James Lovelock on Voting Brexit, ‘Wicked’ Renewables and Why He Changed His Mind on Climate Change

LovelockThe cures being advanced on green zealots are often worse than the disease itself, warns the pioneering environmentalist.

Environmentalism has gone too far; renewable energy is a disaster; scares about pesticides and chemicals are horribly overdone; no, the planet is not going to end any time soon; and, by the way, the answer is nuclear…

This isn’t me speaking, but the views of an environmentalist so learned, distinguished and influential you could call him the Godfather of Green. His name is James Lovelock, the maverick independent scientist perhaps best known for positing the theory that our planet is an interconnected, self-regulating organism called Gaia.

Not ‘Sir’ James Lovelock, I was mildly surprised to discover when I met him at his Dorset home, perched idyllically just behind Chesil Beach. ‘But I am a CH,’ he says, meaning Companion of Honour. ‘There are only 65 of them,’ chips in Lovelock’s American wife Sandy. ‘Yes, but I have to share the honour with Shirley Williams, which dilutes it somewhat — you know, comprehensive education,’ says Lovelock. ‘You’re not supposed to say that!’chides Sandy, clearly amused.

Read the rest in the Spectator.

‘Renewable Energy Is a Corrupt Scam, Go Nuclear!’ Says Green Guru James Lovelock

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FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images

The green movement is a religion rife with corruption, bad science and hysteria, and nuclear – not renewables – is the best solution to our energy needs.

So says James Lovelock, 98, one of the world’s pre-eminent environmentalists in a wide-ranging interview on today’s Delingpole podcast for Breitbart.

Lovelock is probably best known in environmental circles as the progenitor of Gaia theory – the idea that the planet is a self-regulating, living organism. In 2006, he boosted his green credibility even further with his bestselling book The Revenge of Gaia, whose doomsday narrative predicted that by 2100 climate change would have wiped out 80 percent of the world’s population.

But Lovelock has since renounced this view. Though he still thinks carbon dioxide is a problem because of its warming effects on the climate, he now believes the threat is not immediate.

His change of heart was brought about partly by being in Oslo when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He was not impressed by the calibre of the scientists attached to the IPCC – least of all its then-head Rajendra Pachauri “who turned out to be somewhat corrupt.”

“There is global warming. But the stupid bloody academics screwed it up,” he says now – meaning that they got their sums wrong and exaggerated the speed with which the planet is warming.

A bigger worry, he says, are the wrong-headed policies being introduced supposedly to combat “climate change.”

He particularly loathes wind turbines because they are expensive, inefficient and environmentally damaging. The only reason they are being built, he says, is because “there is so much money in renewable energy. I’m sure there’s giant corruption going on.”

The solution, he argues, is nuclear power which has had a terrible press because of green propaganda most likely funded by fossil fuel industries. Nuclear’s health risks have been exaggerated by credulous greens who say “there’s no amount of radiation that can’t give you cancer.”

But this is nonsense, says Lovelock.

Read the rest at Breitbart.

Lovelock goes mad for shale gas | James Delingpole

June 18, 2012

Lovelock: growing wiser with old age

A glorious interview with James Lovelock in today’s Guardian. Essential reading for everyone, greens especially. In it, the inventor of Gaia theory and godfather of modern environmentalism declares that wind farms are hideous, renewables are a waste of space, nuclear power is good, sea level rises aren’t a worry, environmentalism has replaced Christianity as the global religion and that we should all be “going mad on” shale gas, which he considers our best energy hope for the immediate future.

My favourite line, though is this one:

“I’m neither strongly left nor right, but I detest the Liberal Democrats.”

Needless to say the eco-nuts who congregate beneath Komment Macht Frei are going mental. One commenter calls him an “evil bastard”. Several others say they always thought Gaia theory was total rubbish anyway and suggest that at 92 Lovelock has probably started to lose his marbles.

Really? All sounds perfectly sensible to me.

Have a read of this:

Lovelock does not miss a chance to criticise the green movement that has long paid heed to his views. “It’s just the way the humans are that if there’s a cause of some sort, a religion starts forming around it. It just so happens that the green religion is now taking over from the Christian religion. I don’t think people have noticed that, but it’s got all the sort of terms that religions use. The greens use guilt. You can’t win people round by saying they are guilty for putting CO2 in the air.”

