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James Lovelock: The UK Should Be Going Mad For Shale Gas

Scientist James Lovelock is the man behind Gaia theory, and once predicted doom for our climate. He discusses nuclear (good), wind power (bad) and why fracking is the future. He also says: It’s so much cheaper to air-condition the cities and let Gaia take care of the world. It’s a much better route to go than so-called ‘sustainable development’, which is meaningless drivel.”

 

environmental scientist James Lovelock

Environmental scientist James Lovelock.

James Lovelock is packing up. In one sense, the celebrated scientist and environmental author is simply moving house. Boxes and piles of unsorted papers scatter the floor of his home and “experimental station” located in a wooded valley on the Cornwall-Devon border. […]

“Adapt and survive,” he says, when asked why he has decided to move. After more than three decades living amid acres of trees he planted himself by hand, he and his wife Sandy have decided to downsize and move to an old lifeguard’s cottage by the beach in Dorset. “I’m not worried about sea-level rises,” he laughs. “At worst, I think it will be 2ft a century.”

Given that Lovelock predicted in 2006 that by this century’s end “billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable”, this new laissez-faire attitude to our environmental fate smells and sounds like of a screeching handbrake turn. […]

The move, he says, has been forced on him. Three years ago, he received a heating bill for the winter totalling £6,000. His age means he has to have the heating on full in his poorly insulted home and, with his disabled son, Tom, living in a house next door, his outgoings on fuel rocketed. Damp winters on the edge of Dartmoor were taking their toll, so in recent years he has overwintered in St Louis, his wife’s hometown in Missouri. The experience altered his attitude to the politics and economics of energy.

Having already upset many environmentalists – for whom he is something of a guru – with his long-time support for nuclear power and his hatred of wind power (he has a picture of a wind turbine on the wall of his study to remind him how “ugly and useless they are”), he is now coming out in favour of “fracking”, the controversial technique for extracting natural gas from the ground. He argues that, while not perfect, it produces far less CO2 than burning coal: “Gas is almost a give-away in the US at the moment. They’ve gone for fracking in a big way. Let’s be pragmatic and sensible and get Britain to switch everything to methane. We should be going mad on it.”

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