An extract on #bloggerslife
Lovelock has become concerned about the threat of global warming from the greenhouse effect. In 2004 he caused a media sensation when he broke with many fellow environmentalists by pronouncing that "only nuclear power can now halt global warming". In his view, nuclear energy is the only realistic alternative to fossil fuels that has the capacity to both fulfill the large scale energy needs of humankind while also reducing greenhouse emissions. He is an open member of Environmentalists for Nuclear Energy.
In 2005, against the backdrop of renewed UK government interest in nuclear power, Lovelock again publicly announced his support for nuclear energy, stating, "I am a Green, and I entreat my friends in the movement to drop their wrongheaded objection to nuclear energy". Although these interventions in the public debate on nuclear power are recent, his views on it are longstanding. In his 1988 book The Ages of Gaia he states:
"I have never regarded nuclear radiation or nuclear power as anything other than a normal and inevitable part of the environment. Our prokaryotic forebears evolved on a planet-sized lump of fallout from a star-sized nuclear explosion, a supernova that synthesised the elements that go to make our planet and ourselves."
In The Revenge of Gaia (2006), where he puts forward the concept of sustainable retreat, Lovelock writes:
"A television interviewer once asked me, 'But what about nuclear waste? Will it not poison the whole biosphere and persist for millions of years?' I knew this to be a nightmare fantasy wholly without substance in the real world... One of the striking things about places heavily contaminated by radioactive nuclides is the richness of their wildlife. This is true of the land around Chernobyl, the bomb test sites of the Pacific, and areas near the United States' Savannah River nuclear weapons plant of the Second World War. Wild plants and animals do not perceive radiation as dangerous, and any slight reduction it may cause in their lifespans is far less a hazard than is the presence of people and their pets... I find it sad, but all too human, that there are vast bureaucracies concerned about nuclear waste, huge organisations devoted to decommissioning power stations, but nothing comparable to deal with that truly malign waste, carbon dioxide."
Lovelock at the Guardian
Lovelock at the BBC
Dr. Lovelock Lectures on The Vanishing Face of Gaia Presented by Corporate Knights Magazine, 26 May 2009
Audio: James Lovelock in conversation on the BBC World Service discussion show The Forum 1 March 2009
Royal Society of Arts Vision webcast James Lovelock in conversation with Tim Radford The Vanishing Face of Gaia, 23 February 2009.
Audio interview from Ideas:How to think about science, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 2 January 2008. (Real Audio)
Climate Change on the Living Earth, Public lecture by James Lovelock, The Royal Society, 29 October 2007.
The Prophet of Climate Change, Jeff Goodell, Rolling Stone, 17 October 2007.
Radio interview with James Lovelock, KQED San Francisco, 13 September 2006.
Creel Commission band: Reflections on meeting James Lovelock and a recent interview with him 26 August 2005