free html hit counter Peak Oil Debunked: 215. GREEN GURU PREDICTS MASS HUMAN EXTINCTION

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


James Lovelock, popularizer of the "Gaia Hypothesis", has stepped up to the plate, and challenged the peak oilers for media doom supremacy:
The world has already passed the point of no return for climate change, and civilisation as we know it is now unlikely to survive, according to James Lovelock, the scientist and green guru who conceived the idea of Gaia - the Earth which keeps itself fit for life.

In a profoundly pessimistic new assessment, published in today's Independent, Professor Lovelock suggests that efforts to counter global warming cannot succeed, and that, in effect, it is already too late.

The world and human society face disaster to a worse extent, and on a faster timescale, than almost anybody realises, he believes. He writes: " Before this century is over, billions of us will die, and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable."


In his book's concluding chapter, he writes: "What should a sensible European government be doing now? I think we have little option but to prepare for the worst, and assume that we have passed the threshold."


He goes on: "We have to keep in mind the awesome pace of change and realise how little time is left to act, and then each community and nation must find the best use of the resources they have to sustain civilisation for as long as they can." He believes that the world's governments should plan to secure energy and food supplies in the global hothouse, and defences against the expected rise in sea levels. The scientist's vision of what human society may ultimately be reduced to through climate change is " a broken rabble led by brutal warlords."Source
Note that Lovelock presents zero scientific evidence to justify his certainty in making this prediction, and chooses to make these statements not in the scientific literature, but in the popular press. I will revisit this issue after the details emerge on his book, but at this point, Lovelock is nothing more than a pseudo-scientist, making hysterical public statements based on no hard evidence whatsoever.
-- by JD


At Tuesday, January 17, 2006 at 10:02:00 AM PST, Blogger Joel123 said...

"Before this century is over, billions of us will die, and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable"

Well, we should be arguing about breeding pairs then. I take Rosanne Barr over Pamela Anderson. I say life in the Arctic is too cold and you're going to need someone like Rosanne to snuggle up to at night. I'm going to go over and start a thread on this at I'm sure Monte will weigh in.

At Tuesday, January 17, 2006 at 10:06:00 AM PST, Blogger Quantoken said...

I must make it clear that I think the whole theory of global warming is completely wrong. The experimental evidences supporting GW are weak and can not stand careful scrutiny. The climate model itself is totally wrong and has not taken into account that radiation is only a small contributing factor amoung three ways heat can be dissipated: Radiation, Evaporation and Convection. The CO2 in the atmosphere only marginally modify the radiation part.

More over, people need to keep in mind that fossil fuels are really not minerals. Fossil fuels ARE as legitimate biomass as the ethanol you manufacture from corns. The only difference is fossil fuels are fossified biomass. But they are of biological origin nevertheless and burning fossil fuels simply releases the CO2 which was trapped by ancient plantation from the atmosphere in the first place. So the carbon in fossil fuels came from the atmosphere some million years ago, and gets released back to the atmosphere some million years later. Why would that be a problem that these CO2 come back to where they came from?

The GW theory is a pseudo-science, but that should not distract us from the peak oil problem, which is real and is happening right now, and is a great threat to civilization itself.


At Tuesday, January 17, 2006 at 1:34:00 PM PST, Blogger Roland said...

So the carbon in fossil fuels came from the atmosphere some million years ago, and gets released back to the atmosphere some million years later. Why would that be a problem that these CO2 come back to where they came from?

It's a problem because there will be more CO2 in the atmosphere than before, which makes the world warmer than before. That's not to say the Earth has a "standard temperature" that we are upsetting — eventually the CO2 will go down again and so will the temperatures. The question is how much the temperatures rise, how fast they rise, and how this affects us.

That said, I think the whole thing is way overblown and, while I'm personally trying to reduce my emmissions to zero, it doesn't really concern me with regards to the long-term survival of humankind. I think it distracts from other problems.

(Quantoken says Peak Oil, Michael Crichton says poverty, I say war and technological misuse)

At Tuesday, January 17, 2006 at 2:50:00 PM PST, Blogger Roland said...

The ironic thing is that we may end up "mining" Co2 from the atmosphere for use with Nanotechnology. Combined with the collapse of the sunspot cycle between 2011 and 2022, lasting until the 2040s, we may end up facing global cooling!

We might have to burn that submarine coal to get Co2 levels up again!


At Wednesday, January 18, 2006 at 1:50:00 AM PST, Blogger Philip Martin said...

