Author Topic: The Father of Environmentalism demolishes pretty much everything modern 'environmentalists' do  (Read 1034 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Tobes

  • Regents
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4951
There is so much sense in what James Lovelock has to say.

I wish more people would consider what he is saying, given that they base so much of their own personal beliefs and politics on the predictions he made 40 years ago...

http://www.theguardian.com/theguardian/2008/mar/01/scienceofclimatechange.climatechange

Quote
...For decades, his advocacy of nuclear power appalled fellow environmentalists - but recently increasing numbers of them have come around to his way of thinking...


Quote
As with most people, my panic about climate change is equalled only by my confusion over what I ought to do about it. A meeting with Lovelock therefore feels a little like an audience with a prophet. Buried down a winding track through wild woodland, in an office full of books and papers and contraptions involving dials and wires, the 88-year-old presents his thoughts with a quiet, unshakable conviction that can be unnerving. More alarming even than his apocalyptic climate predictions is his utter certainty that almost everything we're trying to do about it is wrong.

On the day we meet, the Daily Mail has launched a campaign to rid Britain of plastic shopping bags. The initiative sits comfortably within the current canon of eco ideas, next to ethical consumption, carbon offsetting, recycling and so on - all of which are premised on the calculation that individual lifestyle adjustments can still save the planet. This is, Lovelock says, a deluded fantasy. Most of the things we have been told to do might make us feel better, but they won't make any difference. Global warming has passed the tipping point, and catastrophe is unstoppable.

"It's just too late for it," he says. "Perhaps if we'd gone along routes like that in 1967, it might have helped. But we don't have time. All these standard green things, like sustainable development, I think these are just words that mean nothing. I get an awful lot of people coming to me saying you can't say that, because it gives us nothing to do. I say on the contrary, it gives us an immense amount to do. Just not the kinds of things you want to do."

He dismisses eco ideas briskly, one by one. "Carbon offsetting? I wouldn't dream of it. It's just a joke. To pay money to plant trees, to think you're offsetting the carbon? You're probably making matters worse. You're far better off giving to the charity Cool Earth, which gives the money to the native peoples to not take down their forests."

Do he and his wife try to limit the number of flights they take? "No we don't. Because we can't." And recycling, he adds, is "almost certainly a waste of time and energy", while having a "green lifestyle" amounts to little more than "ostentatious grand gestures". He distrusts the notion of ethical consumption. "Because always, in the end, it turns out to be a scam ... or if it wasn't one in the beginning, it becomes one."

Somewhat unexpectedly, Lovelock concedes that the Mail's plastic bag campaign seems, "on the face of it, a good thing". But it transpires that this is largely a tactical response; he regards it as merely more rearrangement of Titanic deckchairs, "but I've learnt there's no point in causing a quarrel over everything". He saves his thunder for what he considers the emptiest false promise of all - renewable energy.

"You're never going to get enough energy from wind to run a society such as ours," he says. "Windmills! Oh no. No way of doing it. You can cover the whole country with the blasted things, millions of them. Waste of time."

This is all delivered with an air of benign wonder at the intractable stupidity of people. "I see it with everybody. People just want to go on doing what they're doing. They want business as usual. They say, 'Oh yes, there's going to be a problem up ahead,' but they don't want to change anything."

Lovelock believes global warming is now irreversible, and that nothing can prevent large parts of the planet becoming too hot to inhabit, or sinking underwater, resulting in mass migration, famine and epidemics. Britain is going to become a lifeboat for refugees from mainland Europe, so instead of wasting our time on wind turbines we need to start planning how to survive. To Lovelock, the logic is clear. The sustainability brigade are insane to think we can save ourselves by going back to nature; our only chance of survival will come not from less technology, but more.


I'd urge people to read the article in full. Its sobering reading.


I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

Offline James

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 907
Truth is we consume an immense amount of energy, and have barely made any dent in any aspect of our consumption.

Interestingly recently the first fusion reaction which generated more energy than it consumed was acheived. Sadly still an awfully long way to go, as there was a lot of energy spent getting the conditions just right.
http://www.iflscience.com/physics/nuclear-fusion-reactions-see-net-gain-energy

We should have punted as much money on fusion as we have on fission for 50 years, we'd be a sight closer to a solution to the energy question.

As far as climate change goes, we can't stop oursleves, how the hell could we stop China or India?


James

Offline DavidPayne

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 246
Clear vision - a rare and beautiful thing. He knows.

Offline the gorgon

  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1412
  • Hello !
We'll never stop China and India, because per head of population they produce less pollution than we do and they will argue why should we deny our people when it's the "west" that is consuming too much.

Tinkering around the edges is all we're ever likely to do with the environment, anything more serious will be unpopular amongst voters and it's only when things do wrong that (the very same) people will start demanding action and demanding answers off politicians and others as to why they didn't do anything (whilst absolving themselves of any blame). 

Offline Tobes

  • Regents
  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4951
Spot on.

'Green consumerism' is about the biggest oxymoron there can possibly be.

The only really meaningful gesture (and it would still only be a gesture in the scale of 21st century lifestyles across the western world) would be to go almost completely off-grid: That would mean complete organic self sufficiency - selling the car, refusing to buy imported goods and essentially returning the UK back to a circa 13th century agrarian society.

It still wouldn't be enough to effect any noticeable change to the environment in the face of the rest of the world, but at least it would make a bit of logical sense.

Funnily enough, people seem much more comfortable lecturing others about plastic bags and whether they're doing their recycling. 99% of the 'green' things people do are such affectations - the clear reality is that they make virtually no difference at all because their houses are still lit up like Blackpool illuminations whilst they wander around inside on a cold winters day in a t-shirt. The fact that its done with energy saver bulbs and the new double glazing saved 10% on the gas bill makes barely a gnats knacker of difference.

 :(

There's a storm coming... metaphorically - and LITERALLY...!
I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'