Thursday, October 15, 2009

NATURE AS KILLER: The Medea Hypothesis

From the edge of the Earth, broadcast, podcast, by cable and satellite, this is Radio Ecoshock with Alex Smith.

Gaia - the great interconnected force of living things on a minor planet called Earth. British scientist James Lovelock wondered how life created it's own space, with the oxygen and nutrients we all need. It's a soothing idea. Some Greens took it further, suggesting Gaia is a super-consciousness that watches over balance and survival. A few worship Gaia.

Dr. Peter Ward, a deep time digger and climate investigator says Gaia, if there is one, can also be a mass murderer. The rock record shows at least 5 great mass extinctions before us. Ward offers us a different Greek myth: Medea - the wife of Jason the Argonaut, who swiped the Golden Fleece. In a fit of rage against her husband, Medea killed her own children. In a new book, the Medea Hypothesis, Peter Ward says Gaia is out. Bountiful Nature can become ecocidal, and only intelligent life can stop the death cycle we are now approaching.

Peter always stuffs us full of the latest science. He's not well-known to the public, but other climate scientists are listening closely, as this brilliant mind sparks off a new paradigm for life and death, Earth-style. But can we trust a creature with obvious pathological flaws to save the species? Should humans try to replace Nature?

Following our interview with Peter Ward, I answer a few questions about Radio Ecoshock, as a local college stations turns the tables, to interview the elusive Alex Smith. We talk the future of food, the economy, and radio itself. You'll also hear the new climate anthem, a re-worked "Beds Are Burning" from a host of celebrities. Plus "Fear Itself" from Loudon Wainwright III.


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