At 97, James Lovelock, futurist and creator of the Gaia Hypothesis, is just hitting his stride. And it’s causing some concern among his acolytes. (The Gaia Hypothesis holds that the Earth is more a self-regulating organism life form than a ball of molten iron and silicates. It’s a foundational premise of much of modern environmentalism.)
I needed a cigarette after reading this article in The Guardian. (h/t wattsupwiththat.com)
What has changed dramatically, however, is his position on climate change. He now says: “Anyone who tries to predict more than five to 10 years is a bit of an idiot, because so many things can change unexpectedly.” But isn’t that exactly what he did last time we met? “I know,” he grins teasingly. “But I’ve grown up a bit since then.”
[Lovelock] nowadays feels “laid back about climate change”. All things being equal – “and it’s only got to take one sizable volcano to erupt and all the models, everything else, is right off the board” – he expects that before the consequences of global warming can impact on us significantly, something else will have made our world unrecognisable, and threaten the human race.
Lovelock maintains that, unlike most environmentalists, he is a rigorous empiricist, but it is manifestly clear that he enjoys maddening the green movement. “Well, it’s a religion, really, you see. It’s totally unscientific.”
[He] has withering contempt for environmentalists’ opposition to fracking. “You see, gas in America is incredibly cheap, because of fracking,” he says. But what about the risk of triggering earthquakes? He rolls his eyes.
“I’m not anti-green in the sense that I’m in favour of polluting the world with every damn thing we make. I think we’ve got to be careful. But I’m afraid, human nature being what it is, the thing gets exaggerated out of all proportion, and the greens have behaved deplorably instead of being reasonably sensible.”
Lovelock thinks that by the end of the century self-replicating robot technology will obviate the need for humans.
Will [the robots] care about rising temperatures? “They won’t give a fourpenny f*** about the temperature, because to them the change will be slow, and they can stand quite a big change without any fuss. …”
I highly recommend reading it all. Man, would I love to have a beer with this guy.