The following rationalization is not to be taken seriously. It is merely a nonsense thought experiment based on an (IMHO) equally nonsense philosophy.
Gaia hypothesis preaches that the planet Earth is akin to a sngle organism, its living and nonliving parts working in smooth synch to support life overall.
According to some versions of Gaian-ish belief, humanity and our environmental destruction are merely a disease or cancer that is plaguing the planet. The latest threat to be raised by the green-sane crowd is the ‘irrefutable fact’ of global warming.
The best solution for the planetary natural ecosystem (meaning everything except humans, even though we live here too) is for all humans to die off.
This post is my response to such self-destructive philosophy. (Or rather, everyone-else destroying philosophy – the noisiest back-to-primitive-living proponents are invariably the richest, most luxury-loving, last ones who would ever leave their comfortable air-conditioned mega-mansions and do what they preach.)
So here’s the conundrum – Let’ say Gaia taken as a whole is an organism, has a form of sentience, and also control over its natural phenomena such as earthquakes and tsunami. Why would Gaia allow us horrible parasites called humans to infest her surface, instead of utilizing mass extinction to cure herself of the human plague?
Here’s my suggested reason: We ‘horribly destructive’ humans are merely an itchy growth on the skin of Gaia, a tiny niggle. We hardly put a dent into her.
Even if we wipe out 99% of all life with our nukes, Gaia could easily repopulate herself with new life forms in a few million years – a blink of an eye on a geological time-scale. After all, she did it before when the dinosaurs died out.
Ah! There are the two points I want to raise, right there in the preceding paragraph! Human nukes and the dinosaur extinction.
The leading theory as to how and why the noble dinosaurs died out en-masse is the Alvarez hypothesis. Basically, it says that a massive astroid around 10 kilometres in diameter struck the Earth… I mean, Mother Gaia.
This incredible impact released 100 trillion tons of TNT of force, which is about 2 million times greater than the most powerful nuclear bomb ever tested‘s mere 50 million tons.
The super-impact released tons of Gaia’s fragile, quivering body into the atmosphere, blocking out sunlight and causing a global winter (heh, 1975 Newsweek magazine). Fireblast, acid rain and total collapse of the food chain are also theorized.
Gaia, obviously badly injured by such a MASSIVE attack, decided that a countermeasure had to be developed. The Moon floating around every now and then simply wouldn’t be good enough precaution against another world-devastating meteorite smash.
A massive volcanic explosion might do the trick. Krakatoa in 1883 managed 200 million tonness of TNT. Earlier supervolcanos had even more force. Surely a massive ejection of Gaia’s boiling blood and flesh would deflect a rogue asteroid away?
But such a huge explosion erupting from her body would also injure Gaia greatly in and of itself. And the short range (on an astronomical scale) of the explosion might not have the reach to sufficiently deflect a mega-rock headed directly at Gaia. All a volcanic explosion would accomplish is expose Gaia’s vulnerable, inviting innards to the astronomical rapist.
A different approach was needed. Thus, Mother Gaia evolved… Us. Humans. Those nasty little tech-monkeys who are going around spoiling Gaia’s environmental beauty with our Deforestation, Super Radiation, Smog, Toxics and Hate (“By your powers combined, I am Captain Pollution!”)
But for all our spoiled brattiness, Mother Gaia is patient with us… Even to the point of tolerating our occasional nuclear-test tantrums. Because she needs our nuclear weapons, with their massive but focused destruction and off-world capable ICBM mountings.
After all, what is a few eons of bad acne compared to a fatal orbital bullet through the heart? Gaia intends to keep us around, as evident by her not smiting us into extinction.
Shouldn’t we concur with our wise and revered Mother, and not spite her by voluntarily killing ourselves off in the name of ill-advised ‘environmentalism’?
Or do the enviro-nuts care to admit to blasphemy, heresy and apostasy against the Jungle Temple of High Mother Gaia?
To summarize in a nutshell…
Human-technology including nukes = Good for Gaia’s long term survival.
Daft, hypocritical and genocidal enviromental greensanity = Bad for Gaia’s long term survival.