THE timing couldn’t have been better for Gaia guru James Lovelock to recant his climate alarmism last week.
His epiphany came on the eve of ABC television’s hotly anticipated 10-city, 21-day eco-extravaganza I Can Change Your Mind About Climate Change.
Oddly, however, on the Q&A panel show that followed, in which, naturally, sceptics were outnumbered three to one, it barely rated a mention.
Here was the scientist hailed as the godfather of the modern environmental movement admitting that he had over-egged the pudding on global warming.
The doomsday merchant who wrote in 2006: “Billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable” has allowed the evidence to change his mind. Hallelujah.
The Earth has “not warmed up very much since the millennium” he told msnbc.com last week, even though “we were supposed to be halfway towards a frying world now”.
The temperature “has stayed almost constant, whereas it should have been rising. But carbon dioxide is still rising, there’s no question about that”.
Let history mark the moment when the gig was up for climate alarm.
Unfortunately, there was no such dramatic conversion on the ABC on Thursday night.
But Lovelock’s change of mind provided a sobering backdrop for the saccharine condescension of the documentary.
Starring climate sceptic former Liberal senator Nick Minchin, 59, and climate activist Anna Rose, 28, the aim was to have each try to persuade the other to their view.
They travelled around the world, camera crew in tow, seeking out the best advocates to help argue their case and listening with an open mind to opposing views.
That was the theory, anyway.
But from the start it was obvious that, despite her sweet smile and winsome ways, Rose was a cliche climate fanatic incapable of changing her mind.
You have to give points to her, as co-founder of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition and wife of GetUp leader Simon Sheikh, for having the courage to take part in the show, despite condemnation from fellow alarmists such as Clive Hamilton.
According to Simon Nasht, the documentary producer, Hamilton heavied Rose not to participate, in the most manipulative manner, by placing the entire future of the environmental movement on her young shoulders.