The Revenge of Gaia: Earth's Climate Crisis & the Fate of Humanity
James Lovelock suggests, "Before the twentieth century ended, we were unaware of how serious a threat global heating was, and we believed that civilization could only flourish if there was increasing economic growth." 
his credit, Lovelock divulges insight based on his geographical oversight.
"There is one exception among renewable energy resources that is almost
free of disadvantage and that is geothermal energy."
unfortunately goes on to undermine his argument after mentioning Iceland's
development of geothermal power, Lovelock touts "Unfortunately there are
few places where it is freely available." A recent MIT study differs
sharply from Lovelock's less than enlightened conclusion reflecting his poor
judgment about the availability of geothermal energy.
Clearly for volcanic islands, Japan, Indonesia, or in California, Italy, and
Africa the uses of geothermal offers far more possibilities than either Brand
or Lovelock suggest in their more expectant boosting of a nuclear fission
option. The MIT study concluded "Geothermal
resources span a wide range of heat sources from the Earth, including not only
the more easily developed, currently economic hydrothermal resources; but also
the EarthÕs deeper, stored thermal energy, which is present anywhere,"
quite to the contrary of Lovelock's assertions. Arguably, Lovelock may have
meant that geothermal power is limited in the UK
Yet he divulged his bias here based on an assumption common to many who harbor
a widespread misunderstanding of the varied capacities geothermal sources embody for
heating, cooling and electrical supply.
geothermal energy has provided commercial base-load electricity around the
world for more than a century, it is often ignored in national projections of
evolving U.S. energy supply. ... a result of the widespread perception that the total geothermal resource is often associated with identified high-grade, hydrothermal systems
that are too few and too limited in their distribution in the United States to
make a long-term, major impact at a national level. This
perception has led to undervaluing the long-term potential of geothermal energy
by missing an opportunity to develop technologies for sustainable heat mining
from large volumes of accessible hot rock anywhere in the United States.
In fact, many attributes of geothermal energy, namely its widespread
distribution, base-load dispatchability without
storage, small footprint, and low emissions, are desirable for reaching a
sustainable energy future....
supplies of electrical power to maintain populations and renew natural systems that
people depend upon for economic development, population and consumption will
further diminish natural resilience and undermine human health by eroding
From a review of the literature and research
on climate change five emerging lessons are:
scope, amount, suddenness, persistence, and pervasiveness of global warming
make creatures and their co-dependent humanÕs essential partners to understand
and protect as a commons because wildlife and fisheries are significant
indicators of what we are doing to both reduce pollution and adapt to unpredictable
and precipitous changes.
assertions causing biodiversity loss can instruct civilization that natural
systems sustain, not obstruct population's growing needs, revealing how
institutions must carefully balance mitigation with adaptation since we are intensely
altering the planet.
understood, energy-use causes pollution but is necessary for water,
development, and conservation. Yet badly informed, recent debates increase
social divisiveness driving broken policies to reinforce damaging habits to our
global commons that is comprised of wildlife and fisheries, the atmosphere,
ocean and arable lands.
in a vice between entrenched privilege and emerging needs, a distributive and
flexible, diversely fueled energy system should: A) transfer wealth to sustain
productive rather than damaging uses, and B) encourage an assortment of means
to achieve similar ends such as: increasing efficiency, mixed tillage, blended
uses, cogeneration, or chiefly implementing geothermal power that need not harm
perceptions, poor communications, and unequal access to remedies for existing
damages caused by air pollution all obscure widespread solutions that are
viewed as too costly in an unequally competitive energy market. Current debates
confuse judgment while delaying extensive adoption of already existing means to
reduce pollution, minimize harm, and promote adaptive response to the
uncertainties inherent in climate chaos stemming from the enduring and reverberating
shocks of global warming.
Hesitantly we at a crossroads await an
appropriate means to motivate healthy responses to growing challenges. Locked
in debilitating uncertainty over how little reduction of emissions or how much
adaptation to unprecedented ecological changes we must make, animals and their
codependent commons offer us a limited but needed vision in our blind pursuit
of conservation and development. Unaware that we are stumbling beyond the edges
of our past experiences, widespread means to adjust require unprecedented
risks. Without our partners, the planet's wild creatures, we cannot prosper;
with them we may yet thrive, since they keep secure sage knowledge of that
world we so desperately altered.
 James Lovelock, The Revenge of Gaia, Earth's Climate
Crisis and the Fate of Humanity. New York: Perseus Books, 2006. p. 78. Brit Liggett, "Stewart Brand Says Nuclear Power Could Save the World." Inhabitat. 05/10/11, VIDEO INTERVIEW: http://inhabitat.com/video-interview-stewart-brand-says-nuclear-power-could-save-the-world/. 6/26/12 10:59 AM. "Stewart Brand: Nuclear Power Could Save The
World." Huffington Post. First Posted: 02/18/11 10:27 AM
ET Updated: 05/25/11 07:35 PM ET http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/18/stewart-brand-nuclear-power_n_824764.html
 Ibid., p. 68.
 "Deep Geothermal can Provide 20 percent of UK
electricity," A report published on May 30, 2012 suggests just the
opposite: http://www.celsias.com/article/deep-geothermal-can-provide-20-uk-electricity/. 6/7/12 11:19:15 AM