By Lorrie Goldstein
Two months ago, James Lovelock, the godfather of global warming, gave a startling interview to msnbc.com in which he acknowledged he had been unduly “alarmist” about climate change.
The implications were extraordinary.
Lovelock is a world-renowned scientist and environmentalist whose Gaia theory — that the Earth operates as a single, living organism — has had a profound impact on the development of global warming theory.
Unlike many “environmentalists,” who have degrees in political science, Lovelock, until his recent retirement at age 92, was a much-honoured working scientist and academic.
His inventions have been used by NASA, among many other scientific organizations.
Lovelock’s invention of the electron capture detector in 1957 first enabled scientists to measure CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) and other pollutants in the atmosphere, leading, in many ways, to the birth of the modern environmental movement.
Having observed that global temperatures since the turn of the millennium have not gone up in the way computer-based climate models predicted, Lovelock acknowledged, “the problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago.” Now, Lovelock has given a follow-up interview to the UK’s Guardian newspaper in which he delivers more bombshells sure to anger the global green movement, which for years worshiped his Gaia theory and apocalyptic predictions that billions would die from man-made climate change by the end of this century.
It’s good that this great mind follows actual, empirical measurements over computer models. After all that is what scientists do; they make corrections to their theories according to observations not the other way round as some are doing to climate (pseudo)science.
I wish to make a comment on Lovelocks much loved Gaia theory. Logically I find this theory somewhat illogical. Let me explain:
If our planet operates as one single living organism, and homo sapiens is endangering the planet, then it would be foolish for Gaia to let Homo Sapiens, part of this organism, evolve into what we are today; enemies of Gaia (or so would the extremist environmentalists would have us believe). It is either one or the other. We cannot both be part of Gaia and it’s enemy at the same time. Contrary to what the green extremists would have us believe, if the Gaia theory is true then the only conclusion is that Gaia has let homo sapiens reach the present level of development because Gaia needs us. Could it be that we are able to save the planet from a natural Armageddon, such as an asteroid hit, or a biological mega disaster that could wipe out a species or ten for ever.
It’s a symbiosis, that’s what it is. Homo Sapiens-Gaia symbiosis.
I say the same things all the time – humans are part of the environment, not separate from it. It’s really great that this fellow, who’s not particularly reliant on government funding, can say it how he sees it – that he didn’t t know as much as he thought and thus far they’ve been wrong in their assumptions. This is the kind leadership that’s been lacking in the politicized scientific community. It’s super-encouraging though!
I agree. But I wouldn’t get my hopes up too high.
You have just put to words something that has been tugging my subconcious thoughts for years now, and I did not realize it until I read what you posted. The closest I have come to that is saying that I think humans are part of nature, so everything we do is natural. Beavers build damms, humans build skyscrapers. Bees build honeycombs, we build roads and bridges. To me there really is no difference. I will preface what I will say next by saying that I don’t believe in religions, but I do believe there is God, or a creator. That said, I think the universe was created by God, which includes our rock, and we the inhabitants of the rock. And you have said something else that I have thought before, that maybe we are here to save the world from outside threats like asteroids, comets, and such, or to even create technology to defend against other things like gamma ray bursts, or possibly to develop the capability to evacuate the planet and move to a new one. I don’t know, but it seems to me the possibilities are boundless. I don’t claim to know what or how God thinks, but it would seem illogical to assume that God created us to destroy it’s creation.
That is a great black/white theory. Problem is virtually nothing in life, this planet/dimension, is just black or white. But that is how the Right likes to view things, which is a more simplistic way of reasoning, thus more comforting and easier to disseminate on bumper stickers too.
You are not immune to black and white thinking. Everybody does it including the Left. You just did it in your post above by puting everyone on the Right into a box! What you don’t understand is that black and white, ie. good or bad thinking is not really what you think it is. It is an end result to a thought process. The biginning of that process includes all the available information ie. shades of gray, or nuances, and from there the determination of good or bad points based upon the thinker’s beliefs begins. Then a conclusion is drawn by those determinations. And then does one say that a thing is good, or a thing is bad.
