The Corner

Gaia Retreats: Environmentalist Has Second Thoughts

Environmentalist and scientist James Lovelock has some cautionary words about the dire predictions in the new United Nations report on climate change. He tells Britain’s leftist newspaper the Guardian that environmentalism has “become a religion” and does not pay enough heed to facts.

Lovelock himself became something of a guru to environmentalists in the 1960s when his Gaia hypothesis postulated that living and non-living parts of the Earth form a complex interacting system that has a regulatory effect on the Earth’s environment that acts to sustain life.

Now Lovelock says of his warnings of catastrophe in his 2006 book, Revenge of Gaia: “It’s just as silly to be a denier as it is to be a believer. You can’t be certain.”

“It [the impact from climate change] could be terrible within a few years, though that’s very unlikely, or it could be hundreds of years before the climate becomes unbearable,” he said. 

That’s not the end of the 94-year-old Lovelock’s heresies. As the Guardian reports: 

Lovelock reiterated his support for fracking for shale gas, which has been strongly backed by David Cameron and the government but vigorously opposed by anti-fracking activists and local people at sites from Salford to Balcombe in West Sussex.

“The government is too frightened to use nuclear, renewables won’t work — because we don’t have enough sun — and we can’t go on burning coal because it produces so much CO2, so that leaves fracking. It produces only a fraction of the amount of CO2 that coal does, and will make Britain secure in energy for quite a few years. We don’t have much choice,” he said.

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