Gaia is the primal Greek goddess personifying the Earth. The Greek version of “Mother Nature” or the Earth mother. Gaia is also the earth itself. The idea of the Earth as a community of spirits belongs to ancient wisdom, but the idea of the Earth is a quasi-living organism, we owe to James Lovelock. Gaia represents for me the idea of all of the natural world as a unity. We, as humans, are a part of that unity, but through our intellect, our capacity to think and make choices, plan and exercise freewill, we have stepped further than any other creature and because of our competitive success as a species and our insatiable appetites, we have come to pose a unique threat to many other species and increasingly to the earth systems that in symbiosis with the biosphere, maintain the benign balance of our climate, resources and environment that sustains us. Thus, ultimately, we are a threat not only to other species and our environment, but to ourselves.
In these pages I am bringing together snapshots and references to some of the issues and also the teachers and visionaries who have influenced me and helped shape my views on ecological and environmental issues. They have lead me towards some small understanding of the vastness, diversity and wonder of nature and have instilled in me an ambition to pursue a lifestyle that acknowledges restraint, the precautionary principle and a sense of compassionate stewardship and responsibility. This has come to me rather late in life, so it is sometimes difficult, maybe impossible, to change some of the habits of a lifetime, but in my view that is no reason to give up hope or not to share the search for inspiration.
Join me in these pages as they are unfold with homage to those who discover and inspire.