The problem with people who disdain black and white thinking is that they are usually unable to make determinations on the nuances, sometimes because there is an unstable belief system involved, so they are unable to weed out, or distill, their thoughts to come to any clarity. So phtttttt.
Hood, it is always “the right” isn’t it. Lovelock may well be correct. Climate is ever changing but not your liberal politics. There is the difference. I note with Lovelocks age comes wisdom. Suggest you review his comments again? Never mind, go home, nothing here. All’s OK so Hurry about now! Greenies are awaiting.
plu·toc·ra·cy noun plü-?tä-kr?-s?
1: government by the wealthy
2: a controlling class of the wealthy
Hood, words are wonderful things as well as discussion if used wisely.
Let us not forget that the guy saying this is someone who was worshiped as a godlike figure in environmental circles for many years. This is not just some guy like me who decided that Eyeore was full of crap and became suspicious of AGW alarmism. No, this is James Lovelock, be otch!
Lovelock is a realist. For once in my lifetime a “progessive/Libera”l thinks similiar to us “deniers.” Just what is a denier? Someone that simply asks leading questions not nodding our heads like lap dogs with all the alleged “expects” on climate change when there at over 30,000 experts that are “Deniers.?” If so, I’m a “denier.” I can predict it now. Hood dude with have the “anti-denier” answer forthcomig within hours Let’s now see or is he up to it? We shall see won’t we?
Scientists in general are “conservative” in their presentations, trying not to deviate too far from the norm. It is correct to say that the climate predictions of the hard scientists (highly trained, particularly in the appropriate mathematics) are generally on the “low” side.
For instance, Sea Level Rise has been creeping upward from previous levels in the tidal gauge readings since 1970. In 1990, a consensus of models was published, predicting the SLR for the next 20-years. The ‘most likely’ prediction was the same rate as the 1970-‘90 tidal observations. The possible error-bar amounts were predictive curves that went up a lot faster or a lot less. When the next 20-years of data arrived, now supplemented with satellite data, the SLR matched exactly the maximum prediction curve. The models were too ‘conservative’ and probably lacked feedbacks that would increase the rate. Lovelock was betting on the same thing happening for temperature predictions.
The bottom line hasn’t been affected a whit by Lovelock’s confession. As he says, the globe is warming due to increased CO2 production, which we should stop, and the amount has yet to be determined. It will be somewhere between bothersome and catastrophic.
I don’t know. I think Lovelock’s statement may not change the bottom line for you, or for me. (Our respective bottom lines are not the same obviously). But does it not introduce the slightest hint of doubt? After all this is a great departure from the alarmist bandwagon. In 2006 Lovelock said:
“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.”
I mean wow! That is a change in tune the likes of which I haven’t heard in a while. Maybe that creates no doubts in your mind, but can you see that there may be some basis for people to have doubts other than just being right wingnuts?
And as far as “Scientists in general are “conservative” in their presentations, trying not to deviate too far from the norm.” I wonder if you consider James Hansen to be “conservative” in his presentations? Gavin Schmidt, Micheal Mann, and a host of climate change alarmist scientists are far from “conservative” in their presentations. In fact I would call them extreme in their presentations.
Love to read past history that has been debunked. Any others to throw at us “deniers” that hasn’t already been chastised by their peers? At least look up current issues and post accordingly.
Google (GOOG) has invested in a number of clean energy products. According to its website, the company says it has invest over $915 million into renewable energy. Below are the investments Google has made.
Recurrent Energy: Large scale photovoltaic (PV) projects in California that serves roughly 1.4 million people.
Clean Power Finance: Financing for rooftop solar, 40 percent of residential solar systems sold in U.S. in 2010 were facilitated by Clean Power Finance’s platform.
SolarCity: Solar for thousands of residential rooftops. SolarCity in conjunction with other investors finances $1.28 billion in solar projects.
Brightsource: Concentrated solar power at scale. Google funded a project that is expected to generate 392 gross megawatts of solar energy.
Atlantic Wind Connection: A superhighway for clean energy transmission. This project will connect 6,000 megawatts of offshore wind turbines.
Alta Wind Energy Center: Harnessing winds of the Mojave. The project will generate 1,550 megawatts of energy, enough to power 450,000 homes.