You guys are way too complacent...isn't it a worry - at least - that the ice is melting? Plus, quantoken, isn't the place for you to discuss this scientific theory over at RealClimate...I wonder how quickly you would find yourself floundering instead of pointing out elementary science and making unsupported assertions.

At Wednesday, January 18, 2006 at 1:53:00 AM PST, Blogger Freak said...


At Wednesday, January 18, 2006 at 2:11:00 AM PST, Blogger Roland said...

This guy is on the far, far, far, far edge of the spectrum of global warming debate. I don't think anyone can deny that the Earth is getting warmer, and that humans are a factor, but as JD says James Lovelock is one lone hysterical voice with flimsy evidence and a track record of inaccurate predictions. For once I find myself agreeing with Quantoken: there are far more important things to worry about.

At Wednesday, January 18, 2006 at 10:44:00 AM PST, Blogger Quantoken said...

I am totally aware of the web site, as well as it's opposing peer I am pretty willing to debate and challenge the Global Warming theory over the site. But unfortunately their web site is highly censored and sanitized of all opposing opinions. No meanful debate is possible when you have censorship in favor of one opinion and against the other side of the opinion. For this reason I also encourage people to also visit, and hear the opposite opinion, and decide for yourself which side is correct.

Certainly on my own site,, there will be no censorship. I welcome both sides of the GW debate, as well as both sides of the Peak Oil debate, to go there and debate. I am willing to lean towards either side when I see opinions that make sense. I do not have a pre-set agenda and have no vested interest in the debate.

Now, the GW business. No one can deny that the earth's temperature is never constant. The earth has experienced many natural cycles of warming up and cooling down, without human contributing anything to it. They do show satellite photos of the polar icea melting. But it is a known fact that due to regular seasonal change, the ice melt some in the summer and freezes some in the winter. You show me two random photos out of the context of seasonal change and it really can't say anything. All I can tell you is one is taken during a warmer day of the year and another is taken during a colder day of the year. It can't show any trend! Even if there is a warming trend it is more likely just the natural cycle of warming up or cooling down.

The global CO2 concentration does seem to go up some what. That piece of data is more credible. But just because the two events happen at the same time, CO2 going up, and global temperature going up, does not necessarily mean the two are correlated, or even which is the cause and which is the result. One thing is certain, if you calculate the total CO2 released per year by burning fossil fuels, the atmospheric CO2 should go up at a much faster rate than detected. Clearly the bulk of CO2 released from burning fossil fuel gets re-absorbed by plantations, and not contributing to atmospheric CO2 increase. At current rate of increase, 1.5 ppm per year, we would run out of fossil fuel long before we see the concentration of atmospheric CO2 becomes a significant problem!!!

Also keep in mind these facts: In the past history of the earth, it had experience far more higher CO2 concentration and there was never a problem. All the fossil fuels were ancient biomass and the carbon came from the CO2 in the atmosphere in the first place. More over, today's Venus has an atmospheric CO2 3x10^5 higher than the earth's, and the temperature only raised less than 200 degrees. How big an effect CO2 can be, if you reduce the number by 3x10^5 times?

We must separate falacies from realities. The GW theory is a falacy. The peak oil, the fact that the earth has a limited amount of resources, that is a reality.


At Wednesday, January 18, 2006 at 2:21:00 PM PST, Blogger Philip Martin said...

You can be annoyed as you like at Lovelock but most ppl are taking this seriously. You can't feed 7 billion ppl if the seasons are messed up. I know this because I grow my own food. If respected climate scientists are worried and most scientific papers are supporting their suppositions then you can't call it a fallacy. I have just read what you have written quantoken and you are not treating this issue correctly. We are talkng about the survival of humans...a lot of them...address the 7 billion lives not whether some of them may be OK. Venus conditions are not issue.
(By the way I am using 7 billion as the figure likely in the near future when things may start to really deteriorate)

At Wednesday, January 18, 2006 at 4:43:00 PM PST, Blogger Quantoken said...


Survival of human is very problematic at this moment. But the Global Warming is the least of problems humen face. Why worry about a virtually none exist problem (GW), while people are tally ignoring a much more realistic, and much more urgent problem, for example the Peak Oil?

It's ironic you use the term "respected climate scientists". Most climate scientists deserves no respect whatsoever because they are not conducting their research in a scientific way. Most "scientific" papers support the GW supposition because that's how Darwinism works in human societies: If you do not endorse the main stream point of view, your paper will not be publishes and you can not get funding or be granted tenureship, and you will not be able to survive in academy. These people refuse to debate with people of opposing opinions.

