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Dr. James Lovelock (vegan) and His Revolutionary Gaia Theory, Part 1 of 2

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World-renowned British-born independent scientist and inventor Dr. James Lovelock is widely remembered for his conception of the Gaia theory. The Gaia theory proposed, and later demonstrated, that the Earth behaves like a virtual singular living organism, and that, like any self-contained biological creature, is the sum of interconnected symbiotic systems that, together, are self-regulating. These ideas greatly influenced climate science and the environmental movement.

Throughout his long career, James Lovelock continually reaffirmed his fears about the detrimental effects of human activity on Earth, saying: “We’re playing a very dangerous game... It’s direct interference with one of the major regulating mechanisms of Gaia.”

Early in his career as an inventor, Dr. Lovelock had built the leading-edge “electron capture detector,” which became invaluable in measuring air pollution. The device detected chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) for the first time, opening up the vitally important arena of atmospheric science.

Born on July 26, 1919, in Hertfordshire, England, James, who preferred to go by Jim, was an only child and lived primarily with his grandmother during his infancy. His father had a very instinctual knowledge of the natural world and took Jim on trips out in nature. “I learned from him a respect for living things... He had the mind of an ecologist and recognized the interconnection between the plants and insects.”

Jim’s mother had enrolled him at the local Quaker Church Sunday school, where one of the teachers was an amateur astronomer. His association with the Quaker church would later influence his decision to become a conscientious objector during the early years of 1939.

From 1942 to 1945, Jim worked for the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), conducting studies on soldiers’ exposures to burns. He refused to use animal-people in these experiments, preferring to burn his own skin instead, despite the pain.

It was still 1965 when Dr. Jim Lovelock first conceived the Gaia hypothesis in a eureka moment with a few scientist friends at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
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