Friday 29 July 2022

Three great Englishmen have died

I am so very sorry Bernard Cribbins has died. I loved him. Especially in The Railway Children and his songs Hole in the Ground (No 9 in the charts and chosen by Sir Noël Coward on Desert Island Discs) and Right Said Fred (No.10).

R.I.P. former British Ambassador to the USA Sir Christopher Meyer, who has died aged 78. He opposed Brexit but was very vocal on Twitter opposing attempts not to implement the result of the referendum. He seemed to me the wisest man who opined on Brexit.

R.I.P. James Lovelock, distinguished scientist who took a 2:2 at Manchester University and invented the Gaia hypothesis.

He sounds wonderful. Lord Ridley says today:

He never wasted a moment on conventional thinking. His secret? I suspect it was his avoidance of being an employee for almost all his life.
....Mr Lovelock’s goddess Gaia is a hero to extreme greens. So it was with shock that they learnt that he disagreed with a lot of green stuff. He told The Guardian in 2016 that trying to heat your home with biomass was expensive and dirty, fracking for shale gas made sense, nuclear power was essential, and computer models of the climate were not reliable. And of the green movement, he said: “Well, it’s a religion. It’s totally unscientific.”

This is James Delingpole, talking about a meeting with him:

"In 2006, Lovelock burnished his green credentials with The Revenge of Gaia, in which he argued that, thanks to global warming, man was all but doomed. By the end of the 21st century ‘billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable,’ he told an interviewer. Climate change was so serious a threat, he told the Guardian in 2010, that democracy might have to be ‘put on hold’.

Within two years he’d had a remarkable change of heart. ‘All right, I made a mistake,’ he told the cable channel MSNBC. He still believed —and continues to believe — that manmade carbon dioxide is a problem that needs addressing. But we’ve plenty of time to do something about it before any dangerous effects are felt, and in any case, the cures being advanced by green zealots are often worse than the disease itself.

One of his main bugbears is biomass, such as the woodchips from old oak forests in the US, which are shipped across the Atlantic to be burned for electricity at the Drax power station: ‘This is one of the most monstrous examples of green absurdity that I know of. It’s wicked!’

Nor is he a fan of wind energy, which he considers environmentally damaging, inefficient, expensive and a scam. ‘There’s so much money in renewable energy. I’m sure there’s a giant corruption going on.’

He’s modestly pro shale gas — only as a transition fuel to wean the world off coal — but his real enthusiasm is for nuclear, ‘so cheap, so safe’, whose dangers, he believes, have been grotesquely oversold by greens for reasons which have more to do with quasi-religious ideology than with science.

‘The way to look at radiation is that it’s about what they call the linear no-threshold. Namely, what the greens say is that there’s no amount of radiation that won’t give you cancer, no matter how small it is. Well, this is as stupid as saying, “Never go out of your home because if you do you’ve a chance of being killed by something or other.”’

He has a similar gripe about the greens’ attitude to chemicals and pesticides. Ironically, Lovelock himself helped to bolster this scare by inventing the machine — an electron capture detector — capable of measuring substances in quantities so tiny that they were previously undetectable. The good news was Lovelock was able to warn of the widespread presence of CFCs in the atmosphere and thus avert a potential environmental disaster. The bad news was that his device also gave the greens ammunition for more scaremongering, even though in fact the presence of most chemicals in tiny quantities is ‘of no consequence to anyone’ in terms of health or safety.."

1 comment:

  1. I read that he recently said that the biosphere has about 1% of its existence left. I have no idea on what data he based his conclusion. Initially I thought, here we go again, more doom and gloom predictions for mankind. Then, I did the math. 1% works out to 35 million years. I highly doubt there will be humans about over that long of a stretch.