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Selfish greens

Only science can help us overcome global warming

By James Lovelock   June 2004

We remember Adam Smith for his intuition of the invisible hand that enables self-interest to work for the common good. Over 200 years later we face a similar paradox. We know that the Earth is a benign place for life and has been so for most of its history, so how have selfish genes allowed the evolution of an altruistic planet? It is easy now to see how Darwinian natural selection leads to the evolution of fit organisms, but how can the common good for all life also evolve by natural selection? What we have discovered is that as our…

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