Shepherd’s Flat: One of the world’s largest wind farms, Shepherd’s Flat will generate 845 megawatts.
Peace Garden Wind Farms: Opening up more financing for wind. This project is expected to produce 169.5 megawatts of power in North Dakota.
Photovoltaics in Germany: Investing in clean energy overseas. Google estimates the system will pay for itself in approximately 7.5 years, as it invests $15 million over a 30-year lifespan.
Makani Power: Airborne wind turbines that sweep across the sky to collect wind energy. Makani Power can generate up to 100 megawatts, enough to power 100,000 homes.
California and Hawaii are model states for the rest of the country that are moving ahead with solar and wind generated energy. In my home town alone, solar panels were installed at four schools in the San Luis Coastal Unified School District which is now saving the district tens of thousands of dollars a year in energy bills.
I am only assuming you have a point in there somewhere, because I don’t see what this has to do with Lovelock.
Google has the money to waste on this garbage being that they were worth over $10 billion in 2011. $915 million is chicken scratch to them. I don’t have to remind you of what we think of these so called “alternative” energy sources. But I will. To put it in the simplest terms, wind energy is good when there is wind, solar energy is good when the sun is shining and the panels are properly cleaned and maintained. The problem is that the wind does not always blow, and the sun does not shine on solar panels at night or when it is cloudy. And, solar panels are not always cleaned and maintained properly. Both of these forms of energy can only be considered as intermittant energy souces at best. It is a pipe dream, and one day the haze is going to lift and you are going to have a massive headache.
Oh, and then there is this:
“The American Bird Conservancy (ABC), an avian conservation group, observes that upward of 14 birds per megawatt of wind energy are killed each year, numbering more than 440,000. The organization projects the number will rise substantially as wind energy production increases.”
Neilio, I am surprised that you don’t know that most of the alternative energy sources that Hood mentioned are capable of storing energy when there is a surplus of sunlight or wind so it all evens out. I guess by calling them garbage you really are clueless about them. As far as maintaining solar panels and such, common sense would tell one that if someone or a business had invested in said panels they would “clean” and maintain them just like anything else in or on the building they occupy. Eventually fossil fuels will run out or be so difficult to get to it won’t be worth it for the giant oil or coal companies to bother with and that day will come sooner than most of us think. Many of these companies have been investing in alternate energy methods because they are fully aware of this fact. My hope is that the smaller alternate energy companies get the upper hand first because as we have seen the current monopolistic energy companies are very good at taking the working class person for all they can at the gas pump and every time we pay our gas and electric bills.
Gee Rory, I’m surprised that you don’t know that the ways that kind of power can be stored is quite limited at this stage. The problem is that you can only store that kind of energy for a few hours, and as we all know that does not cut it. There are several different types of storage being planned. There’s batteries, molten salt solutions, compressed air reservoirs, flywheels, etc. Unfortunately the best solution, lithium-ion batteries, has had a lot of problems, not the least of which being the availability of raw materials to build the number of batteries it would take to make the technology viable. And not to mention that energy grid power storage is in direct competition with the automotive lithium-ion batteries.
So your surprise is unwarranted because I did know about the planned use of storage devices for “alternative” energy storage, it’s just that I also knew that none of them are viable for large scale storage of any kind, and certainly not for “evening out” constant usage with intermittant production. We might get there one day, but it’s not going to be anytime soon.
Another thing that’s just occured to me is that not only do you have to take up many more acres of land to build solar, or wind generation plants as opposed to coal, oil, or gas plants, you also have to build facilities for power storage. Which will take up how much more room? And cost how much more money to construct that will be paid by the rate payer? And all because CO2 has been demonized by the environmental left and an as yet unproven theory that CO2 may cause catastrophic global warming?
“A team of researchers, led by a professor at Yale University, tested more than 1,500 U.S. adults on their scientific literacy and technical reasoning capacity, and then asked them to assign a numerical value to how concerned they are about climate change.
According to the study, published earlier this week, “Members of the public with the highest degrees of scientific literacy and technical reasoning capacity were not the most concerned about climate change.”
