The Godfather of climate change renounces hysteria by green extremists

CHARLES RIGGS Published:

So now, will the global warming whack jobs sit down and shut up? Naw, this is their 'religion' -

http://www.torontosun.com/2012/06/22/green-drivel

Two months ago, James Lovelock, the godfather of global warming, gave a startling interview to msnbc.com in which he acknowledged he had been unduly “alarmist” about climate change.

The implications were extraordinary.

Lovelock is a world-renowned scientist and environmentalist whose Gaia theory — that the Earth operates as a single, living organism — has had a profound impact on the development of global warming theory.

Unlike many “environmentalists,” who have degrees in political science, Lovelock, until his recent retirement at age 92, was a much-honoured working scientist and academic.

His inventions have been used by NASA, among many other scientific organizations.

Lovelock’s invention of the electron capture detector in 1957 first enabled scientists to measure CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) and other pollutants in the atmosphere, leading, in many ways, to the birth of the modern environmental movement.

Having observed that global temperatures since the turn of the millennium have not gone up in the way computer-based climate models predicted, Lovelock acknowledged, “the problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago.” Now, Lovelock has given a follow-up interview to the UK’s Guardian newspaper in which he delivers more bombshells sure to anger the global green movement, which for years worshipped his Gaia theory and apocalyptic predictions that billions would die from man-made climate change by the end of this century.

Lovelock still believes anthropogenic global warming is occurring and that mankind must lower its greenhouse gas emissions, but says it’s now clear the doomsday predictions, including his own (and Al Gore’s) were incorrect.

He responds to attacks on his revised views by noting that, unlike many climate scientists who fear a loss of government funding if they admit error, as a freelance scientist, he’s never been afraid to revise his theories in the face of new evidence. Indeed, that’s how science advances.

Among his observations to the Guardian:

(1) A long-time supporter of nuclear power as a way to lower greenhouse gas emissions, which has made him unpopular with environmentalists, Lovelock has now come out in favour of natural gas fracking (which environmentalists also oppose), as a low-polluting alternative to coal.

As Lovelock observes, “Gas is almost a give-away in the U.S. at the moment. They’ve gone for fracking in a big way. This is what makes me very cross with the greens for trying to knock it … Let’s be pragmatic and sensible and get Britain to switch everything to methane. We should be going mad on it.” (Kandeh Yumkella, co-head of a major United Nations program on sustainable energy, made similar arguments last week at a UN environmental conference in Rio de Janeiro, advocating the development of conventional and unconventional natural gas resources as a way to reduce deforestation and save millions of lives in the Third World.)

(2) Lovelock blasted greens for treating global warming like a religion.

“It just so happens that the green religion is now taking over from the Christian religion,” Lovelock observed. “I don’t think people have noticed that, but it’s got all the sort of terms that religions use … The greens use guilt. That just shows how religious greens are. You can’t win people round by saying they are guilty for putting (carbon dioxide) in the air.”

(3) Lovelock mocks the idea modern economies can be powered by wind turbines.

As he puts it, “so-called ‘sustainable development’ … is meaningless drivel … We rushed into renewable energy without any thought. The schemes are largely hopelessly inefficient and unpleasant. I personally can’t stand windmills at any price.”

(4) Finally, about claims “the science is settled” on global warming: “One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.

  • Chaz, re-read your posts from an objective point of view. you may find you sound like the whack job.

  • Uh-oh - New study of tree rings shows that Earth has been COOLING for the last 2000 years - http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2171973/Tree-ring-study-proves-climate-WARMER-Roman-Medieval-times-modern-industrial-age.html As for who named Lovelock the "Godfather" of climate change? Why, his 'green' peers did, for his Gaia theory. Such a shame that the members of the "Lemming church of ninny alarmism" like anonymous_1713 don't know these things, but then, they only KNOW what they choose to FEEL is correct. As for the Medieval Warming Period, nihilist - you mention it. So what? So how was the Earth warmer then than it is now, without humanity belching carbon into the atmosphere to cause it? Ah, there's the mystery the anonymous twits can't answer, nor apparently will you. And why worry about humanity's carbon when methane, produced by cows, is a far more potent greenhouse gas and far greater in quantity than CO2? That's easy. Hating cows is bad, but hating industry and being a 'green' whack job is easy, and so emotionally satisfying. Poor little greenies. This must be what it was like to believe that the Earth was flat. And you STILL haven't explained how the world isn't encased in ice RIGHT NOW, as was predicted in the 1970s, little greenies, by the same kind of climate ninnies that are harping on warming now. In fact, you just ignored that one, didn't you? Because it shows you were WRONG before, and you're WRONG now.

