The Gaia mother earth concept gives us another way of looking at alternative energy. Both for reasons in seeking alternative energy methods, as well as for an inner certainty that we can achieve significantly useful results.
Coming from an idea that was briefly proposed then expanded as a defined concept it has become mainline. Early developments of the idea were not widely disseminated. Then proposed as a hypothesis, it is now accepted more strongly as a theory that is being proven correct a piece at a time.
The idea of earth as gaia, a concept whose name stems from the Greek goddess, suggests a mothering role. Mother earth gaia is concerned with caring for herself and all that is in her or part of her.
To many it has and will sound somewhat out there, "New Agey" or otherwise unscientific.
Ancient pagan cultures accepted the concept of a mother earth. Mother earth gaia who brought us forth and nutured us.
Surely this is a benighted, unlearned extension of these dismissed ideas. And yet the concept of mother gaia has become stronger.
Any concerns about its weird connection have already been levelled at the concept over many years. If anything gaia the earth is showing herself to be very much around.
Although there are those who would always assertively put these ideas down for their definitely held concept of the world, there are underlying good reasons to consider it. Both strongly religious and non-religious background people (no lesser person than Richard Dawkins among others) have attacked the concept.
The philosophy, though, seems to be growing in acceptability.
Others will always contend that back of all myths there is not just some wishful story-telling but rather a lyrical revelation of an underlying truth or reality.
The principle of gaia mother earth suggests that she maintains an equilibrium. That she is a living organism. If something causes irritation in one part she will cause a reaction to deal with that irritation. Those who look at the earth as rocks, water and gases will wonder how this could be so.
Is there some majestic reality bigger than us in gaia mother earth that keeps her pristine?
In pictures we see of the world the suggestion of beauty hints at it. Early astronauts looking down at earth from space found a sense of profundity in the view. When we see earth rising above the moon, a sense of wondrous beauty and awe strikes us too.
The equilibrium that gaia mother earth maintains pushes us to help her maintain that in our quest for energy to live our lives on her surface.
Really all the forms of energy generation both traditional and newer alternative and renewables are based within and through the living organism of Gaia mother earth. We could say solar might really come from the sun. But we use the energy that enters the earth's atmosphere.
Certainly tidal, wave, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, biomass and related generation methods are intimately associated with mother earth. Oil and gas products have been gestating within the earth over millennia.
Even more radical energy generation methods like nuclear fission and the not-yet-achieved but much more desirable nuclear fusion are part of the inner secrets of mother earth. As well as of the universe about her.
Historically we know of ice ages and times of surface turmoil that produced our current earth. We understand climates have and can change suddenly. If we do not participate in generating methods that are sensitive to the interlinked complexity of the world about us then we may find gaia mother earth shrugging herself convulsively to undo the harm we are doing to her.
That may be a negative way at looking at a concept like gaia mother earth.
A more positive, encouraging and mind-blowing concept would be if mother gaia is a living organism she should grow and reproduce.
If so part of her system, the race that explosively expands across her face, could launch into the solar system and the rest of the universe to bring an expansion of that life force and a golden age of gaia.
If we would invest sympathetically or cooperatively in our alternative energy search process we might break free of our illusions and produce something more akin to what humankind has hinted at the possibilities of. In our art, culture and worship we seem at times to touch at the hem of the garment of some great potential.
In his film, and the book his co-author Arthur C Clarke wrote, Stanley Kubrick in 2001 A Space Odyssey gave us that indelible image of the embryonic space child gazing down on gaia earth. A hint of something profoundly deeper that we could aspire to.
If we can commit ourselves in seeking solutions for alternative energy that are sensitive to and enhance that homeostasis of gaia mother earth we would set ourselves up for a huge win. Not just for ourselves, but also for countless generations of those who would follow us.
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