James 'Gaia' Lovelock reverses on climate; Admits alarmism was error

“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.”

MSNBC reports:

James Lovelock, the maverick scientist who became a guru to the environmental movement with his “Gaia” theory of the Earth as a single organism, has admitted to being “alarmist” about climate change and says other environmental commentators, such as Al Gore, were too.

Lovelock, 92, is writing a new book in which he will say climate change is still happening, but not as quickly as he once feared.

He previously painted some of the direst visions of the effects of climate change. In 2006, in an article in the U.K.’s Independent newspaper, he wrote that “before this century is over billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable.”

However, the professor admitted in a telephone interview with msnbc.com that he now thinks he had been “extrapolating too far”…

21 thoughts on “James 'Gaia' Lovelock reverses on climate; Admits alarmism was error”

  1. Your claims regarding “real science” are precisely part of the unresolved issue regarding AGW. Reasonably scientific studies have been unscientifically, selectively gathered into a presentation to support Gore’s man-made rapid climate change hypothesis. What many of us have seen is that this does not embody the whole of the scientific evidence on the subject and it was unified under no scientifically qualified process. Therefore, though AGW advocates have been able to point to legitimate scientific evidence, they have been unable to scientifically justify that evidence as leading to the AGW conclusion.
    Much of the AGW theory has relied on cheats like the evidence for the Hockey-stick curve or on only partial revelations of the evidence that ignore evidence that the current trend began prior to the increase in human carbon emissions and is therfore more probably a natural trend slightly exacerbated by human contribution than anything fitting AGW theory. If “real scientists” adjust their finding as new evidence is examined that’s fine. But another way of expressing this is that incompetent scientists who should have shown more doubt are finally awakening to scientific skepticism and examining the evidence that those who they derided as “deniers” based their conclusions on.
    Any in depth analysis of the AGW arguments also shows that their conclusions are not based on true scientific methodology, but on the principals of “probablity”. This is in large part why sincere “scientists” have been so prone to rely on unscientific argumentants like; “a majority of climate scientists agree” or the one you used – “better safe than sorry.” The first excluded critics perfectly qualified to evaluate the methodological violations in AGW while narrowing the elligible judges to a small group that was capable of being influenced by data distorting factors. The second never admitted the infeasibility of the remedy recommended nor the catastrophic consequences that would predictably result from attempting to rapidly transform the world’s energy supply.
    What is revealed in this episode goes far beyond just the failings of AGW.
    It displays the falacy in the socialist effort in the 19th Century to establish “science” as an alternative to religion and extend the public’s perception of its effective application to all aspects of existence. This was based on Philosophical efforts including Positivism and Empericism which hypothesized that even if scientific criteria could not be met, advantage could be gained by incomplete applications of scientific method to subjects in which independent reproduction and factor control could not be applied. This was the reason for “probability theory” and was, by its nature, an anti-intellectual movement. AGW is not the first of its resulting collosal fictions. The racialist theories of early Physiology combined with the Eugenics movement to cause terrible harm and cost humanity tens of millions of lives based on these same foundations. The toll of Enviromentalism (into which AGW fits) is on track to far outpace Physiological-Eugenics based on a similar system of pseudo-scientific process. We are talking about tolls already ranging into the hundreds of millions dead and billions of lives seriously damaged. Far from a benign effort, AGW is a dangerous proposition based on pseudo-science and political/philosophical ambitions promoted by people who have no significant foundation for morality to restrain them beyond a desire to impose control over the vast majority by a minority of true believers selected by nature to rule.

  2. I wish to second Henry Bowman’s point and add that there is tremendous difference between the appropriate reaction to a gradual warming vs. a rapid one. Slow warming requires the opposite reaction. Since we do not know how warm it will get, humanity’s best strategy is to encourage the types of technological development that will facilitate adaptation. A robust economy fueled by existing energy resources is the best bet for human survival in a gradual climate shift. The forced, rapid transition to non-Carbon resources was bound to cause problems that would ensure death tolls in the tens of millions and quite possiblty higher in poorer nations. Continued use of fossil and other Carbon-based fuels provides a means to avoid this.

