Gaia is going gaga

If you still think Europe is not a madhouse these days, a book soon to be published will cure you. James Lovelock, described by The Independent of Britain as "an independent environmental scientist and Fellow of the Royal Society" (no less), proclaims to the world today that "The Earth is about to catch a morbid fever that may last as long as 100,000 years." It is the ultimate in pathological ecophobia.

Mr. Lovelock writes that

"My Gaia theory sees the Earth behaving as if it were alive, and clearly anything alive can enjoy good health, or suffer disease. Gaia has made me a planetary physician and I take my profession seriously, and now I, too, have to bring bad news... The climate centres around the world, which are the equivalent of the pathology lab of a hospital, have reported the Earth's physical condition, and the climate specialists see it as seriously ill, and soon to pass into a morbid fever that may last as long as 100,000 years. I have to tell you, as members of the Earth's family and an intimate part of it, that you and especially civilisation are in grave danger."

And so on ad nauseam. Ecolunacy can easily happen to anyone who is exposed to the BBC on a daily basis, of course. If you don't go raving looney—tunes and start plucking out your hair, screaming on street corners about the end to come, you have to become a total skeptic. But skepticism is in short supply these days.

Mr. Lovelock is a True Believer in a nation of True Believers, which means that he has to sound more hysterical than everybody else. So Gaia is going gaga, and so is Her screaming mob of worshippers. In fact, not only is Gaia "seriously ill" from a "morbid fever," in Mr. Lovelock's unlovely metaphor. She is also bound and determined to destroy those itchy boils that keep erupting from her skin — i.e., you and me and five billion others. Mr. Lovelock knows we are doomed by The Revenge of Gaia, the title of his book.

We seem to have a stew of metaphors here. Either Gaia is morbidly ill, or She is plotting revenge, but which one is it, Mr. Lovelock? How many anthropomorphic personifications manage to exact revenge with their last metaphorical breath? Isn't She in rather poor health to contemplate vengeance for all the things we've done to Her? Or is Mother Earth going to take 100,000 years to die of Her morbid fever, thereby giving Her plenty of time to scratch that nasty skin disease? And given Her condition, how do you know She hasn't just caught a nasty STD from the Lunar Goddess? Eh, Mr. Lovelock?

Sad to say, this sorry mess is published by Penguin Press, formerly a wonderful publishing house.

Well, it's too bad. Britain used to be the home of common sense and sanity. The literate British press used to resist hysteria. Today the BBC is no better than a tabloid, and Britain is the epicenter of Earth Mother worship. Maybe we can propitiate Mother Earth by sacrificing a few books in the flames?

If you still think Europe is not a madhouse these days, a book soon to be published will cure you. James Lovelock, described by The Independent of Britain as "an independent environmental scientist and Fellow of the Royal Society" (no less), proclaims to the world today that "The Earth is about to catch a morbid fever that may last as long as 100,000 years." It is the ultimate in pathological ecophobia.

Mr. Lovelock writes that

"My Gaia theory sees the Earth behaving as if it were alive, and clearly anything alive can enjoy good health, or suffer disease. Gaia has made me a planetary physician and I take my profession seriously, and now I, too, have to bring bad news... The climate centres around the world, which are the equivalent of the pathology lab of a hospital, have reported the Earth's physical condition, and the climate specialists see it as seriously ill, and soon to pass into a morbid fever that may last as long as 100,000 years. I have to tell you, as members of the Earth's family and an intimate part of it, that you and especially civilisation are in grave danger."

And so on ad nauseam. Ecolunacy can easily happen to anyone who is exposed to the BBC on a daily basis, of course. If you don't go raving looney—tunes and start plucking out your hair, screaming on street corners about the end to come, you have to become a total skeptic. But skepticism is in short supply these days.

Mr. Lovelock is a True Believer in a nation of True Believers, which means that he has to sound more hysterical than everybody else. So Gaia is going gaga, and so is Her screaming mob of worshippers. In fact, not only is Gaia "seriously ill" from a "morbid fever," in Mr. Lovelock's unlovely metaphor. She is also bound and determined to destroy those itchy boils that keep erupting from her skin — i.e., you and me and five billion others. Mr. Lovelock knows we are doomed by The Revenge of Gaia, the title of his book.

We seem to have a stew of metaphors here. Either Gaia is morbidly ill, or She is plotting revenge, but which one is it, Mr. Lovelock? How many anthropomorphic personifications manage to exact revenge with their last metaphorical breath? Isn't She in rather poor health to contemplate vengeance for all the things we've done to Her? Or is Mother Earth going to take 100,000 years to die of Her morbid fever, thereby giving Her plenty of time to scratch that nasty skin disease? And given Her condition, how do you know She hasn't just caught a nasty STD from the Lunar Goddess? Eh, Mr. Lovelock?

Sad to say, this sorry mess is published by Penguin Press, formerly a wonderful publishing house.

Well, it's too bad. Britain used to be the home of common sense and sanity. The literate British press used to resist hysteria. Today the BBC is no better than a tabloid, and Britain is the epicenter of Earth Mother worship. Maybe we can propitiate Mother Earth by sacrificing a few books in the flames?