Extract from an interview with James Lovelock made by Stuart Jeffries from The Guardian, March 15, 2007 about Lovelocks book: “The Revenge of GAIA”
'We should be scared stiff'
Renowned scientist James Lovelock thinks mainland Europe will soon be desert - and millions of people will start moving north to Britain.
If you think Britain is intolerably crowded today, you might well want to brace yourself before reading the next sentence. Because this country is going to become much, much more densely populated over the course of this century as millions of people flee the uninhabitable desert that mainland Europe is doomed to turn into.
The America-sized chunk of floating ice that currently covers the Arctic will melt. As a result, the current habitat of polar bears will eventually be the place where our descendants live out their pitiful existences. "Most life will move up to the Arctic basin because only it and a few islands will remain habitable," says Lovelock, who is most famous for coming up with the Gaia hypothesis - the idea that the Earth functions as some kind of living super-organism.
Lovelock is now seriously concerned about said super-organism. Humanity's vast output of carbon dioxide over the past two centuries has prompted the deserts to spread towards the poles at an alarming rate, he says. "The Sahara is heading north. So where's the food going to come from? Not from the European mainland. Even here things are changing: there are in Britain now scorpions and snails hitherto only seen in the Mediterranean. Recently I saw hawk moths. Something terrible is happening.
"I think people forget that the whole world is going to be affected. Climate change will affect China and the US." Lovelock envisages that the Chinese people will press to live in a newly lush Siberia before the century is out.
“We should be scared stiff. If you speak to any senior climatologists, the summer of 2003 [in which thousands of Europeans, many of them elderly, perished in the heat] will be the norm by 2050. Old people might have air conditioning, but that won't help the plants which we need to regulate temperatures. It will become a desert climate."
Lovelock reckons that the British Isles will be among the few island oases in a world given over to desert, scrub and oceans devoid of life: "Everybody in Europe will be wanting to come here."
Only with greater population density in urban areas can it be divided up in the way he believes to be sustainable: one third for cities, industries, ports, airports and roads; the second third for intensive farming, though only enough for the population's needs; and the final third left entirely to the natural world.
How can we reduce human population to more sustainable levels? "We can't solve the problem. There's no human way of cutting numbers. You can empower women and persuade them to have fewer children but we don't have the time for that."
He suggests that the current population of six billion humans will be cut to a more ecologically sustainable half-to-one billion people. "How will this mass cull happen? "It'll be worse than Hitler - Gaia's going to do it," says Lovelock. He writes about this chillingly at the outset of the Revenge of Gaia, where he considers the December 2004 tsunami. "That awful event starkly revealed the power of the earth to kill. The planet we live on has merely to shrug to take some fraction of a million people to their deaths.
·Lovelocks book “The Revenge of Gaia” is published by Penguin, price £8.99.
Go to this link to read the full Guardian article:
All donated items from our collection bins are brought to a Gaia Movement warehouse. When the clothing and shoes are collected, they become a commodity called "credential" or "original" used clothing. The term "credential" refers to clothing and shoes that have been collected from the public, but have not been sorted.
At the Chicago warehouse the clothes is made into 1,000 pound bales. Shoes are put into large bags called "cap sacks" and sold separately. Toys and household goods are put into boxes or cap sacs for resale. At the Portland warehouse collected clothes and shoes are put into the same cap sacs and shipped out to the buyers.
At the end destination the best clothing out of the credential used clothing becomes "Shop A", while other nice clothing is referred to as "Shop B." This clothing is typically sold at thrift stores in the USA, Canada, Europe or Central America. When you go shopping at the thrift store, this is what you see.
The other useable clothing is known as "Mixed Rags." This is clothing that may not be fashionable or may have small tears, stains, or minor imperfections. This clothing is usually exported to developing countries where the resale, repair, and re-styling of second hand clothes supports many small businesses and improves access to quality clothing for low income people.
The U.S. has 3,091 active landfills and over 10,000 old municipal landfills, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. However, in the "good old days," every town (and many businesses and factories) had its own dump. There are 39,044 general purpose local governments in the United States - 3,043 county governments and 36,001 sub-county general purpose governments (towns & townships). One suspects that there are many more old and abandoned commercial, private, and municipal dumps than the 10,000 estimated by the EPA.
All landfills could require remediation, but particularly landfills built in the last 60 years will require thorough clean-up due to the disposal of highly toxic chemicals manufactured and sold since the 1940's.
In 2014 the Gaia Movement USA sponsored one of our GAIA colleagues to participate in a Climate Compliance Conference and learn more about Global Warming, Climate Change, Sustainable Agriculture and what does it take to adapt to the rapidly changing world we live in.
The program takes place in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and running for 10 years where new climate activist can start in March, July and November. Students join for six months at the time. A small group of Climate Activists together with a big group of people from St. Vincent aim to spearhead that St. Vincent become Climate Compliant by 2021. The topics covered by this program range from Food and Energy Security to Recycling and Pollution.
The Treeplanting Fund supports projects within the Federation Humana People to People that are interested in participating in an action to plant millions of trees There are many good reasons to support such activities, not only due to the role trees have mitigating Global Warming, but also because of the general benefits people and nature get from having trees.
The first project has started in September 2013 and ended in July 2014. During this time in Africa, India, China and in St. Vincent activists mobilized the local community to grow and plant seedlings into their community and vulnerable deforested areas to bring back the original vegetation destroyed by excessive farming, grazing and firewood harvesting.
As a result we have planted in total of 8,016,000 trees in Belize, Botswana, Brazil, China, DR Congo, Guinea Bissau, India, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, St. Vincent, Zambia and Zimbabwe.