  3. Perhaps you could name the prominent “environmentlist” leaders who denounced Al gore’s film as the farrago of lies that it certainly is, when it came out? Certainly it wouldn’t include “realclimate” who ionsisted he “got the science mostly right”.

    However – yes I do think Lovelock is an honest scientist. Nuclear is the only practical system of producing mass power without CO2. Thus it is a perfect measure of whether an alarmist actually believes their scare and wants a scienetific solution or whther they know it is a fraud and are just using it to scare people back to the middle ages. On that test Lovelock’s passionate support of nuclear energy made him one of the very few honest people in the “environmental” camp & it is thus unsurpring that he is no longer in it.

    He accepted he had been lied to when the climategate emails came out & changed his mind. That is what scientists do and pseudo scientists, like Mann, don’t.

  4. Uh, you dopes do realise that Lovelock is excercising science here, REAL science which is always being adjusted when new data comes in. Lovelock should be commended, not condemned… but then, why should I expect civility from a bunch of clowns who think sucking on car exhaust is good for you. I’d rather be sometimes wrong and err on the side of caution, than sitting on the sorry bus heading towards a cliff with you bunch.

    By the way, Lovelock is against carbon trading schemes/taxes, and thinks nuclear power is the way to go. There are also many environmentalists who are critical of Al Gore, and skeptical of the severity of climate change. But you’d all rather be drip-fed Kool-Aid by a site that’s junkier than the junk science it supposedly debunks.

  5. I’ve never cared what this wacko thinks or says, so why should I start now? I suppose it’s fun tho throw him back in the face of the believers, but they won’t care anyway; he’s just a backslider to them any worthy of their pity.

  6. Yeah, that’s still alarmism, Magnus. “Destroyed” implies someone is doing it, and that the endpoint is fatal. Lovelock now refers to it as “happening,” which is distinct from “being caused by man” and quite distinct from “terminal.” Which is what we’ve been saying all along: it’s nothing more than a natural cycle that both we and the earth have survived many times in the past, and the Greens are Chicken Little.

  7. Our planet is still in a glacial mode with iced up polar regions, the 5th interglacial period in the last 800,000 years of intermittent major continental glaciations, each of about 100,000 years duration. It is only 10,000 years since No. 5, a geologic moment, since the Wisconsin glacial stage melted back, a process taking 6,000 years. The flawed hypothesis of AGW couldn’t
    have come at a more geologically inappropriate time. I suggest reading Dr. S. Fred Singer’s, “Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1,500 years who drives a stake through this terribly flawed hypothesis AGW. All the world wide effort to reduce CO2 will prove unnecessary and dangerously counterproductive.

  8. Who would have thought? Reality did not listen to the merchants of panic who planned so long to cash in on public ignorance. Reality simply did what it was going to do all along not giving a damn about the so called scientific consensus. Neither did it care about the repeatedly cooked data, the twisted charts, the non-physical computer models, and the corrupted peer review process that described what it was supposed to be.

    One would hope they could learn to look at reality and find out what it has to say about itself. However, I suspect that is to much to expect. They worship the contents of their own fantasies, wishes, whim, hopes, and fears without having to worry about real facts and actual physical mechanisms that can be demonstrated. Then they are surprised that reality does not obey their magnificent, as judged by them, models that are no more reliable than sand castles in a hurricane.

  9. I think he lost his Green icon status when he said that over global warming only the sceptics had “kept the debate sane”.

    For a couple of years I have been asking on various newspapers sites & among “green” activists, for the name of a single scientist, not paid by government, who supports the CAGW scare. Apart from 2 people who named themselves but turned out not to be paid by government/not to be scientists/both the only person any of them could name who might fit the bill was Lovelock. Clearly his earlier statements in support of warming were “newsworthy” & got wide coverage whereas his change of mind was entirely unnewsworthy. This is how our media work.

  10. Maybe the older the Greens get the least likely they are to be senile…. Now all we gotta do is wait.

  11. “Paging Bill McKibben…” Thank goodness you can stand down and stay home; like you’ve said you wanted.

  12. If Professor Lovelock doesn’t end his recent spate of logical thinking and critical analysis, he is going to lose his Green card.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.