The Analytic Atavar

Idiosyncratic Musings of a Retrograde Technophile

My Photo
Location: Chandler, Arizona, United States

Friday, January 30, 2009

Quote of the Day

One last chance to save mankind, New Scientist, 23 January 2009 by Gaia Vince.

Q (Gaia Vince): Your work on atmospheric chlorofluorocarbons led eventually to a global CFC ban that saved us from ozone-layer depletion. Do we have time to do a similar thing with carbon emissions to save ourselves from climate change?
A (James Lovelock): Not a hope in hell. Most of the "green" stuff is verging on a gigantic scam. Carbon trading, with its huge government subsidies, is just what finance and industry wanted. It's not going to do a damn thing about climate change, but it'll make a lot of money for a lot of people and postpone the moment of reckoning.

Q (Gaia Vince): What about work to sequester carbon dioxide?
A (James Lovelock): That is a waste of time. It's a crazy idea - and dangerous. It would take so long and use so much energy that it will not be done. … The biosphere pumps out 550 gigatonnes of carbon yearly; we put in only 30 gigatonnes (5.2%). Ninety-nine per cent of the carbon that is fixed by plants is released back into the atmosphere within a year or so by consumers like bacteria, nematodes and worms.
Mr. Lovelock then goes on to propose an equally crazy idea for carbon sequestation which will never be implemented because it would require annual deforestation and replanting on a global scale.