Or this:

Having already upset many environmentalists – for whom he is something of a guru – with his long-time support for nuclear power and his hatred of wind power (he has a picture of a wind turbine on the wall of his study to remind him how “ugly and useless they are”), he is now coming out in favour of “fracking”, the controversial technique for extracting natural gas from the ground. He argues that, while not perfect, it produces far less CO2 than burning coal: “Gas is almost a give-away in the US at the moment. They’ve gone for fracking in a big way. Let’s be pragmatic and sensible and get Britain to switch everything to methane. We should be going mad on it.”

If anyone can find serious flaws in this argument, I’d love to hear them. (And no: “James Lovelock is, like, really old, and, like, Gaia Theory sucks. Heh heh heh,” isn’t good enough).

My only criticisms of Lovelock’s recantations are that a) they couldn’t have come a few years earlier (they would have been a lot braver – and more devastating – when the global warming craze was at its peak and that b) they seem to have been prompted at least partly by self-interest.

The move, he says, has been forced on him. Three years ago, he received a heating bill for the winter totalling £6,000. His age means he has to have the heating on full in his poorly insulted home and, with his disabled son, Tom, living in a house next door, his outgoings on fuel rocketed. Damp winters on the edge of Dartmoor were taking their toll, so in recent years he has overwintered in St Louis, his wife’s hometown in Missouri. The experience altered his attitude to the politics and economics of energy.

Could he really not see where green energy policies (inspired partly by his doomsday predictions in books like The Revenge of Gaia) were leading until he was socked with his first whacking great £6,000 heating bill? If so, then it strikes me as both a woeful failure of imagination and a lack of clear thinking. High energy bills, after all, are no accident. They are result of a very deliberate strategy by environmental pressure groups to make energy bills more expensive in order to force everyone to reduce their energy usage. Of course, the people this hits hardest are the ones for whom reducing energy usage is not really a viable option: the old and inform, many of whom have been driven into “fuel poverty” by the greens’ well-meaning attempts to save the world from the illusory threat of ManBearPig.

Still, better late then never, eh?

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One thought on “Lovelock goes mad for shale gas”

  1. Herkinderkin says:26th June 2012 at 6:01 amHeh heh. Reminds me of Germaine Greer. She too, recanted somewhat as she aged. And like Lovelock’s change of heart, hers got naff-all coverage from the mainstream media.

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‘Global warming? What global warming?’ says High Priest of Gaia Religion | James Delingpole

April 25, 2012

Lovelock: wrong

“Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth”, saith the Bible.

So let joy be unconfined that one of the archest of the world’s arch Greenies – James Lovelock, inventor of the Gaia hypothesis and therefore, more or less, founder of the world’s most powerful modern religion – has come clean and admitted that he got it wrong in his doomsday predictions about “Climate Change.”

Well, come almost clean.

I can’t say there has been quite as much wailing and lamentation and as breast-beating as I would have liked. Here’s what he has said in in his retraction in an interview with MSNBC.

“The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books – mine included – because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn’t happened,” Lovelock said.

“The climate is doing its usual tricks. There’s nothing much really happening yet. We were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now,” he said.

“The world has not warmed up very much since the millennium. Twelve years is a reasonable time… it (the temperature) has stayed almost constant, whereas it should have been rising – carbon dioxide is rising, no question about that,” he added.

Presumably, Professor Lovelock will now be donating all his royalties from his earlier alarmist bestsellers to help fund those proper, principled, decent scientists around the world – Fred Singer, Richard Lindzen, Bob Carter, Ian Plimer, Tim Ball et al – whose careers have been blighted and whose lives have been made misery for having said precisely what Lovelock is now admitting, only much, much earlier. And then, perhaps, using his cachet among his greenie co-religionists to make amends for his sins by calling for the abolition of the IPCC.

UPDATE.

But this case of backsliding is, in some ways, more significant still (H/T Benny Peiser/GWPF)

David Cameron is set to end his long silence on green issues, with a major speech in front of the world’s key energy and climate figures, the Guardian has learned. “It will be a major policy intervention by the prime minister,” said climate change  minister Greg Barker, who described the speech as a major keynote on the green economy. “All the big players in the energy sector will be there: China, US, Germany, France, Brazil, Abu Dhabi and so on.”–Damian Carrington The Guardian, 4 April

David Cameron is no longer making a pro-environmental oration on Thursday during a gathering of 23 energy ministers from around the world. –Jim Pickard, Financial Times, 23 April

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One thought on “’Global warming? What global warming?’ says High Priest of Gaia Religion”

  1. Aussiesue26 says:29th April 2012 at 3:40 amI saw you James on The Bold Report today (29/4/2012), and I said about time someone like you came forward and exposed all these money grabbing liers about global warming. I never believed it in the first time I heard about it, afterall living in Australia we always have droughts, floods, heat, cold and anything else mother nature throws our way, been happening since the world began.