  • Who calls Lovelock the "Godfather of climate change" anyway, other than the fright wingnuts who espouse the ramblings of an 92 years old man to foist their support of BIG energy multinational corporations on the rest of us. There are thousands of volunteer climate scientists all over the world (with advanced science degrees) and 195 countries that make up the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, so there is no "Godfather". Lovelock is right that his predictions were incorrect, as the current consensus data shows that the planet is heating up at a faster rate than predicted 20 years ago. Science is the absence of religious belief. Lovelock offers no new data to support his change of heart, if there really is one. It appears that certain statements in his interview have been taken out of proper context for nefarious reasons. Doesn't surprise me any. Certainly, nuclear power should be at the top of the list for our energy needs, but not at the expense of renewable research and development. We will need a balanced approach considering our exponentially increasing population, but one thing is abundantly clear. We cannot continue to burn carbon based fuels at the present rate, or we will not make it through the rest of this century without catastrophic results.

  • The only vitriol and threats of violence seem to be by the climate change deniers, like chazrigz. They think they are the only ones who have the "facts", when actually they only have bits and pieces. Look at the big picture. One scientist out of thousands having second thoughts is like one priest out of thousands renouncing the church. He believes the Toronto Sun but dismisses Pop Sci, really!!! Get real and start reading actual refereed scientific articles.

  • you must conveniently not read my posts then.

  • Of course, what I can't understand is why anyone on the Left is worried about global WARMING when everyone knows that we're already locked in a global ICE AGE. We aren't? Why, how could that be? It was only 30 or 40 years ago that the same 'pseudo-science' was used by the same kinds of climate alarmists to predict WITHOUT ANY DOUBT that the world would be bound up in ice by now! Surely, when they pronounced THEN that the science was 'settled' and beyond refute, they couldn't have been WRONG? Surely, they weren't trying to stampede the world into accepting their vision of a 'green' future and economy by their deceitful efforts? Surely it isn't EXACTLY the same as what they're trying to do now with this global warming fraud? Why yes, it IS the same thing. But they were wrong THEN and they're wrong NOW. And now, as then, they have their little dancing puppets on the online forums to echo their frauds, and attack anyone who disputes them. So where are the glaciers that were supposed to be covering New York as were predicted by Newsweek magazine, and Popular Science and Time? Why aren't polar bears wandering around Kentucky? Because they were WRONG, and none of you will even try to answer that because it shows how simplistic and foolish the non-science was THEN and how it's just as wrong and foolish NOW. It's a religion with the global alarmists, not science, and that's why they have to respond with such vitriol and fury.

  • As usual, those who can't contribute to the discussion have to leap in to make personal attacks that have nothing to do with the topic. Instead of responding to the article that's referenced on MSNBC, where all of Lovelock's caveats and withdrawals are laid out, they respond like lemmings. The problem is that none of this made up, none of it is invented, all of it is taken from Lovelock's actual quotes and statements. The uncomfortable truth is that one of the leading lights of global alarmism has stated that it WAS and IS alarmism, and that's a truth that you can't handle, and that those who only use online forums for snarky personal attacks won't even bother to read. And quoting from a blatantly partisan article in PopSci is supposed to be offering evidence? Of what? That Michael Mann was LYING and deliberately manipulated data and other scientists in the effort to force a fraud on the rest of the world? Poor Mann and minions - getting millions of dollars thrown their way by governments who are desperate to enact draconian controls on the first world's economy in the name of pseudo-science, and when they're caught in their lies all they can do is snivel. Of course, the Left wants to pretend that THEIR little darlings, such as the Animal Liberation Front and the Occupy movement, have been engaging in ACTUAL violence for a long time, not just making threats via email. The Left, and you lot on these forums who want so desperately to call the science 'settled', have countenanced personal violence for a long, long time, so why are you sniveling now? Science is never settled and who says that? Why, LOVELOCK says that, but you either ignore that, or pretend he didn't say it, in your desperation to avoid having to answer critical questions about the utter failure of climate alarmists to account for the FAILURES of their computer models and their data. You can't rebut or refute with the same data that's been found so sadly lacking, so you resort, AGAIN, to personal vendettas. But given the ignorance that you've displayed to date in buying into this stupidity, that's only to be expected. And I'm still waiting for any of you to explain how humanity caused the Medieval Warming Period, but I note, AGAIN, that you run from that like it was going to bite you because it doesn't fit into your conveniently distorted world view. If you're going to reply, reply to that, or give it up because you've run out of ammo.

