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The Wild and the ToxicAmerican Environmentalism and the Politics of Health$
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Jennifer Thomson

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469651996

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469651996.001.0001

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Planetary Health in the Age of Climate Change

Planetary Health in the Age of Climate Change

(p.98) Chapter Four Planetary Health in the Age of Climate Change
The Wild and the Toxic

Jennifer Thomson

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter details physicist James Lovelock's lifelong work on the Gaia hypothesis. Gaia postulated that the Earth was a single living entity whose health was threatened by human-induced changes in atmospheric composition and planetary biodiversity. Arguing that humans had overstepped their ecological niche, Lovelock developed a planetary medicine by which humans would treat the planet as a doctor would a sick patient. Gaia, as well as Lovelock's diagnosis of the Earth as having a fever, found renewed life in the 1990s, as activist Bill McKibben called for drastic checks on the greenhouse-gas emissions threatening the health of the planet.

Keywords:   James Lovelock, Gaia, Planetary Health, Shell Oil, Bill McKibben

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