According to Michael McCarthy writing in The Independent today:
“The world has already passed the point of no return for climate change, and civilisation as we know it is now unlikely to survive, according to James Lovelock, the scientist and green guru who conceived the idea of Gaia – the Earth which keeps itself fit for life.
In a profoundly pessimistic new assessment, published in today’s Independent, Professor Lovelock suggests that efforts to counter global warming cannot succeed, and that, in effect, it is already too late.
The world and human society face disaster to a worse extent, and on a faster timescale, than almost anybody realises, he believes. He writes: “Before this century is over, billions of us will die, and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable.”
In making such a statement, far gloomier than any yet made by a scientist of comparable international standing, Professor Lovelock accepts he is going out on a limb. But as the man who conceived the first wholly new way of looking at life on Earth since Charles Darwin, he feels his own analysis of what is happening leaves him no choice. He believes that it is the self-regulating mechanism of Gaia itself – increasingly accepted by other scientists worldwide, although they prefer to term it the Earth System – which, perversely, will ensure that the warming cannot be mastered.
This is because the system contains myriad feedback mechanisms which in the past have acted in concert to keep the Earth much cooler than it otherwise would be. Now, however, they will come together to amplify the warming being caused by human activities such as transport and industry through huge emissions of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2 ).
It means that the harmful consequences of human beings damaging the living planet’s ancient regulatory system will be non-linear – in other words, likely to accelerate uncontrollably.
He terms this phenomenon “The Revenge of Gaia” and examines it in detail in a new book with that title, to be published next month.”
What a different view to that of Patrick Moore! Patrick Moore, was quoted a few days ago (13th January) in The Honololu Advertiser suggesting global warming might be a good thing for Planet Earth. Sean Hau wrote :
“Global warming and nuclear energy are good and the way to save forests is to use more wood.
That was the message delivered to a biotechnology industry gathering yesterday in Waikiki. However, it wasn’t the message that was unconventional, but the messenger – Greenpeace co-founder Patrick Moore. Moore said he broke with Greenpeace in the 1980s over the rise of what he called “environmental extremism,” or stands by environmental groups against issues such as genetic crop research, genetically modified foods and nuclear energy that aren’t supported by science or logic.
Hawai’i, which is one of the top locations nationwide for genetically modified crop research, has become a focal point in the debate about the risks and value of such work. Friction between environmentalists and other concerned groups and the biotech industry surfaced most recently in relation to the use of local crops to grow industrial and pharmaceutical compounds. Last year that opposition halted a Big Island project planning to use algae for trial production of pharmaceutical drugs.
Zero-tolerance standards against such research by environmental groups delay developments that could help those with unmet basic needs, Moore said. Instead Moore called for compromise rather than confrontation on the part of the environmentalists.
“There’s no getting away from the fact that over 6 billion people wake up each day on this planet with real needs for food, energy and materials,” he told those attending a luncheon at a three-day Pacific Rim Summit on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy.
The event was sponsored by the Biotechnology Industry Organization. Sponsors included Dupont, Carghill and the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, which spent $15,000 to support the conference.
In direct opposition to common environmentalist positions, Moore contended that global warming and the melting of glaciers is positive because it creates more arable land and the use of forest products drives up demand for wood and spurs the planting of more trees. He added that any realistic plan to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and the emission of so-called greenhouse gases should include increased use of nuclear energy.”