James Lovelock: "I hope we are civilised when climate disaster strikes"

james-lovelockThe Inter Press Service has an interesting interview with James Lovelock, known for proposing the Gaia hypothesis, about everything from the IPCC to geo-engineering and climate tipping points.

Lovelock has earlier said that he believes that climate change is now irreversible. He predicts that the major part of the humans, more than six billion people, will get wiped out of the face of the earth due to wars, starvation, epidemics and chaos during the rest of the century due to the effects of a changing climate. Lovelock estimates that by year 2100 there will only be around 500 millions people left who struggles to survive on the few remaining liveable places on earth: Scandinavia, Canada and Iceland.

In the IPS interview Lovelock says he hopes that once climate disaster strikes “we will stay civilised and those in the North will give refuge to the unimaginably large numbers of climate refugees”:

“
TIERRAMÉRICA: What will this new climate be like?

JL: The tropical and subtropical zones of the Earth will be too hot and dry to grow food or support human life. People will be forced to migrate towards the poles to places like Canada. There will be less than one billion people by the end of the century. My hope is that we will stay civilised and those in the North will give refuge to the unimaginably large numbers of climate refugees.”

“[…]
TIERRAMÉRICA: How did we end up in such a difficult position, in which the human species is at risk?

JL: It's like the pre-World War II calm in Britain when I was a young man. No one did anything until bombs began to fall. We really don't notice climate change; it seems theoretical to most of us. When the first great climate disaster strikes, I hope we will all pull together just as if our nation was being invaded.”

Although I don’t agree with many of the viewpoints Lovelock holds, his nuclear stance being one, I always find his ideas and opinions interesting (and scary!). Lovelock’s latest book "The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning" was released in April earlier this year, which is said to be “Lovelock's final word on the terrifying environmental problems we will confront in the twenty-first century.” I haven’t read it yet, the book is laying here on the table next to me, but I am sure it will be just as interesting as his former books.

via Stephen Leahy


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Simon Leufstedt
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Guest markchengan

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Some many questions for such a straightforward comedy! Why would the www.solarhotwatersystem.net apparently grown-up Elliot spend himself broke supporting his parents' run-down Catskills resort in the first place?

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Guest richardmn

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I find Mr. Lovelock's prophesies to be incredibly scary, and given his stature in the scientific community, very credible. I'm surprised that there has not been very much of a reaction among the environmental groups to his ideas (Sierra Club, World Wildlife Institute, Audobon Society, GreenPeace, 1Sky, 350.org, WorldWatch Institute ...), as well as the major scientific journals and societies (AAAS, Nature, Science News, ...). I'm also wondering what other reputable people think about this theory (Al Gore, Robert Socolow, Stephen Pacala, ...). I haven't heard anyone come out and completely debunk it yet.

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Guest richardmn

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I find Mr. Lovelock's prophesies to be incredibly scary, and given his stature in the scientific community, very credible. I'm surprised that there has not been very much of a reaction among the environmental groups to his ideas (Sierra Club, World Wildlife Institute, Audobon Society, GreenPeace, 1Sky, 350.org, WorldWatch Institute ...), as well as the major scientific journals and societies (AAAS, Nature, Science News, ...). I'm also wondering what other reputable people think about this theory (Al Gore, Robert Socolow, Stephen Pacala, ...). I haven't heard anyone come out and completely debunk it yet.

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Richard - You have not heard much about Lovelock's ideas because they run counter to the media's goals - mainly present what people want to hear and not contradict the establishment. These ideas are too large for our media. Even organizations like the Sierra Club survive on contributions and business as usual. Most people and most organizations avoid that which may upset their standard operations, day to day. Lovelock himself has spoken of this reason for turning a blind eye to his ideas and the evidence that supports them.

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I heard a report that the Pentagon has initiated some research into what their involvement should be to the kind of chaos Lovelock foresees. I contacted my Senator asking she obtain what the public can learn about this effort. It is hopeful part of government seems to be taking notice of Lovelock's views of our future.

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Guest Greg Mills

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