English scientist James Lovelock died this week on his 103rd birthday. A bit of a maverick, he was looked on with some scorn by the scientific community when he developed the Gaia hypothesis in the 1960’s and ’70’s, along side Lynn Margulis, which sees the Earth as a self-regulating system. Like all systems, when it is pushed beyond its ability to self-regulate, the system starts to fail. Climate change is one result.

The acceptance of the hypothesis I don’t believe was helped by his choosing the name Gaia which was embraced by the hippy and ecology movement at the time, but not so much others. Time has been more generous to both Gaia and James Lovelock.

I read his book Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth a couple of times, the second while studying for my Masters in Ecospychology. I feel that Gaia embraced is not a theory that one just understands, but a theory that one lives and experiences while walking through life.