Gaia and climate change

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While out running tonight, I listened to an LNL podcast of an interview with James Lovelock, of Gaia hypothesis fame. An excerpt is included here (11 mins) which provides an insight into Lovelock’s rather pessimistic view of the future for the human race. Applying his Gaia theorem, no matter what we do now he believes that by 2040, temperatures will have risen by 5 degrees centigrade and much of the planet will look like central Australia. The good news is that the self-regulating properties of the earth mean that temperatures will probably stabilise at this point. The bad news is that climatic conditions will be such that we will have trouble feeding ourselves. Lovelock estimates that by 2100, world population will be about 20% of its current level, and the few of us that survive will be huddled around the poles.