[Vision2020] Scientist James Lovelock: 'Only Nuclear Power Can Now Halt Global Warming'

david sarff davesway at hotmail.com
Sun Dec 16 20:39:38 PST 2007

As I recall, Lovelock has been advocatiting nuclear for quite a while now.
It seems only logical that as the mobilization efforts ramp forward to stem the excessive carbon output. Nuclear systems will almost certainly be included and built.Regardless of ones views for or against nuclear energy. My problem with his direction is that these require massive infrastructures involving approval, construction and support. It may well take too long to build enough of them to make a difference. Especially if the truth is as dire as lovelock suggests. The functional changes that we have to make to how we dwell and transport ourselves, relative to time constrains of his own measure, seem to render Nuclear assistance, percentage low.
 >> > All-> > Some on this list have portrayed the sources, data, theories and> predictions about anthropogenic climate change, that I have presented,> as "doom and gloom." In fact, I have mostly offered the conservative> predictions of the consensus of the scientific community on this> issue.> > But while scientists who question the consensus view on anthropogenic> climate change are quoted as though this justifies dismissing the> overwhelming consensus among climate scientists, and not taking rapid> significant action to lower CO2 emissions, there are another group of> scientists that the media mostly ignores, who are warning that the> mainstream IPCC scientific climate predictions are seriously> understated. The evidence indicates that a global catastrophe of> massive proportions is in fact now unavoidable or nearly so, due to> human alteration of the climate. And there is a substantial factual> and theoretical basis to support this much more alarming view of> anthropogenic climate change.> > The statements below from scientist James Lovelock truly outline a> doom and gloom scenario, given his warnings of the deaths of billions> from climate change. My view is one of optimism that the crisis of> anthropogenic climate change can be mitigated enough to prevent the> deaths of millions, if significant action is taken globally to lower> human sourced emissions within the next few decades. Lovelock would> disagree.> > Below is an article on Lovelock's dire warnings of the death of> billions from anthropogenic climate change:> > http://environment.about.com/b/2006/01/16/global-warming-may-kill-billions-this-century.htm> ------------------> One of his main points involves the well known phenomenon of "global> dimming," the fact that human activity is also having a cooling effect> on climate due to particulates and aerosols, from coal fired plants,> for example. Lovelock claims this effect amounts to a dramatic 2-3 C.> of cooling. The irony is that if there is a reduction in pollution> from coal fired plants, for example, this will reduce the "global> dimming" effect from the coal plant pollution, increasing the warming> impacts of greenhouse gasses.> > We are thus not yet even close to witnessing the full effects of the> increasing atmospheric CO2 levels from human activity, nor taking into> account the long term continued impacts of these levels over a 100> year or longer time span, without the human sourced global dimming> effect. Lovelock below gives the 500 ppm atmospheric CO2 level, as I> have read from numerous sources, as the level of atmospheric CO2 that> renders catastrophic climate change inevitable (my wording).> > Below are two articles, one on Lovelock's advocacy for nuclear power,> one on a discussion of "global dimming."> > Lovelock states his disagreement with the IPCC, in this quote from the> article presented in full below:> > "When the carbon dioxide in the air exceeds 500 parts per million the> global temperature suddenly rises 6ºC and becomes stable again despite> further increases or decreases of atmospheric carbon dioxide.> > "This contrasts with the IPCC models that predict that temperature> rises and falls smoothly with increasing or decreasing carbon> dioxide."> -------------------------> > http://www.energybulletin.net/320.html> > Lovelock: 'Only nuclear power can now halt global warming'> By Michael McCarthy> > Global warming is now advancing so swiftly that only a massive> expansion of nuclear power as the world's main energy source can> prevent it overwhelming civilisation, the scientist and celebrated> Green guru, James Lovelock, says.> > His call will cause huge disquiet for the environmental movement. It> has long considered the 84-year-old radical thinker among its greatest> heroes, and sees climate change as the most important issue facing the> world, but it has always regarded opposition to nuclear power as an> article of faith. Last night the leaders of both Greenpeace and> Friends of the Earth rejected his call.> > Professor Lovelock, who achieved international fame as the author of> the Gaia hypothesis, the theory that the Earth keeps itself fit for> life by the actions of living things themselves, was among the first> researchers to sound the alarm about the threat from the greenhouse> effect.> > He was in a select group of scientists who gave an initial briefing on> climate change to Margaret Thatcher's Conservative Cabinet at 10> Downing Street in April 1989.> > He now believes recent climatic events have shown the warming of the> atmosphere is proceeding even more rapidly than the scientists of the> UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) thought it> would, in their last report in 2001.> > On that basis, he says, there is simply not enough time for renewable> energy, such as wind, wave and solar power - the favoured solution of> the Green movement - to take the place of the coal, gas and oil-fired> power stations whose waste gas, carbon dioxide (CO2), is causing the> atmosphere to warm.> > He believes only a massive expansion of nuclear power, which produces> almost no CO2, can now check a runaway warming which would raise sea> levels disastrously around the world, cause climatic turbulence and> make agriculture unviable over large areas. He says fears about the> safety of nuclear energy are irrational and exaggerated, and urges the> Green movement to drop its opposition.> > In today's Independent, Professor Lovelock says he is concerned by two> climatic events in particular: the melting of the Greenland ice sheet,> which will raise global sea levels significantly, and the episode of> extreme heat in western central Europe last August, accepted by many> scientists as unprecedented and a direct result of global warming.