Gaia United

Trying to understand a linked phenomenon, it was suggested I have a look at Gaia theory which I did – by reading Gaia: The practical science of planetary medicine by James Lovelock (1991). It reminded me much of Smuts’ Holism and Evolution (1925), although more scientific, visual and practical, and much easier to follow.

Gaia Theory in case you don’t know, is the ‘present theory that sees the Earth as a system where the evolution of the organisms is tightly coupled to the evolution of their environment. Self-regulation of climate and chemical composition are emergent properties of the system. The theory has a mathematical basis in the model “Daisyworld”.’ (Lovelock, p188)

What has been striking is how Lovelock had to struggle to get his theories and hypotheses recognised as he was outside of traditional thinking. Predictions he was making at the time the book was published are now being evidenced, in particular climate change.

One of the things Lovelock mentions which fits with my historical outlook is Disseminated Primatemaia – a plague of people. This is referred to in a different way by Marthe Kiley-Worthington in Family are the Friends you Choose. The arrogance of mankind that Lovelock refers to with his plague of people and their attitude to the universe or gaia is clearly seen in the most recent colonisation actions by superpowers – no doubt the earlier colonisers – Rome, Greece, Ottomans, Austria-Hungarians, Armenians, Aksumite etc all had similar thoughts and views in seeing their way to dominate great swathes of people and land.

They were all for union and unity under one authority. The most recent colonisers having industrialisation behind them as none previously had. The result being the destruction of Africa’s climate and ecology (and here I think specifically of Tsavo area in Kenya and lands below Kilimanjaro in Tanzania) and that of gaia which Lovelock writes. (The same case can be put for South American deforestation etc).

Back to my historical outlook – we, mankind, are our own worst enemy as long as we look out for the individual (group) and not consider how that approach impacts on the wider community and gaia. Our diversity is our strength – if we work together for gaia.

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