Why Is This Man Smiling?


Nordhaus and Shellenberger say that people tune out from doom and gloom messages, which is why climate change is so low on most people's agendas. And nobody is doomier and gloomier than James Lovelock, who writes that "Our future, is like that of the passengers on a small pleasure boat sailing quietly above the Niagara Falls, not knowing that the engines are about to fail." He also doesn't think much of our puny efforts to do anything about it- "Green," he tells Jeff Goodell of Rolling Stone, only half-joking, "is the colour of mold and corruption."From the Rolling Stone article:

In Lovelock's view, modest cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions won't help us -- it's too late to stop global warming by swapping our SUVs for hybrids. What about capturing carbon-dioxide pollution from coal plants and pumping it underground? "We can't possibly bury enough to make any difference." Biofuels? "A monumentally stupid idea." Renewables? "Nice, but won't make a dent." To Lovelock, the whole idea of sustainable development is wrongheaded: "We should be thinking about sustainable retreat."

Retreat, in his view, means it's time to start talking about changing where we live and how we get our food; about making plans for the migration of millions of people from low-lying regions like Bangladesh into Europe; about admitting that New Orleans is a goner and moving the people to cities better positioned for the future. Most of all, he says, it's about everybody "absolutely doing their utmost to sustain civilization, so that it doesn't degenerate into Dark Ages, with warlords running things, which is a real danger. We could lose everything that way."

Perfect scary reading for Halloween at ::Rolling Stone

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