Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Resigned to our fate?

Listening to James Lovelock on the Today programme this morning was deeply disturbing. You can hear his interview with John Humphries here.

I am not troubled by his comments on the so-called 'climategate' emails from the University of East Anglia. He hasn't read the transcripts and, if the scientists involved have fudged the data in any way, then I would agree with his dismissal of any dishonest practices in science.

What really concerns me is his fatalism. He asserts that it will take us 20 - 30 years to rein in our carbon emissions and that this will lead to the cumulative total addition of a trillion tonnes of carbon to the atmosphere. He describes this as "civilisation has pulled the trigger" and says we'll be lucky if the world population is as high as a billion people in future. Although Lovelock does not give a date for this future population in this interview, he did refer to the earth's population being well below a billion people in 2100 in his recent book, "The Vanishing Face of Gaia". In a similar interview on The Guardian website yesterday, Lovelock stated that the inertia of humanity is such that we can't do anything meaningful about climate change.

In my opinion, everyone who cares about the future of humanity and life on earth should take this as a personal challenge and set about making Lovelock wrong on this point. After all, as Greg Craven has so powerfully observed, "What's the Worst That Could Happen?"

No comments: