Condemns green movement: 'It’s a religion really, It’s totally unscientific'
Lovelock rips scientists attempting to predict temperatures as 'idiots': “Anyone who tries to predict more than five to 10 years is a bit of an idiot, because so many things can change unexpectedly.”
Lovelock Featured in Climate Hustle - Watch Lovelock transform from climate fear promoter to climate doubter!
Lovelock: Fracking is great, the green movement is a religion, his dire predictions about climate change were nonsense – and robots don’t mind the heat, so what does it matter? At 97, the creator of Gaia theory is as mischievous and subversive as ever
What has changed dramatically, however, is his position on climate change. He now says: “Anyone who tries to predict more than five to 10 years is a bit of an idiot, because so many things can change unexpectedly.” But isn’t that exactly what he did last time we met? “I know,” he grins teasingly. “But I’ve grown up a bit since then.”
Lovelock now believes that “CO2 is going up, but nowhere near as fast as they thought it would. The computer models just weren’t reliable. In fact,” he goes on breezily, “I’m not sure the whole thing isn’t crazy, this climate change."...
Nowadays, Lovelock feels “laid back about climate change”. All things being equal – “and it’s only got to take one sizable volcano to erupt and all the models, everything else, is right off the board” – he expects that before the consequences of global warming can impact on us significantly, something else will have made our world unrecognisable, and threaten the human race.
Lovelock: 'We don’t need to save the planet, it’s looked after itself for four billion years. It’s always been habitable and things have lived on it, so why worry.'
'That’s one reason global warming hasn’t been so noticeable around here. Far from being an automatic warming up. If the sea starts moving the currents in different directions we get quite cold conditions.'
He added that global warming proponents stated that the earth would get hotter and hotter but “they don’t really know,” and climate models are only based on what data goes into them, so it was hard to say what would happen in the future.
Journal question: 'Will nuclear energy be part of the future, despite the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan?'
Lovelock: 'The business with Fukushima is a joke. Well, it’s not a joke, it is very serious — how could we have been misled by anything like that? Twenty-six thousand people were killed by the magnitude-9 earthquake and tsunami [that caused the nuclear meltdown], and how many are known to have been killed by the nuclear accident? None.
[On the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, Lovelock writes in A Rough Ride to the Future: “The most amazing lies were told, still are told and widely believed… Despite at least three investigations by reputable physicians, there has been no measurable increase in deaths across Eastern Europe.”] A lot of investment in green technology has been a giant scam, if well intentioned.'
Nature question: 'Is climate change going to be less extreme than you previously thought?'
Lovelock: The Revenge of Gaia was over the top, but we were all so taken in by the perfect correlation between temperature and CO2 in the ice-core analyses [from the ice-sheets of Greenland and Antarctica, studied since the 1980s]. You could draw a straight line relating temperature and CO2, and it was such a temptation for everyone to say, “Well, with CO2 rising we can say in such and such a year it will be this hot.” It was a mistake we all made.
We shouldn’t have forgotten that the system has a lot of inertia and we’re not going to shift it very quickly. The thing we’ve all forgotten is the heat storage of the ocean — it’s a thousand times greater than the atmosphere and the surface. You can’t change that very rapidly But being an independent scientist, it is much easier to say you made a mistake than if you are a government department or an employee or anything like that.
Nature: 'So what will the next 100 years look like?'
Lovelock: 'That’s impossible to answer. All I can say is that it will be nowhere as near as bad as the worst-case scenario.'