What I cites are FACTS:

1.The earth had seen CO2 concentration hundreds of times higher in the history and there was never a problem. So why a few percentage increase of CO2 today would be a problem?

2.The biggest contributing green house gas, is none other than water vapor. They don't worry about water vapor, why do they worry about CO2?

3.The CO2 in the atmosphere, at mere 377 ppm, is an extremely thin layer. If you condense it to liquid form, it is a layer no more than 3 milimeters covering the surface of the earth. How warm can a blancket of 3 mm be, in your bedroom?

4.The Venus has an atmospheric CO2 that is 3x10^5 times ticker than the earth's. Consider how big a GW effect CO2 has on Venus, and divide that number by 3x10^5 for the earth.
5.The earth's ground cools dorminately through water evaporation, and CONVECTION. The radiation is only a small factor in how the ground cools, and the CO2 only affects radiation, not evaporation and convection.

For the last point, just look at how cold Moscow is right now. It's not cold because of lack of green house gass to cover it up. It's cold because of convection brings in cold air.

As I said, we must first identify and reject fallacy ideas, before we can concentrate on the real problems that is threatening humanity.


At Friday, January 20, 2006 at 3:51:00 AM PST, Blogger popmonkey said...

quantoken, as usual your facts are disguised opinions. you really need to look up the definition of the word "fact". everytime you say it you're actually stating an opinion.

rebuttals to your points:

1. yes, there were problems. we haven't quantified what the effects of those temperature changes were yet, but there's definitely evidence of large scale extinctions.

2. water vapor gets recycled and stays constant. CO2 from fossil fuels is an exponentially growing additive.

3. you obviously don't understand how global warming works.

4. the venus comparison is laughable. there never was any life on venus. we know for a fact (a real fact) that small changes in global average temperature have had dramatic effects on the ecosystem here on earth, where this stuff matters.

5. exactly! but if you increase the radiation effects and not the other two you get an imbalance.

once again, thanks for your "facts"

At Saturday, January 21, 2006 at 3:27:00 PM PST, Blogger Thomas said...

I think Popmonkey was nice to you in his rebuttal of your five "facts"

As a professional M.Sc. in heat transfer and thermal radiation, let me tell you that radiation is the only way for the Earth to send heat into the universe.

When sunlight hits the Earth it results in uneven heating due to difference in incidence angle and albedo effects. Convection (and weather) comes as a result hereof and acts to redistribute the heat from warm to cold places. Temperature differences tend to even out (zeroth and second law of thermodynamics).

The atmosphere cannot transmit heat to space by convection, because there's nothing to "touch".

Popmonkey is right that at a given temperature, water content in the atmosphere is in balance. When/if the temperature rises, the air can, and will, contain more water. That will increase the size of the blanket. But with water vapor being constant at a given temperature, CO2 (or any of the other greenhouse gasses) is the only thing to change the balance.

What is your point about the width of condensed CO2? Nitrogen, Oxygen and Argon, which constitute some 99.8 percent of the atmospere are totally transparent to thermal radiation. That leaves only water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane and a few man-made gasses (such as freon, an extreme greenhouse gas) to shield us from the cold of space.

How effective can a 3mm blanket be? Well, those aluminum foil blankets paramedics use on victims of hyperthermia are only 0.03mm, but they seem to work fine..!? Because they remove convection (which there is nothing of between the Earth's crust and space) and greatly reduce radiation loss.

I'm so glad that you point out that it's cold in Moscow right now. I guess that totally debunkes the whole theory of GW. But I can do you one better. Apparently there are regions around the poles where it's always very cold... Permanent ice and all!

I wonder why you are talking so much about scientific scrutiny of GW theories, when your own facts do not hold?..

I've read Lovelock's book about his Gaia theory. All recent lunacy aside, it's an interesting introduction to the history of the Earth's climate. 3 billion years ago (or something like that) the atmosphere was almost entirely CO2. It wasn't a problem for the lifeforms of thence, but I doubt we would appreciate it. Around the time of the dinosaurs, the global mean temperature was 25°C (77°F) as opposed to the current 15°C (59-60°F). It was great for the dinosaurs, but how will it affect us?

Two years ago, I thought GW was our biggest problem, but then I learned about PO; potentially a much more severe problem for the lives we lead. Now I'm not really worried about either, because Peak Oil solves the problem of global warming and renewable energy (or coal or nuclear, depending on who you ask) solves the problem of Peak Oil.


At Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at 10:00:00 AM PST, Blogger Override367 said...

Actually I think Peak Oil will lead to lots of coal being used - which is significantly worse for the environment than burning oil is.


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