Greenhouse gases blamed for global warming and climate change have reached their highest ever levels in the atmosphere, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) a United Nations Agency said on Tuesday.
"Global observations coordinated by WMO show that levels of carbon dioxide, the most abundant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, continue to increase steadily and show no signs of levelling off," said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud.
James Lovelock, 85, is an academic who has taught Chemistry at Harvard, Yale and Oxford. He has published a book this year called the “Revenge of Gaia” in it he states “After 40 years of living with the concept of Gaia I thought I knew her, but I realize now that I underestimated the severity of her discipline. I knew that our self-regulating Earth had evolved from those species that left a better environment for their progeny and by the elimination of those who fouled their habitat, but I never realised how destructive we were, or that we had so grievously damaged the Earth that Gaia now threatens us with the ultimate punishment of extinction.”
Gaiaoo is an internet website that provides a resource to encourage this issue to be discussed at a local level and to help identify ways in which individuals can make a difference. It enables members of the public to publish environmental information and news relating to their town and the local area in which they live, such as car sharing, locally sourced food from farmers, second hand goods available locally and recycling.
It is generally accepted that we are a wasteful society and this is partly due to lack of choice. What Gaiaoo does is provides the technology which will enable individuals to be informed of a local alternative. If you have access to the Internet then this service is free.
James Lovelock says in his book "The few things we do know about the response of the Earth to our presence are deeply disturbing. Even if we stopped immediately all further seizing of Gaia's land and water for food and fuel production and stopped poisoning the air, it would take the Earth more than a thousand years to recover from the damage we have already done, and it may be too late even for this drastic step to save us. To recover, even to lessen the consequences of our past errors, will take an extra-ordinary degree of international effort and a carefully planned sequence for replacing fossil carbon with safer energy sources. We as a civilisation are all too much like someone addicted to a drug that will kill if continued and kill if suddenly withdrawn. We are in this present mess through our intelligence and inventiveness."
Gaiaoo (gaiaoo.com) is an international initiative which attempts to help restore the balance through local community involvement. Paul Watkinson, 45, a Computer Scientist who wrote Gaiaoo.com says "Before I read James' book I was not aware of the issue and yet James lives a few miles away from me. In the same way that James felt motivated to put pen to paper about this issue to involve others in this cause, I felt the desire to help leverage the Internet using my skills and provide a mechanism by which individuals can all help to solve this problem and raise awareness." Paul explained that "James in his book explains that he was asked by NASA many years ago to help develop some experiments to determine life on other planets and it was this work that inspired him to start research into what he calls Gaia and why life exists on Earth. In particular it was the first pictures from space of the planet Earth that struck him. So I have used this picture on the home page of gaiaoo.com and have taken the name from Gaia and the two o's which represent Oxygen.