James Lovelock, the famed 92-year-old British scientist who pioneered the so-called “Gaia theory” of the environment, has walked back his strident global warming rhetoric over the past few decades today.
Lovelock’s “Gaia theory” suggested that the Earth was a single large organism, and that all of its attendant parts acted in coordination; disturbing one part would disturb the whole. In 2006, he suggested 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.” Now, however, Lovelock tells MSNBC:
“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 …
“The climate is doing its usual tricks. There’s nothing much really happening yet. We were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now … 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.”
Lovelock said that Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” and Tim Flannery’s “The Weather Makers” were similarly alarmist.
“All right,” he said, “I made a mistake.” He added of his 2006 book, Revenge of Gaia, in which his language was over-the-top, “I would be a little more cautious – but then that would have spoilt the book.”