Green gimmicks or disaster preparedness?

The Guardian has a fairly frightening story today with “climate science maverick” James Lovelock arguing that we shouldn’t even bother with the feel-good green gimmicks — carbon offsetting, recycling, alternative fuels (other than nuclear, which he favors) are a deluded fantasy, he says– because it’s already too late and disaster is inevitable. “Enjoy life while you can,” is his advice. It makes one wonder whether we should be devoting resources, then, to disaster preparation — especially food, Lovelock argues — over carbon taxes and such.

  • Justin Lewis

    The single biggest point of distrust that hits me over this whole environmental emergency thing is that headlong rush into making it an economic issue in such a way that those with vested economic interests benefit in the short term, governments benefit with new taxation levies, opportunists benefit by pimping solutions to this problem but there is very little visible effort put into insurance against the emergency. Insurance as opposed to assurance because according to everyone the emergency can be averted.

    To draw a personalising analogy, your doctor tells you that you may well develop heart disease in the future because you ate too much fried food, you then go out and spend your money on “super foods” and gym membership, yes, better not to have the heart attack but what if the new super healthy diet and all that exercise doesn’t avert the coronary? That’s right, you spent all that money and didn’t take out extra coverage. Knowing you did the “right thing” and thinking how this shouldn’t have happened to you doesn’t keep up the mortgage payment. You are now homeless and sick, all that pomegranate juice with it’s restorative antioxidant qualities was a great investment in your future… Wasn’t it?

  • chico haas

    Nothing about green solutions bothers me: higher mpg cars, alt fuels/energies, nuclear, any smart technology. What’s particularly dangerous is this notion that we are responsible for the climate change. It is not proved and likely can’t be. The only reason for writing it and teaching it and repeating it is to make it real. And, as any tort lawyer will tell you, fixing responsibility will establish new revenue streams and we will pay, pay pay.

  • Anna Haynes

    Yes, you can always find defeatists. But what we need is fighters.

    “The current situation of the world in relation to
    the climate problem is that we’re in a car with bad brakes driving
    toward a cliff in the fog, and the fog is the scientific uncertainty
    about the details that prevents us from knowing exactly where the cliff
    is. … There’s a chance we’ll go over the cliff anyway but prudence
    requires that we try to stop the car.”
    – John Holdren
    (Found this on Steve Kirsch’s excellent Global Warming: Why we must take dramatic action within the next 8 years)

    “This is like the last days of the USSR before Gorbachev, when old men in power knew that what stood couldn’t last, but couldn’t be bothered to fix things, since they were going to be dead soon anyway”

    At TED on Saturday, Gore “said the resources to address the problem were available — a week’s worth of the budget spent on Iraq would be sufficient. But politicians lacked the will to make the resources available.” (from here)

    We can do it (“Addressing our problems does **not** require a total reinvention of all the world’s cultures, and that’s a good thing because there isn’t time for that.”)

  • Anna Haynes

    Also, do not miss the Oreskes lecture on The American Denial of Global Warming – on history of the science, and on history of the denial movement.

    And ask your Republican friends to watch it.

  • chico haas

    Thanks for the reading material, Anna. While Mr. Kirsch’s site reads like the label of Dr. Bonner’s soap, it’s Gore’s TED speech that carries the money quote: “He added that the struggle against poverty and the challenge of cutting emissions in wealthy countries both had “a single, very simple solution”: A CO2 tax”

    If it’s not too late for the planet, it’s certainly not too late to keep an open mind. This is, literally, a balanced climate site.

  • Anna Haynes (PhD)

    Chico, watch the Oreskes video.

    climatedebatedaily is a creation of the “arts and letters daily” guy, who’s been a denialist all along. He’s no scientist.

  • chico haas

    Thanks again, Anna. Neither Denis nor Peter hides his skepticism, as I’m sure you read when you reached the bottom of the splash page. Regardless, their fingerprints are not on the content which is dispassionate and informative, as you know. The links are wide-ranging and the selected posts make for good reading, whichever side you’re on.

    One small note. It’s sad that those who support the notion of anthropogenic climate change have co-opted the language of the Holocaust to identify those who don’t. In fact, it’s childish and stupid, qualities I’m sure don’t belong in any description of you.

  • Could not be written any better. Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept talking about this. I will forward this article to him. I’m convinced he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!