It's not a new idea. There's James Lovelock's and William Golding's Gaia Theory (Earth as a single organism), and books by Asimov, Orson Scott Card, the Helliconia trilogy, and many more. That doesn't mean that "it" cannot be "done" again.
We've all spoken of "Mother Earth", or "Mother Nature" but, I wonder, would a planet be male or female or hermaphrodite or a barren neuter?
The Earth breathes. It breaks out. Its skin crawls and wrinkles and shifts. It has warm flashes and cold spells. Frozen, liquid filled, life bearing comets might or might not be compared to spermatozoa... should I compare planets to giant clams in the oceans? A star's life cycle might be compared to that of the mythical phoenix.
Before the eruption, I was developing a thought about the arrogance of mankind, not merely politicians at Kyoto or Copenhagen, but of all of us to think that we have changed or could change the climate. It is true that a sufficient overpopulation of fleas can kill a dog. I accept that. But, I think we're more of the order of lice.
Entertaining gateway page to information about headlice
Fascinating piece on how volcanoes have shaped human history
If you look at the cross-section of an animated volcano, you may be struck by its similarity to a pustule
I've no idea if a host's acne outbreak is disastrous for headlice, but volcanic eruptions are potentially very serious for humans.
In Europe it is feared that the eruption of Eyjafjallajoekull will set off one of the Earth's most dangerous volcano systems: Katla, and perhaps Hekla. It sounds counter intuitive, but if the weight of a glacier keeps an icy lid on a volcano, and that glacier is melted, then there could be a chain reaction.
"Eyjafjallajokull has blown three times in the past thousand years," Dr McGarvie told The Times, "in 920AD, in 1612 and between 1821 and 1823. Each time it set off Katla." The likelihood of Katla blowing could become clear "in a few weeks or a few months", he said.
James Lovelock defined Gaia as:
- a complex entity involving the Earth's biosphere, atmosphere, oceans, and soil; the totality constituting a feedback or cybernetic system which seeks an optimal physical and chemical environment for life on this planet.
See more at Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_hypothesis
PS, Rusty's link to his tongue-in-cheek blog on a similar topic is http://unitedstatesofscamerica.blogspot.com/2010/04/iceland-saves-earth.html