James Lovelock

James Ephraim Lovelock, CH, CBE, FRS, Ph.D (born 26 July 1919) is an independent scientist, environmentalist and futurologist who lives inDevon, England. He is best known for proposing the Gaia hypothesis, which postulates that the biosphere is a self-regulating entity with the capacity to keep our planet healthy by controlling the chemical and physical environment. (…)

Writing in the British newspaper The Independent in January 2006, Lovelock argued that, as a result of global warming, “billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable” by the end of the 21st century. He has been quoted in The Guardian that 80% of humans will perish by 2100 AD, and this climate change will last 100,000 years. According to James Lovelock, by 2040, the world population of more than six billion will have been culled by floods, drought and famine. Indeed “the people of Southern Europe, as well as South-East Asia, will be fighting their way into countries such as Canada, Australia and Britain” (…)

Sustainable retreat is a concept developed by James Lovelock in order to define the necessary changes to human settlement and dwelling at the global scale with the purpose of adapting to global warming and preventing its expected negative consequences on humans.

Lovelock thinks the time is past for sustainable development, and that we have come to a time when development is no longer sustainable.

Therefore we need to retreat. Lovelock states the following in order to explain the concept:

“Retreat, in his view, means it’s time to start talking about changing where we live and how we get our food; about making plans for the migration of millions of people from low-lying regions like Bangladesh into Europe; about admitting that New Orleans is a goner and moving the people to cities better positioned for the future. Most of all, he says, it’s about everybody “absolutely doing their utmost to sustain civilization, so that it doesn’t degenerate into Dark Ages, with warlords running things, which is a real danger. We could lose everything that way.” The concept of sustainable retreat emphasized a pattern of resource use that aims to meet human needs with lower levels and/or less environmentally harmful types of resources. (…)” (fuente: wikipedia)

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