  • This is where the real battle over climate science is being fought. http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2012-06/battle-over-climate-change Guess which side chaz would be on!

  • By now I have learned to ignore the "Riggs Rants", since they are based neither in reality or logic. You might as well argue with the Singing Bridge; it would see the truth before Riggs. Save your time and effort for more sensible foes.

  • Charles Riggs: never letting reality interfere with opinion and prejudice. The quote in my post is from the same Lovelock interviews (links provided in same post). That you are incapable of accepting that the Toronto Sun is a British style tabloid featuring least common denominator "conservatism" and "page 3 girls" says a lot about you. As does your hysterical, hand-wringing rhetorical style.

  • Charles, Self-refuting again. This is why politics suck - you take any real value out of the facts and use whatever parts you can use to further your cause. How do you cite this article where a scientist says humans are a factor in global warming (but global warming is not happening as quickly and dangerously as computer models once predicted) as a reason that global warming doesn't exist? It doesn't make any sense. For you to act like you know the science behind global warming and try to "put a nail in the coffin" by questioning the cause of the Medieval Warming Period is further proof of using limited information to further your cause. The truth is that scientists do not deny that there is a natural factor involved in global warming. Global warming can and has happened without human aid. The logic in that does not deny that humans can't be a force in it now. You're just as nutty as the "global warming whack jobs" if you are more concerned about proving those whack jobs wrong than objectively understanding the science.

  • The Toronto Sun printed what was said in an interview on MSNBC, did they not? They didn't invent his statements, they REPORTED them. The people who want to believe that that humanity causes global warming will go to any lengths to deny reality. If mankind causes global warming, how did they cause the Medieval Warming Period? Riddle me that, children.

  • Uh, the Toronto Sun is a British-style tabloid in the News of the World style. Nothing at all to be considered credible. Also, the article cited doesn't say what Mr. Riggs claims it does. In fact, it says the opposite. Credibility for Mr. Riggs remains in the substrata.

  • It appears you are performing an old editorial trick of correlating those who acknowledge "global warming" as a phenomenon with your title of "whack jobs". Let me assure you that while some may be both, you're talking about two distinct groups of people. And if you have trouble understanding that, maybe you should re-read the article and realize you are refuting yourself. From the article you referenced: "Lovelock still believes anthropogenic global warming is occurring and that mankind must lower its greenhouse gas emissions"

  • Last I checked, the Toronto Sun wasn't considered a kneejerk tabloid, but then, the climate alarmists and the Left in general have to denigrate any source that published anything that doesn't march in lockstep with their agenda. Way to go, Grackle! It doesn't change a thing about the CORE of the story - that he admits that they, and he, were and are alarmists, and that SCIENCE IS NEVER SETTLED. Those who want the skeptics to disappear can only wish that it were.

  • He displays equal disdain for those who do not accept science on climate change: "They've got their own religion. They believe that the world was right before these **** people [the greens] came along and want to go back to where we were 20 years ago. That's also silly in its own way." ----- if you don't need your information spoonfed from kneejerk tabloids then there's more to this than the hysterical talking points from the Sun. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jun/15/james-lovelock-interview-gaia-theory http://worldnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/23/11144098-gaia-scientist-james-lovelock-i-was-alarmist-about-climate-change?lite