Friday E-News | July 29, 2022

by Simon Mainwaring on July 29, 2022

Dear saints,

You may have read that this past Tuesday that James Lovelock, the scientist responsible for the Gaia theory, died at the age of 103. When Professor Lovelock was born the First World War had just ended a few months earlier, average weekly earnings were $25.61 a week, and the population of Atlanta was a little over 200,000 souls. James Lovelock lived through an era of profound change, yet perhaps from his perspective none more significant than the rate of global carbon emissions. At the time of his birth, around 3.5 billion metric tons of carbon was emitted each year globally; in 2020 it was 34 billion. Lovelock's Gaia theory essentially posits that our planet and its biological systems operate as a single entity, with self-regulatory feedback loops keeping conditions on the planet within boundaries that enable life to thrive. The theory, now half a century old, is perhaps more relevant than ever and James Lovelock's death this week poses the question as to what we will do to prevent our planetary system reaching a tipping point where life can no longer thrive. Theologically, that our life belongs to other lives, that we are part of a larger whole, is a claim that is made in the accounts of creation all the way back in Genesis. It is fitting, then, that as a church this fall we will explore how we might become good stewards of the Earth. In the meantime, I invite you to take a moment to remember the contribution of James Lovelock's one life and ask what part we can all play to love this, our fragile island home.


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