Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Climate Change Will Kill Billions This Century, Scientist Says
Source: Bloomberg

Climate change will kill billions of people this century as the Earth warms, passing into a ``fever'' phase from which it may take 100,000 years to recover, James Lovelock, the scientist who propounded the ``Gaia'' theory, said.

Temperatures in temperate regions such as Europe and the U.S., will soar by 8 degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit) this century, and those in the tropics will rise by 5 degrees as a result of man-made emissions, Lovelock wrote in today's Independent newspaper.

``We have given Gaia a fever and soon her condition will worsen to a state like a coma,'' Lovelock wrote. ``She has been there before and recovered, but it took more than 100,000 years. We are responsible and will suffer the consequences.''

Lovelock's Gaia theory, advanced in the 1970s, sees the Earth behaving like a self-sustaining organism, with a control system that keeps the environment fit for life. By trying to take over regulation of the planet's climate, humans have condemned themselves to ``the worst kind of slavery,'' and will soon find it impossible to keep the Earth fit for life, Lovelock said.

``Much of the tropical land mass will become scrub and desert, and will no longer serve for regulation; this adds to the 40 percent of the Earth's surface we have depleted to feed ourselves,'' he said. ``Before this century is over billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable.''

Not all scientists and politicians support the theory that the planet's climate patterns are changing as a result of human activity. The administration of U.S. President George W. Bush has said there's no proof that global warming is causing a change in the weather. (Ed: and, by golly, George ought to know because he does clear brush after all...)

Lovelock said that with the U.S. and emerging economies such as China and India unlikely to cut back emissions of so-called greenhouse gases that trap the sun's heat, ``the worst will happen and survivors will have to adapt to a hell of a climate.''

Hey, but we've got more important things to worry about. Right?

No comments: