This week’s Start the Week had ‘Anne McElvoy looking back at the life of the maverick scientist James Lovelock who pioneered the theory of Gaia, of a self-regulating Earth.’
Like that ‘maverick’ label.
Lovelock also looks to the future and the next evolution of Gaia which could lead to the extinction of human life, and a rise of Artificial Intelligence, but the writer and ecologist George Monbiot prefers his future world with wolves, wild boars and beavers living alongside humans.
And physicist Joanna Haigh explains how scientists from all disciplines are working together to measure the impact of solar activity on the Earth’s climate.
Lovelock has been having quite a bit of media attention for his change of heart about climate change, even getting an interview with Paxo on Newsnight.
Lovelock is famous, a scientist, and has a high credibility rating which can’t be easily dismissed.
Therefore when he criticises the climate change lobby people will take note….
‘Take this climate matter everybody is thinking about. They all talk, they pass laws, they do things, as if they knew what was happening. I don’t think anybody really knows what’s happening. They just guess. And a whole group of them meet together and encourage each other’s guesses.’
“The problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing. 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.”
I imagine the likes of Roger Harrabin have been tearing their hair out at this unwarranted intrusion by a renowned scientist into their carefully crafted world….and shaking it to the foundations.
Undoubtedly someone, possibly Harrabin, decided to undermine Lovelock…..Harrabin does have form after all when he organised the BBC party line to downplay a court decision that judged Al Gore’s scaremongering video to be just that.
Start the Week notably failed to either quote or get Lovelock to reprise his recent views….the closest they got to mentioning them was saying Lovelock has been a ‘bit dismissive’ of some of the IPCC’s conclusions….and asked ‘Is he wrong?’
And that was that.
We then had much of the rest of the programme not really talking about Lovelock, despite it ostensibly being about him, instead, naturally we got pro-AGW hype and George Monbiot peddling his free range zoo idea.
It was in essence a ploy to downplay Lovelock and big up climate change.
There were some of the usual claims but also some things of note that perhaps they wish they hadn’t said.
The first thing to come out was that we the Public are too ignorant to understand the science, the computer models, or the theories behind them. We also can’t understand the risks associated with climate change…and that’s a problem for scientists who have to communicate that to us dummies.
Joanna Haigh says that…..
Scientific research produces results that are within a breadth of certainty…certain odds that the climate will do this or do the other and people don’t understand that.
As a scientist you’re not able to do any better than that.
The climate system is so wonderfully complex and complicated and interactive that actually predicting what it will do in a particular place and a particular time is pretty much impossible.
Er…hold on….predicting the climate is pretty much impossible!!!!
James Lovelock does get to slip in that we have been led up the creek by scientists and environmentalists by their use of ice core data…..there is no linear relationship between CO2 and temperature.…in the lab yes, in real life no…but a narrative still pushed by the BBC and the ‘Lobby’:
They tell us that it is a linear relationship…..the BBC’s Matt McGrath pushing the point backed up by the Met. Office’s Peter Stott: ‘….and it is a clear linear relationship, so that the more you pump into the atmosphere, the more the temperature goes up, its… in a very complex system it is as simple as that?’
Stott: ‘There is this very clear linear relationship between the overall emissions of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, carbon dioxide, and the global temperature rise, so the more we emit, the more the temperature increases.’
Except it’s not..…if CO2 has risen a massive 40% why is it that temperatures have risen a mere 0.85° C since 1880 and have now stalled even as CO2 increases ever faster?
Joanna Haigh then pipes up and says that the sun is the driver of climate and CO2 is a result of that….surely some mistake!
Monbiot jumps in later to say that we shouldn’t allow doubts and uncertainties about climate to stop us making decisions…don’t be passive and defeatist he says….as opposed to acting on uncertain information in a way that would definitely radically alter your life for the worse which would be the result of following his advise.
Monbiot goes onto claim Lovelock has a ‘profound and irrational prejudice against people who try to turn science into public policy.’
Guess he’s not happy about criticism of the consensus then.
He then says Lovelock suggested that politicians, as they are not scientists, should just shut up…Monbiot said that was ‘terribly unfair’.
Can we take it then that he thinks the BBC’s ‘medieval and ignorant’ approach to dealing with climate sceptics is also ‘terribly unfair’?
Haigh then clambers back on board the consensus and claims that we know the physics of CO2 and that CO2 levels are higher than ever….the resultant heat generated is ‘entirely due to human activity’.
Er…where’s the proof of that….and where’s the evidence about CO2?….all the evidence points the other way…she herself earlier in the programme admitted as much.
Haigh then says that we can’t rely on the ocean to suck up all the heat…it may go into the surface but, if it does mix into the depths, that will only happen over the very long term.
Er….didn’t Harrabin insist that the deep oceans were already sucking up all that excess heat and that was why we were having the ‘slowdown’ as he puts it?
‘We’ve been dumping our problems into the oceans’ and ‘global warming has paused on land but the oceans have continued to warm and we’re not going to get away with it forever.’
I’ll have to go with the scientist here…not the English graduate.
Monbiot ended with a plea that we must trust the scientists…..the subject is so complex that we can’t possibly begin to understand the science…therefore we must take on trust what the researchers tell us….despite him quoting the Royal Society motto…‘Take nothing on trust’.
He also said, in relation to the release of bears and wolves and other dangerous beasts to roam the UK freely in his grand plan for a free range zoo, that people have a strange idea about risk…they overestimate the risk when really there is no danger.
Do I need to fisk that? Not really, I suspect you’re there already.
All in all an interesting programme…shame it wan’t really about Lovelock at all…. having on two climate change lobbyists regurgitating the propaganda is exceedingly boring….probably I just didn’t understand it. Examing the life, thoughts and changing perspectives of ‘One of the world’s top public intellectuals, a titan of post-war science working outside mainstream scientific institutions coming up with some of the most original ideas of our time‘ without the interruption of two stooges might have been more interesting.