James Lovelock’s ‘Final Warning’ published in 2009 is a reminder of the high level theory of life on Earth regulating climate to maximize life. I suppose life acts on climate as a kind of bell curve of moderation interacting with geochemical processes at it base to bring temperature to the optimal range for growth.
Dr. Lovelock is a respected biotheorist who for decades has regarded the world biosphere as a complete monism in-itself while traditional bioevolutionist researchers have considered mostly the individual bio-elements as organisms. Dr. Lovelock’s approach regards the earth biosphere as a living body while the traditionalists see no body but only a concatenation of cells.
Dr. Lovelock foresees a drastic reduction of the biosphere ahead in response to human insults to its health. That will pose grave challenges for human survival. Humans are perhaps supposed to be the proximal conscious brain-thought unit of Gaia, yet it seems politically to be getting dumber and dumber with existential moral relativism and free market libertarianism creating an ethos of yippee idiocy.
The biological theorist Richard Dawkins was an early, existential, meaningless critic of the Gaia theory along parameters of phenotype properties. Dr. Dawkins role actualizes as field marshal of the atheist ideological offensive in the transfinite battle front of biologists against God. Select bio-evolutionists enjoy twitting the intelligent design crowd who they seem to believe encapsulate the essence of Christian theology-in error. Value critics of the intelligence or design of the Universe are phenomenal for-themselves. An infinite recursion of varieties of possible universes would comprise an inadequate basis for comparing their implicit, individual designer’s intelligence. If all universes are actualized which ones would be dumb ones and which are the smart? What meta-universal gradation would exist to give an ‘A’ or an ‘F’ to any specific universe? The value of universes actualized if graded may be assigned variables and constant on the curve of general relativity’s temporal, corresponding solid state actualizations from the field of quantum uncertainty. The Daisyworld model of life’s interactive role moderating atmospheric temperature seems worth a prize or two. At any rate, designs, like questions, are for those that are not omniscient and omnipotent. God is.
Human experience and reason are inadequate for apprehending the concept of an infinite being of infinite goodness for some, therefore no such being could exist in those communication string thought formations of finite null set subset biological phenomenality the narrative goes. The Gaia hypothesis must seems like an ideological threat to atheist theorists for being something of a metaphor of the relation of God to all possible universes. Theorists might speculate that God plugs in values of physical constants and variables in universes to make them able to evolve life eventually-why not one might ask? The topic has little possible relevance to the function of the Gaia hypothesis. Biological atheism as an unintelligent, discrete phenomenality has nothing to fear from the Earth’s transcending regulatory role with life of moderating atmospheric temperature to benefit itself. The Gaia hypothesis does note require acceptance of G.W.F. Hegel’s phenomenology of the spirit evolving itself and consciousness through biological processes. Dr. Dawkins warred on Gaia as well as God instead of making intelligent designs to green the moon and Mars by 2070.
It is possible to see that life at many levels interacts with elements and minerals of earth sea and sky in a natural equilibrium rather than as an anisotropic dependency. The Gaia theory is simple, a work of genius and seems useful for basic, intuitive comprehension of life as a self-bailing cockpit as it were making its own healthy living conditions from the basic exophysical inputs available.
Today the concept that the whole may be greater than the phenomenon of the individual parts is an accepted system analytical premise. Pluralism may be simultaneously founded within monism. Evo-biologists have found evolutionary vectors of life synergizing the promulgation of more life of different forms, the intuition that all of life itself may be a regulator of climate temperature adapting the world’s atmospheric temperatures range eccentricities from straying outside optimal life atmospheric comfort zone changes such as are caused by volcanism and increasing solar output back to a range optimal for life seems quite elegant.
Mankind unfortunately attacks life on Earth as the basic optimal predator or super-moderator of the ecosphere. With mankind’s best-on-the-planet number of high speed neuron connections-10 to the 77th power it should be possible for human beings to maintain a viable ecosphere and themselves in a comfortable life simultaneously, yet it isn’t so.
I have enjoyed reading Mr. Lovelock’s no frills explanations of his scientific theory. It has made ten testable predictions that have generally been confirmed. He is skeptical about the prospects for the prospects for the environmental movement to turn back the damage it has inflicted upon Gaia.
I will thus provide my own objective theoretical parameters that might serve to recover some of the health of Gaia even though it is politically impossible and certainly not the best possible way to organize human society-that would be entirely voluntary on founded in smarter and more conscientious people generally.
