strongly. It's the one thing you do not ever do. You've got to have standards.