In any topography of human inspiration there might surely be room for the holiday cottage of Ireland’s west, so often the cradle of a great idea, born of the time and space for thought and the gift of far horizons.
One cottage I’d put a plaque on, if it doesn’t have one already, is called Carrig and it’s set above the shore at Adrigole, on the Beara Peninsula in west Cork.
It was here, in the 1970s, that James Lovelock, bothered by a strange haze in the summer air, embarked on research that came to matter greatly to the world.
It also helped him frame a revolutionary theory – that Gaia, the Earth, can be seen as a living, interacting organism. Today, at 101, his ideas have grown even more startling, as his latest book, Novacene, just published in Penguin, describes.
The haze at Adrigole, analysed by gas chromatography, proved