Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth

by James Lovelock | Science |
ISBN: 0192862189 Global Overview for this book
Registered by jacajerezana on 1/5/2016
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Journal Entry 1 by jacajerezana on Tuesday, January 5, 2016
In this inspirational and classic work, James Lovelock puts forward his theory, which sees the evolution of life and the evolution of Earth as a single, tightly-coupled process from which the self-regulation of the environment emerges. It is not contrary to Darwin's great vision of evolution by natural selection but a natural development of it. "Gaia" is the account of a journey through space and time in search of evidence to support his new and radically different view of our planet and its inhabitants.

Since "Gaia" was first published in 1979, many of Lovelock's predictions have come true and his theory has become one of the most hotly-debatd topics within scientific circles.

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There is the well-known example of the Peppered Moth which in a few decades changed its wing colour from pale grey to nearly black so as to preserve its camouflage against predators as it rested on the soot-covered trees of England's industrial areas. It is now fast changing back to grey again as the impact of the Clean Air Act eliminates the soot.
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To be sure, there are the many small fringe groups, mostly anarchist in flavour, who would hasten our doom by dismantling and destroying all technology. It is not clear whether their motivation is primarily misanthropic or Luddite, but either way they seem more concerned with destructive action than with constructive thought.
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The Second Law [of thermodynamics] states unequivocally that the entrophy of an open system must increase. Since we are all open systems, this means that all of us are doomed to die. Yet it is so often ignored or deliberately forgotten that the unending death-roll of all creatures, including ourselves, is the essential complement to the unceasing renewal of life.
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If you are someone wanting to know for the first time abou the idea of Gaia, it is the story of a planet that is alive in the same way that a gene is selfish.
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If, for example, the sun's surface temperature were 500 degrees instead of 5,000 degrees Centigrade and the Earth were correspondingly closer, so that we received the same amount of warmth, there would be little difference in climate, but life would never have got going. Life needs energy potent enough to sever chemical bonds; mere warmth is not enough.
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Journal Entry 2 by jacajerezana at Caffe Nero in Sudbury, Suffolk United Kingdom on Monday, July 26, 2021

Released 1 mo ago (7/27/2021 UTC) at Caffe Nero in Sudbury, Suffolk United Kingdom

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