Saturday, January 26, 2013

Lovelock: ". . . I bow my head in shame. . ."

Former Edinburgh Medal winner (2006) James Lovelock has written a letter objecting to a planning application for a wind turbine near his home.   It represents something of a recantation - not of all his previous views - but of some of the movements and causes he has espoused now that he has seen where they have led.  His letter of objection closes thus:
I am an environmentalist and founder member of the Greens but I bow my head in shame at the thought that our original good intentions should have been so misunderstood and misapplied.  We never intended a fundamentalist Green movement that rejected all energy sources other than renewable, nor did we expect the Greens to cast aside our priceless ecological heritage because of their failure to understand that the needs of the earth are not separable from human needs.  We need to take care that the spinning windmills do not become like the statues on Easter Island, monuments of a failed civilisation. [emphasis mine]
You can read the full letter by following this link and selecting the Lovelock letter at the foot of the post.

James, originator of the Gaia theory,  joins a growing list of erstwhile devotees who are having doubts about their Green roots.  Earlier this month I drew attention to the apology from Mark Lynas about his opposition to GM crops.  A founder member of Greenpeace Patrick Moore has long since renounced that organisation and many of the causes it espouses.

Now 93 years old, James Lovelock has come to support nuclear energy and, more recently, fracking.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Climate change policies put up housing costs

Global carbon deal dead!
Today the Scottish Government published its proposals for new energy standards in buildings.  Saving energy is a worthy objective.  Whilst related, it is not the same as reducing carbon emissions.  The proposed stringent standards are an example of how current change policy focusing on emissions skews the decision making process.

Homes for Scotland is a body which represents the companies which build most new houses in Scotland.  It estimates that the impact of the new regulations will be to reduce Scottish carbon emissions by 0.07% and add as much as £10,000 to the cost of a new home.   See their comments and argument here.

Where we desperately need competitively priced housing here is another negitive impact of our national policy of demonising CO2.

And for what benefit?  Unless there is a global agreement the value of Scottish reductions in CO2 is precisely nil.  And the Kyoto deal which aimed to achieve that global agreement is dead.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Edinburgh graduate changes mind on GM and Greenpeace - spectacularly!

Mark Lynas graduated from Edinburgh University in Politics and History.  He became a journalist and an environmental campaigner.

For years he ripped up GM crops and, along with Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, he exported, what he now considers unscientific and unfounded fears, around the world.

Last week he apologised for helping to start the anti-GM movement and for demonising something which can be used to benefit the environment.  His speech at the Oxford Farming Conference on 3rd January 2013 is sobering and salutary. You can read it and see the speech at this link.

Now Mark Lynas still seems to believe we are facing dangerous climate change.  And he may well be right.    But his remarkable Damascene conversion on GM suggests he may just be willing to recognise that the so called science on which the climate scare is based, is no more science than the unscientific passion which drove him to destroy crops.

The speech is around 50 minutes and there is a printed text at the site above.   Well worth taking the time to read.