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“Oops, I Made a Mistake!” Gaia Theorist – James Lovelock

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February 2013
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Climate change is not the immediate threat that he once thought it was. James Lovelock best known for proposing the Gaia hypothesis, now believes that climate change is still happening, but it will be felt farther in the future. 93 years old and counting, this independent scientist, environmentalist and futurologist best known for creating the Gaia theory and raising concerns about the deadly effects of climate change through global warming, now admits that he may have been a bit “alarmist” about his predictions.  

James Lovelock

Furthermore, he added that others, including former vice president Al Gore, are guilty of exaggerating their arguments.  In 2006, in an article in the U.K.’s Independent newspaper, he wrote, 

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 retrospect Mr. Lovelock now recants, 

We thought we knew better 20 years ago.  That led to some alarmist books – mine included – because it looked clear cut, but it hasn’t happened.

Of course, some proponents of climate change are not pleased with this new revelation from one whom they consider a venerable icon of the Environmental Movement, but then James Lovelock is not exactly thrilled with much of the trajectory that many Green political advocates have advanced lately either. This is an excerpt from a letter he wrote to Andrew Montford, Bishop Hill blog on 26 January 2013, concerning his objections to a wind farm development in Devon.

I am James Lovelock, scientist and author, known as the originator of Gaia theory, a view of the Earth that sees it as a self-regulating entity that keeps the surface environment always fit for life… I am an environmentalist and founder member of the Greens but I bow my head in shame at the thought that our original good intentions should have been so misunderstood and misapplied. We never intended a fundamentalist Green movement that rejected all energy sources other than renewable, nor did we expect the Greens to cast aside our priceless ecological heritage because of their failure to understand that the needs of the Earth are not separable from human needs. We need take care that the spinning windmills do not become like the statues on Easter Island, monuments of a failed civilization.

For the entire letter click here for PDF.

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James Lovelock is writing a new book in which he will explain that climate change is still happening, but not as quickly as he once thought.  Let us hope that he will live to be 100.  

You can learn more about James Lovelock at his websites:

Regular site here

International site here.

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