[Sadly, it appears that Lovelock has gone emeritus – Desdemona saw video of him at a book signing last year, claiming that there were no effects from Chernobyl fallout. One person pointed out that there have been a lot of sick children in Ukraine, to which he replied dismissively, "They're fine." Seeing him trot out the old “warming has stopped” argument is particularly disappointing.
In addition, Lovelock’s Gaia theory hasn’t held up well since he first proposed it in the 1970s. Peter Ward’s Medea hypothesis seems to describe the situation much more accurately.]
By Ian Johnston, msnbc.com
23 April 2012
James Lovelock, the maverick scientist who became a guru to the environmental movement with his “Gaia” theory of the Earth as a single organism, has admitted to being “alarmist” about climate change and says other environmental commentators, such as Al Gore, were too.
Lovelock, 92, is writing a new book in which he will say climate change is still happening, but not as quickly as he once feared.
He previously painted some of the direst visions of the effects of climate change. In 2006, in an article in the U.K.’s Independent newspaper, he wrote 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.”
However, the professor admitted in a telephone interview with msnbc.com that he now thinks he had been “extrapolating too far."
The new book, due to be published next year, will be the third in a trilogy, following his earlier works, Revenge of Gaia: Why the Earth Is Fighting Back – and How We Can Still Save Humanity, and The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning: Enjoy It While You Can.
The new book will discuss how humanity can change the way it acts in order to help regulate the Earth’s natural systems, performing a role similar to the harmonious one played by plants when they absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen.
It will also reflect his new opinion that global warming has not occurred as he had expected.
“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,” Lovelock said.
“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,” he said.
“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,” he added.
He pointed to Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth and Tim Flannery’s The Weather Makers as other examples of “alarmist” forecasts of the future. […]