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James Lovelock predicts…

… hard times ahead, and fast. From PastPeak:

It’s going too fast,” he says softly. “We will burn.” […]

“Our global furnace is out of control. By 2020, 2025, you will be able to sail a sailboat to the North Pole. The Amazon will become a desert, and the forests of Siberia will burn and release more methane and plagues will return.” […]

Lovelock’s conclusion is straightforward.

To wit, we are poached.

He measured atmospheric gases and ocean temperatures, and examined forests tropical and arboreal (last year a forest the size of Italy burned in rapidly heating Siberia, releasing from the permafrost a vast sink of methane, which contributes to global warming). He found Gaia trapped in a vicious cycle of positive-feedback loops — from air to water, everything is getting warmer at once. The nature of Earth’s biosphere is that, under pressure from industrialization, it resists such heating, and then it resists some more.

Then, he says, it adjusts.

Within the next decade or two, Lovelock forecasts, Gaia will hike her thermostat by at least 10 degrees. Earth, he predicts, will be hotter than at any time since the Eocene Age 55 million years ago, when crocodiles swam in the Arctic Ocean.

“There’s no realization of how quickly and irreversibly the planet is changing,” Lovelock says. “Maybe 200 million people will migrate close to the Arctic and survive this. Even if we took extraordinary steps, it would take the world 1,000 years to recover.” […]

Given the timeframe, Lovelock has started supporting nuclear power as the only viable option for drastically reducing C02 emissions. When you try to avoid the wolf, you turn towards the bear …


  1. Erkki Jauri wrote:

    But wait! How’s he figure that nuclear energy will help? Definetly not through reducing “industrialization”?!

    Wednesday, September 20, 2006 at 10:05 pm | Permalink
  2. Tere wrote:

    No, I think not. Nuclear power is about as big, bureaucratical, unwieldly and centralized as you can get.
    Plus there is Isomäkiäs big worry: floods and tsunamis on European coastlines with several nuclear power plants.

    Sunday, September 24, 2006 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

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