"It’s just as silly to be a [climate] denier as it is to be a believer”
James Lovelock says this sort of thing now and again. The man behind the Gaia hypothesis is one of the biggest influences of the Warmist movement and at 94 he insists on being surprisingly rational and apolitical... and unpredictable.
Lovelock does with his ideas what few Warmist researchers do, he logically thinks through the consequences, rather than just skipping to the part where everyone gives the government, Al Gore, etc... money. That's why he embraces nuclear power, which follows rationally and scientifically from his conclusions, but is toxic to environmentalists.
And it's why he says things like this...
Environmentalism has "become a religion" and does not pay enough attention to facts, according to James Lovelock.
The 94 year-old scientist, famous for his Gaia hypothesis that Earth is a self-regulating, single organism, also said that he had been too certain about the rate of global warming in his past book, that "it’s just as silly to be a [climate] denier as it is to be a believer” and that fracking and nuclear power should power the UK, not renewable sources such as windfarms.
The believer line has to be hurtful, because it's true. Science isn't about that sort of thing.
Speaking to the Guardian for an interview ahead of a landmark UN climate science report on Monday on the impacts of climate change, Lovelock said of the warnings of climate catastrophe in his 2006 book, Revenge of Gaia: "I was a little too certain in that book. You just can’t tell what’s going to happen."
Asked if his remarks would give ammunition to climate change sceptics, he said: "It’s just as silly to be a denier as it is to be a believer. You can’t be certain."
Talking about the environmental movement, Lovelock says: "It’s become a religion, and religions don’t worry too much about facts." The retired scientist, who worked at the Medical Research Council, describes himself as an "old-fashioned green."
Lovelock reiterated his support for fracking for shale gas, which has been strongly backed by David Cameron and the government but vigorously opposed by anti-fracking activists and local people at sites from Salford to Balcombe in West Sussex.
“The government is too frightened to use nuclear, renewables won’t work –because we don’t have enough sun – and we can’t go on burning coal because it produces so much CO2, so that leaves fracking. It produces only a fraction of the amount of CO2 that coal does, and will make Britain secure in energy for quite a few years. We don’t have much choice," he said.
Of course environmentalism has little to do with science, but some emotional notion of a pristine landscape, and windmills and solar panels fit that emotional need, while fracking and nuclear power plants clash with it.