Dr. Lovelock writes of nuclear power as the best practical way to reduce carbon production for sustainable energy. The problem with nuclear power is that when it fails it is catastrophic. When population pressures push up world population to 9 billion by 2050 and as human demographics sprawl to destroy healthy wild areas wars, plagues, designer virus death and even accidents may bring cataclysmic destruction of some or all nuclear plants. It is much better to become geniuses at new ways of staying warm and cool, of new and healthy ways to produce food for all in minimal area-perhaps growing food in zero g or on the moon and sending it down to Earth, or creating better artificial indoor growing areas and space utility. The difficulty- probably one that can’t be overcome, is getting people to voluntarily accept basic culture revisions or upgrades to a modern land and resource use criteria and letting most of the Earth go fallow for a thousand years.
Humanity ought to devote itself to making the most possible efficient productive efforts of invention and quality living while maintaining the dignity and freedom of all for all people. The liberty of the human spirit that Jesus Christ brought to the people of the Earth needs to be reinforced by human actions in the well being of everyone and of life itself. That would require a new renaissance, a new age of humanism and that within a spiritual recognition of the infinite extent of the Universe and of potential universes and all that encompassed within the infinite mind of God. That all is a tall order.
Some practical yet impossible to politically implement possibilities-simply move all human living environment away from all coasts and use just a third of the land it does today on continents for living. Allow no ocean shipping or commercial harvests of seafood. Let no pollutants be added to any area or water supply reaching the oceans.
With a new zoning and land use principal of zero loss of biota it might be possible to support a little more geographic distribution of human population while still letting a minimum of 50% of land area of the Earth rewild.
It seems that biodiversity may be necessary for Gaia’s health. Otherwise the collapse of the web of life and its processing abilities may make Gaia run hot. A hotter atmosphere with far reduced life may have no people on it either allowing Gaia to recover and slowly expand its planetary coverage and optimalization of temperature for the benefit of life.
If two-thirds of the Earth is rewilded and species evolution allowed to continue directly letting Gaia (not a conscious being itself or demi-urge/just a useful concept term) moderate the climate, and if the asphalt heat absorbing roads are removed, if new high quality, super-insulated, low energy human dwellings are made for all, if population growth is just one kid per family and if universal health care for the poor and a guaranteed minimum income exists for all, if free enterprise is forced to exist within the boundaries of human use of Gaia-sharing the planet as it were with the monistic climate regulation of life, humanity may have a chance to build a moon base a peace at a time and eventually elsewhere too improving quality of life on Earth and in space with the most efficient practical use of resources, and in creating rather than destroying life.
Fundamentally creating life rather than destroying it may be the greatest challenge for humanity on Earth. To create life rather than destroy it is in contradiction to our social history of destroying life, displacing life, killing other human beings and so forth. Millions of pollutants, complex chemical compounds and insults to thermal and biochemical continua are the normal products of a society given over to the production of comfort rather than of health for itself. Humanity thus poisons itself in a variety of ways every day failing to value life in its own engineering principles well enough.
It might be fun to continue writing this way along in the platu nicto barata school of useful gortisms. With the Hatfields and McCoys in Congress over the debt ceiling recently one can imagine that hillbilly feuding would be humanity’s may concern even if their days were numbered. As a Christian I believe humans still have a responsibility to be as bright and effective at stopping the killing of Gaia as they can. They must be more than funky monkeys mobile with spray deodorant and personal digital assistants. Maybe they can’t though, and perhaps the two basic alternatives of rule by the corrupt rich or by a dictatorship of the mediocre won’t work. Well then, writing dystopian science fiction might be the third alternative while turning down the temperature on the thermostat.
Even in Alaska the changes to natural thermal balances are created anew by politicians annually. Our Governor has funded a study to build a large hydroelectric dam on the Susitna River. If it is ever built the water in the reservoir will be heated up under the summer sun and then add warm water to the river and to Cook Inlet. Just another small change foe Gaia to adjust to along with auto exhaust, new roads, high arctic machines, oil drilling and spilling, coal mining, urban areas absorbing and emitting heat, loss of forest cover, loss of arctic sea ice and heating of Beaufort Sea waters, killing of land and sea life that are part of the naturally balancing Earth ecosphere. It just hasn’t got the ability to naturally balance and moderate the temperature changes that are harmful to the propagation of life. Maybe lots of jobs could be made fixing the problems accumulated through the historical dumb war upon Gaia.