The world according to James Lovelock: Humans are too stupid to prevent climate change
Humans are too stupid to prevent climate change from radically impacting on our lives over the coming decades. This is the stark conclusion of James Lovelock, the globally respected environmental thinker and independent scientist who developed the Gaia theory.
It follows a tumultuous few months in which public opinion on efforts to tackle climate change has been undermined by events such as the climate scientists’ emails leaked from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and the failure of the Copenhagen climate summit.
“I don’t think we’re yet evolved to the point where we’re clever enough to handle a complex a situation as climate change,” said Lovelock in his first in-depth interview since the theft of the UEA emails last November. “The inertia of humans is so huge that you can’t really do anything meaningful.”
One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is “modern democracy”, he added. “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.”
After all, Lincoln suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War. And Woodrow Wilson had at least 150,000 people arrested during WW I for “sedition.” So I guess Mr. Lovelock is in favor of incarcerating SUVs. And wood fireplaces.
Personally, I’m in favor of incarcerating fraudulent scientists… but that’s just me. From reading the rest of the article, it sounds like Lovelock might agree. However, his notion that so-called experts should rule over the benighted masses, who are just too dim to understand the elevated mental process of the elite, is reminiscent of the Progressive era that gave us Margaret Sanger, Mussolini, and eugenics, or in a slightly earlier time the notion that the interior shape of the skull was determinative for intelligence.
Lovelock, who 40 years ago originated the idea that the planet is a giant, self-regulating organism – the so-called Gaia theory – added that he has little sympathy for the climate scientists caught up in the UEA email scandal. He said he had not read the original emails – “I felt reluctant to pry” – but that their reported content had left him feeling “utterly disgusted”.
“Fudging the data in any way whatsoever is quite literally a sin against the holy ghost of science,” he said. “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. You’ve got to have standards.”
Lovelock’s continuing touching faith in the underlying science of global warming is probably forgivable in a man of his years, who does not want the last two decades of his life to have been wasted time. But whether or not HIS data is good, and fairly recorded and interpreted, is irrelevant. The fact is that the case for global warming was made up mostly of computer models and attempts to draw huge conclusions from subtle data changes flowing from the interplay of enormously complex variables, by a thousand different scientists who understood that the fix was in, and career advancement was in that direction. Does Lovelock think that the recent revelations represent the only fudged data, the only special pleading, the only career enhancing favorable interpretation (or, in this case, unfavorable)?
In any case, Lovelock’s comment on the desirability of discarding democracy in favor of rule by the elites is exactly what many on the Right have been saying for some time, namely that the new home of international socialism is the environmental movement (a thing quite distinct from mere “conservation”, clean water, clean air, and the like).
Based on who their fellow travelers are, I can’t disagree.