The H.G. Wells of climate change

H.G. Wells wanted mankind to be governed by a committee of scientists. So, at least implicitly, does James Lovelock, described by the Guardian as a “globally respected environmental thinker.”

James Lovelock: Humans are too stupid to prevent climate change

In his first in-depth interview since the theft of UEA emails, the scientist blames inertia and democracy for lack of action.

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.”

Gintas, who sent the item, comments:

I don’t remember that we put the republic on hold in World War II, and I don’t remember England suspending its form of government, either. Churchill was always a Prime Minister, not a Maximum Leader.

Also, I’m quite sure James Lovelock doesn’t think he is too stupid, just the rest of us.

However, somewhat contradictorily, at the end of the article Lovelock praises the climate skeptics for forcing the warmists to think more critically about their own work, and he is very critical of the warmists’ shenanigans that have been revealed:

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.”

Two side points: First, we see once again how professed atheist materialists cannot help but use religious concepts and terms, because without such concepts and terms they cannot express their understanding of the world. Even while rejecting Christianity, they keep irresistibly moving in its orbit. This ought to tell them something about Christianity’s truth value, but doesn’t.

Second, I wonder what Lovelock thinks of the Third-Worldization and Islamization of Britain by immigration, which have been brought about in a most undemocratic fashion by the British political and opinion-shaping elite against the will of the “stupid” British people. Does he believe that this non-democratic policy has been good, or does the thought perhaps occur to him that Britain would have been vastly better off if it had allowed the voice of democracy to be heard instead of suppressing it?

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 30, 2010 08:40 PM | Send

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