Sustainable development is ‘meaningless drivel’

adminBusiness Electricity, Business Gas, Energy Efficiency, International, Utilities Market Regulation, Wholesale Utilities Markets

James Lovelock, long-time environmental guru and the inventor of the Gaia Hypothesis says environmentalism is taking over from Christianity, and thinks we should ‘go mad on’ shale gas.

In an interview in the Guardian, the celebrated environmental scientist also declares that he is not worried about sea-level rises, Germany is crazy for ditching nuclear power, how wind turbines are “ugly and useless”.

He is without doubt, an icon of the environmental movement. He discovered the hole in the ozone layer and also developed the Gaia Theory – the idea that the world is a single, self-regulating organism that can be damaged like any other.

Now James Lovelock seems to be taking a swift about-turn in his views, after receiving a £6,000 heating bill – he is now 92 and needs the heating on non-stop throughout the winter.

On the environmental movement as a religion he says “It’s just the way the humans are that if there’s a cause of some sort, a religion starts forming around it. It just so happens that the green religion is now taking over from the Christian religion.”

Concerning nuclear power (of which he has for a long-time advocated due to the lack of carbon emissions) in Germany he states that they have a “fatal flaw that they always fall for an ideologue… They are burning lignite now to try to make up for switching off nuclear. They call themselves green, but to me this is utter madness.” See Germany to phase out nuclear by 2022.

He is also sceptical of renewables – he has a picture of a wind turbine on his wall to remind him how “ugly and useless they are”. See The main problem with wind turbines.

He is also an advocate of fracking for shale gas, due to the fact that burning gas only produces 1/4 of the carbon emissions burning coal does, and the staggeringly cheap cost: “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.” See Fracking for shale gas regulations sufficient.

Rio+20 Earth Summit

But perhaps this is his most timely comment, coming just days before the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil, where “sustainability” is the word of the moment (see here, here and here). Talking about Singapore as a model city, he says that:

“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.”

Article by Leo Hickman (Guardian) | Transcript on Leo Hickman’s Blog (Guardian) | James Delingpole’s Blog (Telegraph)

See the links in the article and in the yellow box below for more information.