LONDON (AP) — James Lovelock, the environmental scientist whose seminal Gaia theory sees Earth as a living organism endangered by human activity, has died on his 103rd birthday.
Lovelock’s wife and children said Wednesday that he died the night before “at home surrounded by his family” from complications related to a fall. The family said that until six months ago Lovelock “was still able to walk along the coast near his home in Dorset and take part in interviews, but his health deteriorated after a severe fall earlier this year.”
His contribution to environmental science included the development of a device to measure ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons in the atmosphere and pollutants in air, soil, and water.
The Gaia hypothesis, first proposed in the 1970s, viewed the Earth as a complex self-regulating system that created and maintained the conditions for life on the planet. Lovelock said that human activity has dangerously thrown the system out of balance.
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