Gaia Theory

The Gaia Theory is a compelling theory around understanding life on our planet; an interdisciplinary context that is enriching science at every level. The original theory asserts that living organisms and their inorganic surroundings have evolved together as a single living system that greatly affects the chemistry and conditions of Earth’s surface. Once perceived as a fringe or even ‘crackpot’ hypothesis, the Gaia Theory has since gained a very respectable following and inspired innovative ideas and practical applications for governments, economic systems, policy development, scientific inquiry, and a broad variety of other valuable international work…

We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. 
~ Native American Proverb

The Gaia Theory was originally developed in the late 1960’s by Dr. James Lovelock, a British Scientist and inventor, shortly after his work with NASA in determining that there was probably no life on Mars. His research led to profound new insights about life on Earth. The theory gained an early supporter in Lynn Margulis, a microbiologist at the University of Massachusetts. In the past 15-20 years, many of the mechanisms by which Earth self-regulates have been identified and provides unbiased scientific verification that the principles behind the Gaia Theory are sound. As one example, it has been shown that cloud formation over the open ocean is almost entirely a function of the metabolism of oceanic algae that emit a large sulfur molecule (as a waste gas) that becomes the condensation nuclei for raindrops. Previously, it was thought that cloud formation over the ocean was a purely chemical/physical phenomenon. The cloud formation not only helps regulate Earth’s temperature, it is an important mechanism by which sulfur is returned to terrestrial ecosystems. This example alone, amongst a multitude of others, demonstrates both the fragility and globally sensitive nature of Earth’s symbiotic environmental relationships and ecological interdependence. We truly do live on a unique, biodiverse and very fragile planet … and we only have the one, so it is high time we paid respect to it!

The Gaia Theory has progressively evolved in its legitimacy and has inspired many leading figures of the past 20 years, including Vaclav Havel, John Todd (inventor), Freeman Dyson(physicist), Al Gore, Joseph Campbell (mythology expert), and Elisabet Sahtouris(microbiologist). These and many other people have written and spoken eloquently about how the currently postulated Gaia Theory can help us model human activities after the living systems of our planet; the concept offers globally relevant lessons for the design of economic, energy, social and governmental systems.

We at Cranky Goat Cottage are avid supporters of the principles and environmental science behind the Gaia Theory and have incorporated them, in part, within our own lifestyle structure. We hereby challenge you to research the science and environmental implications behind the Gaia Theory and its related concepts – it may prove to be invaluable with regards to how you view our small and fragile planet we call home. At the very least, you will find some interesting studies and global perspectives by many of the world’s leading scientists which we guarantee will give you something to ponder over...

Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet.
We all breathe the same air.
We all cherish our children's future.
And we are all mortal...
~ John F. Kennedy

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