Indeed, “As respondents’ science-literacy scores increased, concern with climate change decreased.”
It seems the media needs to reverse whom it deems “anti-science” and “science deniers.”-”
“When you get right down to it, it has been painfully obvious for quite some time that one side in the global warming debate is supported by objective scientific evidence and the other side is supported by ideology, the need to keep the billions in government gravy-train dollars flowing, and speculative, ever-failing computer models that they program themselves.
Hurricane activity has been near historic lows during the past several years. Tornadoes have become less frequent and less severe as the planet has warmed. Droughts have become less frequent and global soil moisture has improved. Deserts are shrinking. Crop production sets new records nearly every year.”
“billions in government gravy-train dollars…” Really? – specify, exactly, or this is BS. Yes, there are grant monies flowing to this and that sicentific studies. But to carve out global warming as some kind of money eating monster is as ludicrous as any other conspriacy theory you can come up with. With regard to the study above, it’s interesting. And just one study. And since it’s current, not all that surprising, due to the anti-global warming messages inundating everything- so it makes sense that people who pay attention to such things are effected accordingly per their opinon. Opinions change, over time, back and forth. The right-wing propaganda machine has been successful in making all science/scientists suspect. Skepticism is not necessarily a bad thing. But bending the public mind against the bulk scientific facts and/or theory can only lead to further ignorance and negative consequences, i.e. learning stuff the hard way- the avoidance of which was the main reason for science in the first place. It is sometimes wiser to defer to the expert- that’s where common sense and personal intelligence comes into play. To each his own I guess.
Wow, that’s a stretch. You know I put a link in so you can look at the original blog I copied it from. If you have any questions feel free to ask them of Mr. Taylor. I’m sure there is an email or some other way to contact him. Maybe you can post a comment there.
“That’s a stretch” is exactly my point. Funny how you do that. No matter.
The first six months of 2012 accounted for the warmest January-through-June period on record for the contiguous U.S., the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced Monday.
The current administration politicized the NOAA and has instructed them to prove global warming, the context that man is the cause, is real.
Truth is, the global warming/climate change/climate disruption context is a fraud, a crisis structure, another excuse for more government and a richer establishment by force. The empirical evidence supports the theory that a great number of humans love money and power to the point they’re willing to lie about the earth and its cycles in order to one-up the people around them.
Ok. Does this mean that it is human induced? Just because it’s hot does not neccessarily mean that it’s global warming. Other than the high temps, is there anything else that indicates AGW? Also AGW is supposed to be global. Is there record high temps in the rest of the world?
What do you make of this then?
“Anchorage, Alaska is experiencing record cold temperatures this month. Usually July is Anchorage’s hottest month, but it’s been warmer the last few days in Barrow, 800 miles to the north on Alaska’s Arctic coast, than it has been in the state’s largest city.”
Sorry that link is to the home page where the story will change from day to day. Here is a link to the story I referenced.
1936. Nice warm year. Look it up. Lotta vehicles then I assume?
Start of the dust-bowl and precursor of the Great Depression. Very ugly abnormality. A glimpse into a more persistent future? Sure hope not.
It is doubtful that something like the “Dustbowl” would ever happen again. We may have drought and high temperatures again, but the erosion of the topsoil is something modern farmers take great care to avoid through established agricultural practices. I would worry about proving that the recent high temperatures are a direct result of human activities than worrying about if another dustbowl would happen again…… If I were you that is.
Solar flares, jet stream location north/south, El Nino, El Nina a possibility? Think about it after you read the recent tree ring study. You are astute people, look it up. Interesting to say the least.. Have a good evening.
Exactly Joe. The variables are numerous. And our understanding of all of the variables is incomplete. And I have always been of the opinion that there are patterns and variables that we don’t even know about yet. IMO, saying anything at all with any certainty about what is causing high temperatures (or low ones for that matter), is akin to the Barbers of Medieaval times saying with certainty that letting out 2 quarts of blood will cure ricketts.