> > These are ominous warning signs, he says, that climate change is> speeding, but many people are still in ignorance of this. Important> among the reasons is "the denial of climate change in the US, where> governments have failed to give their climate scientists the support> they needed".> > He compares the situation to that in Europe in 1938, with the Second> World War looming, and nobody knowing what to do. The attachment of> the Greens to renewables is "well-intentioned but misguided", he says,> like the Left's 1938 attachment to disarmament when he too was a> left-winger.> > He writes today: "I am a Green, and I entreat my friends in the> movement to drop their wrongheaded objection to nuclear energy."> > His appeal, which in effect is asking the Greens to make a bargain> with the devil, is likely to fall on deaf ears, at least at present.> > "Lovelock is right to demand a drastic response to climate change,"> Stephen Tindale, executive director of Greenpeace UK, said last night.> "He's right to question previous assumptions.> > "But he's wrong to think nuclear power is any part of the answer.> Nuclear creates enormous problems, waste we don't know what to do> with; radioactive emissions; unavoidable risk of accident and> terrorist attack."> > Tony Juniper, director of Friends of the Earth, said: "Climate change> and radioactive waste both pose deadly long-term threats, and we have> a moral duty to minimise the effects of both, not to choose between> them."> --------------------> > Below, Lovelock discusses "global dimming:"> > http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2007/10/29/eaclim129.xml> > James Lovelock: Reducing emissions could speed global warming> By Charles Clover, Environment Editor> Last Updated: 12:01am GMT 29/10/2007> > A rapid cutback in greenhouse gas emissions could speed up global> warming, the veteran environmental maverick James Lovelock will warn> in a lecture today.> > Prof Lovelock, inventor of the Gaia theory that the planet behaves> like a single organism, says this is because current global warming is> offset by global dimming -the 2-3ºC of cooling cause by industrial> pollution, known to scientists as aerosol particles, in the> atmosphere.> > His lecture will be delivered as Hilary Benn, the Environment> Secretary, launches the results of a public consultation on the> Government's proposed Climate Change Bill which is intended to cut> Britain's greenhouse gas emissions by 60 per cent by 2050.> > Prof Lovelock will say in a lecture to the Royal Society: "Any> economic downturn or planned cutback in fossil fuel use, which> lessened aerosol density, would intensify the heating.> > "If there were a 100 per cent cut in fossil fuel combustion it might> get hotter not cooler. We live in a fool's climate. We are damned if> we continue to burn fuel and damned if we stop too suddenly."> > Prof Lovelock believes that even the gloomiest predictions of the> Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are underestimating the> current severity of climate change because they do not go into the> consequences of the current burden pollution in the atmosphere which> will last for centuries.> > He argues that though the scientific language of the IPCC, which> reported earlier this year, is "properly cautious" it gives the> impression that the worst consequences of climate change are avoidable> if we take action now.> > Prof Lovelock believes that six to eight billion humans will be faced> with ever diminishing supplies of food and water in an increasingly> intolerable climate and wildlife and whole ecosystems will become> extinct.> > He argues that we have set off a vicious cycle of 'positive feedback'> in the earth system whereby extra heat in the atmosphere - from any> source - is amplified, causing yet more warming.> > He will say: "We are at war with the Earth and as in a blitzkrieg,> events proceed faster than we can respond."> > According to Professor Lovelock's gloomy analysis, the IPCC's climate> models fail to take account of the Earth as a living system where life> in the oceans and land takes an active part in regulating the climate.> > He will argue that when a model includes the whole Earth system it> shows that: "When the carbon dioxide in the air exceeds 500 parts per> million the global temperature suddenly rises 6ºC and becomes stable> again despite further increases or decreases of atmospheric carbon> dioxide.> > "This contrasts with the IPCC models that predict that temperature> rises and falls smoothly with increasing or decreasing carbon> dioxide."> > He argues that we should cut greenhouse gas emissions, nonetheless,> because it might help slow the pace of global heating. We also have to> do our best to lessen our destruction of natural forests but this is> unlikely to be enough and we will have to learn to adapt to the> inevitable changes we will soon experience.> > The pro-nuclear Prof Lovelock will say that we should think of the> Earth as a live self-regulating system and devise ways to harness the> natural processes that regulate the climate in the fight against> global warming.> > This could involve paying indigenous peoples to protect their forests> and develop ways to make the ocean absorb and store carbon from the> atmosphere more efficiently.> > Prof Lovelock intends to add: "We are not merely a disease; we are> through our intelligence and communication the planetary equivalent of> a nervous system. We should be the heart and mind of the Earth not its> malady."> > Meanwhile a Commons select committee warns today that the Government's> response to climate change is "confused" and calls for a> cross-departmental Climate Change Minister and a powerful new body to> be created within the Cabinet Office to drive forward policy and to> diminish inter-departmental conflict.> > Tim Yeo, MP, chairman of the Environmental Audit Committee, said: "The> way the Government has addressed climate change has led to a confusing> framework that doesn't promote effective action to cut emissions.> > "Our recommendations would create a more effective framework for> dealing with climate change. However this framework alone will not cut> emissions. That needs committed leadership by the Prime Minister and> his Cabinet.> > "The Government's commitment to sustainable development and climate> change will be judged by actions and achievements, not speeches and> targets."> > ------------------------------------------> Vision2020 Post: Ted Moffett> > =======================================================> List services made available by First Step Internet, > serving the communities of the Palouse since 1994. > http://www.fsr.net > mailto:Vision2020 at moscow.com> =======================================================
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