James Lovelock's Gaia hypothesis took the world by storm in the 70s, it's had it ups and downs since, but in a recent study utilising advances in understandings and data evidence collected since that time, it looks set for a fall. The Gaia hypothesis was substantially three points: 1: That the earth is a favourable habitat for life; 2: That life has altered the planetary environment and ecosystems; 3: That the earth has remained fairly stable over geological time. For Lovelock, this indicated a self-correcting system, as it were. For those of a more romantic nature, the hypothesis was near enough proof of the fashionable 'earth goddess' model. Studies over the past 40 years have led scientists to suggest that point 1 is not really the case, point 2 is a discussion point, but the evidence supporting the Gaia hypothesis is weak compared to other hypotheticals, and that point 3 is, sadly, not the case at all. Sadly because the research tends to say that the planet is less stable than Gaia supposes. Perhaps more troubling is that Lovelock has predicted that our continued avoidance of the environmental question will lead to depopulation up to perhaps as much as 80% ... and if it turns out that Gaia is optimistic, then might it be worse than that? It's a sobering thought that perhaps the most powerful country in the world was prepared to risk all in a game of brinksmanship over healthcare. What chance do we have of our present political systems being able to effectively address the far more reaching problems that loom ahead?