James Lovelock and a bleak vision of the future

The maverick Scientist James Lovelock, who has consistently been the outspoken forerunner of climate change science was interviewed in the guardian at the weekend.

I’ve only just got round to reading it, and as is to be expected from the original science malcontent, it makes rather grim reading for those of us who are keen to make an impact on the world.

Lovelock’s view is that we have gone long past the tipping point in terms of climate change.  There is no point in making the kind of consumer lifestyle changes that are promoted – switching to renewable electricity and so on.

His view is that in the next few decades there will be dramatic climate changes which change the face of the world, desertising parts of Europe, flooding parts of London, so on and so forth.  There are also suggestions of a flood of immigrants coming here as climate refugees, and the notion that we may need to synthesise food…  The latter I recongise is already with us, the first smacks of the fears of an old man.

Rather than advise us to cut our emissions or change our lifestyles, he says: “Enjoy life while you can. Because if you’re lucky it’s going to be 20 years before it hits the fan.”

At the same time as finding these claims deplorable, I am also aware of the massive scale of change that is needed if we really are to change the world.  It simply isnt enough for middle class people to recycle, and to buy freerange eggs.  Either the majority of society needs to change their lifestyles completely, or else I fear Lovelock’s predictions are likely to come true.

Over the coming years wars really will be fought over food and water, nuclear power will have to be our main source of energy – with all of its risks.  People will die on a massive scale and only those wealthy enough to protect themselves will survive.

The trouble is that I dont see many people really being willing to make the necessary changes in their lives.  Why?  Because we’re bound into a system that is so reliant on a growing economy, that it is impossible for us to opt out.

Our very governmental systems have evolved to promote the interests of those companies which bring in the wealth, we’re busy storing up treasures on earth.

There needs to be some effort put into fiding ways we can live outside of this structure, because unless there is a way, not enough people will make the shift, and then we’ll all suffer.  More importantly the first ones to go will be those who deserve it least.


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