Saturday, April 10, 2010

ZenTiger Lovelock on Climate Change

Hacked excerpts from the Guardian article:

Lovelock – now into his 90s is the man who first developed the "Gaia theory" in the late 1960s: the still-challenging idea that Earth is one giant, self-regulating organism whose equilibrium is being very much disturbed by the actions of one species. Lovelock has been warning with increasing urgency that the survival of that species – Homo sapiens – is now gravely threatened by the "Revenge of Gaia", the title of one of his more recent bestselling books.

He is billed as an Old Testament-style prophet for our times, predicting fire and brimstone for a damned generation if it does not urgently and radically change its polluting ways ... firing off verbal thunderbolts at the various "dumbos" with whom we have bestowed our collective fate: namely, "the politicians, scientists and lobbyists".

Lovelock directs his first wave of ire at the reports that climate scientists had been caught up in the email scandal. He was, he says, "utterly disgusted" when he first heard about the allegations. "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."

"The good sceptics have done a good service – but some of the mad ones, I think, have not done anyone any favours. Some, of course, are corrupted and employed by oil companies and things like that. Some even work for governments. For example, I wouldn't put it past the Russians to be behind some of the disinformation to help further their energy interests. But you need sceptics, especially when the science gets very big and monolithic."

And the sceptics are right, he says, to be deeply distrustful of scientists who are overly reliant on computer models, particularly when it comes to predicting future climate scenarios: "We're not that bright an animal. We stumble along very nicely and it's amazing what we do do sometimes, but we tend to be too hubristic to notice the limitations. If you make a model, after a while you get suckered into it. You begin to forget that it's a model and think of it as the real world."

"I don't think we're yet evolved to the point where we're clever enough to handle as complex a situation as climate change," he responds, when asked whether we are up to the task as a species of tackling climate change. "We're very active animals. We like to think, 'Ah yes, this will be a good policy,' but it's almost never that simple. Wars show this to be true. People are very certain they are fighting a just cause, but it doesn't always work out like that. Climate change is kind of a repetition of a wartime situation. It could quite easily lead to a physical war."

Now, he says, he is not convinced that any meaningful response to "global heating", as he likes to call it, can be achieved from within the modern democracies of the western world.

"We need a more authoritative world," he says resolutely. "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. 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."

So much to comment on in the above section, but perhaps the key point is that Lovelock is suggesting we embrace authoritarianism, and he almost sounds reasonable, when he says "there isn't an alternative to democracy" except that one realises it comes across as a little insane to immediately contradict oneself by suggesting there is an alternative - authoritarianism.

The article is too short to explore that comment further, or worse, simply accepts the comment without any further probing as to the criteria, conditions and limits on the accountability he breezily suggests. George Orwell predicted a future where there was a never ending war with a distant foreign power. A few years ago, I pointed out the idea had become dangerously more sophisticated - a never ending war with the climate.

Arguing for a suspension of democracy to fight a never ending war would be just another way of failing humanity. If we have challenges to face, let's face them under an open government, where power of the people is never relinquished to the very "politicians, scientists and lobbyists" he identified WERE the problem at the outset of his interview. He didn't realise where his thinking lead to, it appeared not to have occurred to him, so I thought I'd point that out because this blindness to push ahead with a UN controlled world based on Carbon Trading is madness - his fear of the problem generates an illogical response, and this is the problem I feel plagues the Green Movement.

"There has been a lot of speculation that a very large glacier in Antarctica is unstable," he says, referring to Pine Island glacier or "the Pig", as the scientists now monitoring it like to call it. "If there's much more melting, it may break off and slip into the ocean. I'd say the scientists are not worried about it, but they are keeping a close watch on it. It would be enough to produce an immediate sea level rise of two metres – something huge. And tsunamis. That would be the sort of event that would change public opinion – or a return of the dustbowl in the American midwest. Another IPCC report won't be enough; we'll just argue over it like now."

Well, bring it on. I saw the watchmen, and right now Greenpeace activists are probably heading to the ice shelf with 4 nuclear bombs to save the planet by uniting humanity. Except is this threat credible? (Not the Greenpeace activists, but the ice shelf break up)

Dr Robert Bindschadler, the Nasa scientist who leads the team monitoring the Pig. "No one expects full collapse of the system as quickly as [in the next] 100 years," Bindschadler responds, "'but even if it did, the mean rate of sea level rise would 'only' triple the current rate of rise. No one would get their feet wet overnight.")

Oh. Another false alarm. Only going to make the case to convince us harder. Stick to facts please.

"It's like the 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."

His views on carbon emissions trading, as is being touted by the EU and others, are equally dismissive: "I don't know enough about carbon trading, but I suspect that it is basically a scam. The whole thing is not very sensible.

Well done Sir. You are on to it. So, do not hand over power to these supra-national organisations. It's got nothing to do with a solution to sustainable living.

Full Article here: Those despicable politicians, scientists and lobbyists

And The Fairfacts Media Show links Lovelock's dangerous ideas to Greenpeace Activists wanting to engage in unpeaceful activity: We know where you live

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