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‘Only global fascist tyranny can save us now’ says nice old man | James Delingpole

March 30, 2010

Is anyone else as baffled as I am by the crazy, crazy world of James Lovelock? (Hat tip: Ed West)

Here is the kindly, distinguished inventor of the Gaia hypothesis interviewed in the Guardian, when asked how humans will ever manage to tackle ‘climate change’.

We need a more authoritative world. We’ve become a sort of cheeky, egalitarian world where everyone can have their say. It’s all very well, but there are certain circumstances – a war is a typical example – where you can’t do that. You’ve got to have a few people with authority who you trust who are running it. And they should be very accountable too, of course.

But it can’t happen in a modern democracy. This is one of the problems. What’s the alternative to democracy? There isn’t one. But even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.

“It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.” Hmm. I’m sure he said it in a gentle, quavery, tentative voice, but even so, don’t phrases like that tend to make the blood run cold – especially when spoken by the man viewed by many of the world’s eco-loons as the ultimate environmental guru?

Here’s the puzzling part, though. Elsewhere he talks a lot of sense:

On Climategate:

Fudging the data in any way whatsoever is quite literally a sin against the holy ghost of science. I’m not religious, but I put it that way because I feel so strongly. It’s the one thing you do not ever do. You’ve got to have standards.

On computer models:

I remember when the Americans sent up a satellite to measure ozone and it started saying that a hole was developing over the South Pole. But the damn fool scientists were so mad on the models that they said the satellite must have a fault. We tend to now get carried away by our giant computer models. But they’re not complete models. They’re based more or less entirely on geophysics. They don’t take into account the climate of the oceans to any great extent, or the responses of the living stuff on the planet. So I don’t see how they can accurately predict the climate. It’s not the computational power that we lack today, but the ability to take what we know and convert it into a form the computers will understand.

On the uncertainty of climate science:

The great climate science centres around the world are more than well aware how weak their science is. If you talk to them privately they’re scared stiff of the fact that they don’t really know what the clouds and the aerosols are doing. They could be absolutely running the show. We haven’t got the physics worked out yet. One of the chiefs once said to me that he agreed that they should include the biology in their models, but he said they hadn’t got the physics right yet and it would be five years before they do. So why on earth are the politicians spending a fortune of our money when we can least afford it on doing things to prevent events 50 years from now? They’ve employed scientists to tell them what they want to hear. The Germans and the Danes are making a fortune out of renewable energy. I’m puzzled why politicians are not a bit more pragmatic about all this.

On climate sceptics:

What I like about sceptics is that in good science you need critics that make you think: “Crumbs, have I made a mistake here?” If you don’t have that continuously, you really are up the creek.

On carbon trading:

I don’t know enough about carbon trading, but I suspect that it is basically a scam. The whole thing is not very sensible. We have this crazy idea that we are setting an example to the world. What we’re doing is trying to make money out of the world by selling them renewable gadgetry and green ideas. It might be worthy from the national interest, but it is moonshine if you think what the Chinese and Indians are doing [in terms of emissions].

On wind farms and nuclear power:

I’ve always said that adaptation is the most serious thing we can do. Are our sea defences adequate? Can we prevent London from flooding? This is where we should be spending our billions. If wind turbines really worked, I wouldn’t object to them. To hell with the aesthetics, we might need them to save ourselves. But they don’t work – the Germans have admitted it. It’s like the [EU] Common Agricultural Policy which led to corruption and inefficiencies. A common energy policy across Europe is not a good idea. I’m in favour of nuclear for crowded places like Britain for the simple reason that it’s cheap, effective and exceedingly safe when you look at the record. We’ve had it for 50 years, but I can understand the left hating it because it was Thatcher’s greatest weapon against the miners because we were then getting 30% of our electricity from nuclear. We could build a nuclear power station in five years, but it’s the legal and planning stuff that makes it take 15 years. If governments were serious they would undo this legislation that holds it back.

In other words James Lovelock agrees with almost everything we sceptics believe. Yet still, in his most recent book The Vanishing Face of Gaia, he concludes that the damage caused by overpopulation, species decline and carbon emissions is already so great that modern civilisation is finished. Before the end of this century, he argues, rising sea levels and overheating will have rendered whole swathes of our planet uninhabitable and such few survivors as there are will have to make do as best they can.

This is more than just cognitive dissonance. This is borderline lunacy.

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