James Lovelock calls global warming “a religion”

The website www.ecolo.org says in the description tag of its biography page about James Lovelock, “James Lovelock is the founding historical and cultural leader of environmentalism for environmentalists around the world.” He had a rapt audience when, in 2006, he sounded the alarm about global warming. In an article in the U.K.’s Independent newspaper he that “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.”

Well, he’s had a change of heart. MSNBC interviewed him a couple of months ago about a new book he is writing that backtracks on his earlier alarmist views. While he still believes that humanity is causing warming, he is opposing the alarmist views he held before, and that are still being promoted by many.

“The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing,” he said. “We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books – mine included – because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn’t happened.”

He went on. “The world has not warmed up very much since the millennium. Twelve years is a reasonable time… it (the temperature) has stayed almost constant, whereas it should have been rising — carbon dioxide is rising, no question about that.”

In a follow-up interview with the U.K. Guardian, he went further in unraveling what he called the “green religion.”

He blasted the notion that conclusions about climate change are “settled science.” “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.”

And he ridiculed the idea of powering the world with wind power and other tools of what environmentalists call “sustainable development.” He called such notions “meaningless drivel.”

Will his declarations have any impact on his former disciples? No, because, as he said, global warming is part of an environmental religion, and not subject to the constraints of reason.

In fact, I made that point in a post I wrote in October 2010, that environmentalism is a religion.

And I’d like to refer you to a page I wrote on the main website where I talk about carbon recycling – returning the carbon in fossil fuels to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide, which is where it started. I think that’s a cute point.



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About mesasmiles

By Dr. David Hall. Dr. Hall runs Infinity Dental Web, a small company that does Internet marketing for dentists. He has had a long-standing interest in politics and as a college student toyed with the idea of a political career.
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One Response to James Lovelock calls global warming “a religion”

  1. Sam says:

    Dave,
    I think we mostly agree on this issue. There really isn’t enough empirical data to suggest that man’s activity has had an effect on the rising temperatures of our planet. The earth’s temperatures have varied since it’s creation. There is, however, evidence that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, meaning it will allow solar radiation to pass through the atmosphere but due to the gaseous layer it limits the conductive transfer of heat out of the atmosphere. This gives us serious reason to study the effects of carbon emissions so that we can determine if the rate which we produce the carbon dioxide will build up a dense enough wall to cause significant heating. While we should invest time and money in researching the effects we are not yet to the point where we need to seriously impair the economy by enforcing so many regulations. The EPA has hounded old power plants and if they keep upping their regulations it will no longer be cost effective for any power plant to burn coal which we cannot allow to happen.

    You referenced your own blurb about carbon recycling and mentioned that the global warming alarmist do not know how to respond when you bring up carbon recycling. I gotta say, I’m not a believer in the carbon recycling that you are referring to and I don’t think you will find many scientists that are. What you say is right but you are neglecting a big component called time. Plants, coral, plankton, and whatever other CO2 munching organisms you can think of simply cannot keep up with the rate that we are releasing CO2. You state that we are simply returning the carbon to its natural form, which is true, but I don’t remember reading about humans and other animals that existed when the Earth was in that state.

    It’s true we don’t have evidence to support that CO2 has heated up the Earth but to deny that there is an increase would be denying empirical evidence and theory. CO2 levels are accelerating and have increased by over 30% globally since the industrial revolution and now sit around 400 parts per million (ppm). The levels are only rising faster and faster which goes to show that plants and microorganisms cannot recycle it fast enough. If in fact, there is substance to the claim that rising CO2 levels will increase the surface temperature of the Earth then we are going to need to do a lot more than just trust the Earth’s slow recycling process. This is why it would be wise to accept the more moderate position of allocating time and money towards the research of global warming but to withhold from passing legislation on facts that don’t yet exist.

    Response by David Hall
    Thanks for your comments. My point about “carbon recycling” is mostly intended to be a humorous tweak to the global warming alarmists. But the kernel of truth is that if all that carbon used to be in the atmosphere at one point, it clearly wasn’t fatal to the earth. And there is evidence that increased levels of carbon dioxide foster more lush plant growth and thus the earth, as it does with so many things, tends to regulate itself.

    The so-called science of global warming teeters so precariously on so many assumptions. I have a chemistry degree with a minor in physics, and as a scientist, it bothers me to see science twisted so. I do not believe it has been proved at all that an increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide from 300 parts per million to 400 parts per million contributes to any increase in the earth’s temperature. Maybe it does. But why is it assumed that is a problem? More people are killed by cold on this planet than by heat. There is a net migration in this country toward warmer places. People like it warmer.

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