James Lovelock on BBC Newsnight: ‘I don’t think anybody really knows what’s happening’
[…] James Lovelock: Take this climate matter everybody is thinking about. They all talk, they pass laws, they do things, as if they knew what was happening. I don’t think anybody really knows what’s happening. They just guess. And a whole group of them meet together and encourage each other’s guesses.
Jeremy Paxman: That latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change did suggest that there was something inevitable about climate change, that it had already begun and that we had to adjust to it. All of these things are true, are they not, as far as we know?
James Lovelock: Absolutely, that is true, the last [IPCC] report is very similar to the statements I made in my book about 8 years ago, called The Revenge of Gaia. It’s almost as if they’ve copied it.
Jeremy Paxman: Sure. But you then, after publishing these apocalyptic predictions, you then retracted them.
James Lovelock: Well, that’s my privilege. You see, I’m an independent scientist. I’m not funded by some government department or commercial body or anything like that. If I make a mistake, then I can go public with it. And you have to, because it is only by making mistakes that you can move ahead.
Jeremy Paxman: It follows from that, does it not, that this panel on climate change which has, as you point out, vested interests involved, may be just as likely or even more likely to make mistakes?
James Lovelock: That would be a lot of hubris on my part to say that, but it is possible.
Full interview on BBC Newsnight