Neilio, interesting world we live in isn’t it? Try having conversation like us in say, Syria? Jordan? Iraq? Iran? Yemen? et al. Discussed the middle east yesterday with a woman I know born and raised in Eqypt and just back from Egypt after three months. The temperature there is hotter than here and always has been. Her concern? Weather?, Carbon Credits?, saving the planet being “Green”?, NO. She was concerned about her Father/Mother five brothers and two sisters with three sisters that have died as they farmed growing avacados. Life is fluid my friend. I, as well as her have more to worry about that an Al Gore Horror Movie that based upon alleged “facts” has been disproven.
There are other more important items on my agenda that may serious affect my family. “Global Warming” or climate change is the last thing on my agenda as well as my friend from Eqypt. I seriously want all that post om this site to think about it for once in your life. Life is too short and there other issues more important than “climate Change” wouldn’t you agree? I enjoy waking every morning hoping my friends live to see the sunrise in the morning as well. Enjoy it as long as you can my friend.
This is not the most important thing in my life Joe, but it does affect many aspects of all of our lives so it is important to all of us. We all have a stake in it because it affects how we all live our lives. From the type of car we like to drive to the price of food and all other goods. From our choices of travel, to our health care. And to our freedom. So, I think it is worth putting in some time on it. Don’t you?
You know what you read and you know what the Al Gore “consensus” scientists say and you are sort of willing to believe them. OK. But now think about how much Carbon Dioxide is in the Earth’s Atmosphere as a total of all atmospheric gases by percentage. Do you know how much carbon dioxide is in the atmosphere as a percentage of the total of all constituent gases? is it 10%?, 20% , 40%? or More? Well you just may be totally wrong. Find out by taking the carbon quiz. It is quick and easy just go to: http://voices.yahoo.com/take-atmospheric-carbon-quiz-see-smart-you-5284875.html . You know that all plants on the earth including those in the ocean need lots of carbon dioxide to survive and that they need it to produce oxygen that we animals tend to need to breath. It would seem to be a lot of carbon dioxide then? Did you know that carbon dioxide in amount greater than a certain percentage in the atmosphere is poisonous to Humans and other animals? That is the reason if you are locked in an air tight closet that you can die from not just the lack of oxygen but because you inhale carbon dioxide?
You you know anything about universal gas laws? Do you know that gases in the atmosphere are subject to universal gas laws and that the properties of gases under various circumstances changes the nature of the gases? Did you know that a hot gas behaves differently than a cold gas? If you took physics and chemistry you in high school or work in the field you probably know what the universal gas laws are otherwise you need to learn about it so you can judge the science of climate change for yourself objectively. Once you take the atmospheric carbon quiz you will have a better idea about the scientific issues involved in the scientific debate over human involvement in climate change assuming there really is climate change. You are probably also aware already that water vapor is as much if not more of a so called greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide is and there is a lot of evaporating ocean water on the planet not to mention clouds and high tropical humidity because hot air provides added space in the atmosphere for water vapor gas to become a major component of air. Have you ever been to a hot muggy area and felt your shirt acting like a sponge for atmospheric water vapor? You need to take the carbon quiz to learn a few basics especially if you are a global warming believer because all science necessarily requires informed skepticism to counterbalance anything that starts becoming theoretical consensus which happens to be a political term not a scientific one. Doubt and skepticism is what keeps science objective an honest. Take the quiz here:
I’m not shure if you are directing your statement to me Lex. If you are then you obviously are new to reading my posts. I am a refrigeration technician so I understand a great deal about how gases behave at different pressures and temperatures, evaporation and condensation, superheat and subcooling, etc., ect.
I would also like to point out that the little black square with the red lettering next to my name says AGWD/BSD. That stands for “Anthropogenic Global Warming Denier/Male Bovine Excrement Detector”. (A male bovine is a bull, I hope you know what excrement is.)
I think you may have taken my above comment out of context. I believe you thought I was talking about the issue of AGW. I was basically talking about the so called “solutions” to AGW that:
“Affects how we all live our lives. From the type of car we like to drive to the price of food and all other goods. From our choices of travel, to our health care. And to our freedom. So, I think it is worth putting in some time on it. Don’t you?”
I hope you can see now what I meant by what I said in that perspective.
I already knew that CO2 is less than 0.1% of the atmosphere, but you did say one thing that I believe is incorrect. Just one, because I agree with everything else that you said. That one thing is that CO2 is poisonous. It is not poisonous. It will displace oxygen, and when you breath it your lung tissue will not absorb it because your lung tissue is designed to absorb oxygen and expell CO2. So if you get trapped in an area where all the oxygen is displaced by CO2, you will suffocate but you will not be poisoned by the CO2. Perhaps you mean CO, or carbon monoxide. CO is poisonous and will kill you even if there is still lots of oxygen present.
I took the carbon quiz and only got a few wrong, and I dispute some of those answers. For example the question about what weighs more, hot air, or cold air? The quiz answers say that cold air weighs more. That is not true. A certain amount of air will weigh exactly the same as an equal amount of air at another temperature. The things that change when you heat or cool the air is volume and density. 1 Pound of warm air weighs exactly the same as 1 pound of cold air in a vacuum. The warm air will tend to rise in the atmosphere because it becomes more bouyant. The cold air become less bouyant because it shrinks in volume and becomes more dense than the surrounding air. A good way to visualize this is by taking a pound of brick, and a pound of foam and dropping them into the water. The brick sinks because it is more dense than the water, but the foam floats because it is less dense than the water. It is not a function of weight, it is a function bouyancy.
My point is don’t rely on some quiz at yahoo for the facts. You are on the right track though.
Was RNH Stephen Schneider? He stopped posting the same day that Schneider passed away, and this is the longest stretch I have seen that he has not posted anything. Not even an “I’m not posting here anymore!”, which is what he usually says when he leaves for a while. I don’t miss him this time, but I am concerned that there seems to be a lack of comments on this blog, and it is especially disappointing, now that I am a guest blogger here and have posted four articles, that no one has made any comments. I was shure RNH would have had at least a snyde remark about that, but there are just crickets chirping. I know people are looking because every time I check there is at least a few people on the little revolver map logged on.
I like to let people know what I think, but the other side of that coin is that I really, truly and honestly, want to know what you think too. So, let’s have it eh!
Neilio, I was venting having a dear friend lose family in Eqypt which seems to be never ending and we are focused on something natural first called “Global Warming” and now “Climate Change?” Depending if it is too hot or too cold? Which is it? Climate changes in cycles and yes, we have had an extremely long hot summer. Same as the dust bowl before our alleged “carbon footprint” was invented by Al Gore and his minions. Believe that I recently read that it has not been this hot since sometime back in the 1800’s? Iceland lost their ice for the first time in 150 years? Where were the cars? Science experts are stymied. Duh, it is cyclical. As to this Hood guy? Trust me, he will be back full force of you know what. Know him well based upon previous posts. Suggest that you keep it up on this excellent site. I personally have bigger fish to fry at this moment in our alotted time. My dear nephew and others are in the middle east negotiating and have no time for idle thoughts that will distract my attention. Keep up the good fight my friend. Will check in periodically. Good hunting and make sure your aim is straight.
Whether one believes that Global Warming/Climate Change is happening right now or not I hope that many would agree with the following statement: We need to stop pumping crap into the ground, water and air because we eventually will eat, drink and breathe it. By looking at how the media works in the U.S. and other industrialized nations (i.e. the same people who run the fossil fuel and manufacturing industries also have links to the giant media and news outlets) we only receive a small picture of what happens around the world every day. I believe we are polluting our environment way more than we can imagine and are now seeing the full effects.
Yeah. That’s right man. I wonder what they’re not telling us about lithium mining!
“I believe we are polluting our environment way more than we can imagine and are now seeing the full effects.” -Rory.
What are you talking about? What pollution are you talking about? I’m not being snotty, I really want to know what you mean by pollution. Because if you are talking about CO2, then I would argue the point that CO2 is not pollution at all. If you are talking about dumping hazardous chemicals into the environment, then I would like to know more about where you see that going on because that is not something I would condone.
Rory, you make a statements based upon no facts behind it. Rory, please be more specific. Cannot comment on a general statement. “i.e, the same people”…… Please quailfy your allegations. Specificity can be checked/flyspecked, opinions cannot. Let us know. I’m curious as others.