Monday, July 9, 2018

James Lovelock: “Enjoy life while you can” because the looming catastrophe of climate change, “is unstoppable.”

Climate scientist James Lovelock has an impressive background as you can read about on Wikipedia.

[Quick question: How much of $810Mproceeds from the 2016 ¢1 sale tax increase — do you think Palm Beach County is spending to combat climate change? The answer is below.]

Reporter Decca Aitkenhead at The Guardian interviewed James Lovelock and published this very depressing news for supporters of “sustainability”, “resiliency” and those on the front lines combating rising sea levels, global warming, and climate change. For many people, including some in our little City of Lake Worth, Florida, this news may forever change the next walk to the recycling container, a new and improved presentation on Dark Skies, or updating the next treatise on water percolation in our Downtown.

What does scientist James Lovelock think of all your efforts to save the planet Earth? He thinks you’re being silly. Just enjoy life to the fullest while you still can. Here is an excerpt from the article by Decca Aitkenhead (isn’t that a cool name!):

     On the day we meet, the Daily Mail has launched a campaign to rid Britain of plastic shopping bags. The initiative sits comfortably within the current canon of eco ideas, next to ethical consumption, carbon offsetting, recycling and so onall of which are premised on the calculation that individual lifestyle adjustments can still save the planet. This is, Lovelock says, a deluded fantasy. [emphasis added] Most of the things we have been told to do might make us feel better, but they won't make any difference. Global warming has passed the tipping point, and catastrophe is unstoppable.
     “It’s just too late for it,” he says. “Perhaps if we'd gone along routes like that in 1967, it might have helped. But we don’t have time. All these standard green things, like sustainable development, I think these are just words that mean nothing. I get an awful lot of people coming to me saying you can’t say that, because it gives us nothing to do. I say on the contrary, it gives us an immense amount to do. Just not the kinds of things you want to do.” 

And whilst on the subject. . .

Reporter Wayne Washington at The Palm Beach Post had this eye-opening news last year about the ¢1 sales tax increase and what the County plans to do with their share of the pie, ≈30% of the total, about $810M:

     Those projects won’t reshape the county into a new age place of raised highways and buildings less vulnerable to the more potent storms and catastrophic flooding scientists are warning will come with climate change.
     Most of the projects are traditional, according to a report compiled by the county’s Office of Inspector General, which will assist with oversight.
     Building replacement and renovation will account for $335 million of the $709 million allocated. Roadway repairs — restriping, resurfacing, bridge repair and replacement and street lighting — will take up another $157 million.

This puts Palm Beach County’s Climate Change and Sustainability Dept. in a pretty tough spot. If they can’t convince the County Commission about the vulnerability to climate change and global warming, then they’re not in the position to be giving any direction to the cities either.

Back to James Lovelock and the article
in The Guardian:

     He [Lovelock] dismisses eco ideas briskly, one by one. “Carbon offsetting? I wouldn’t dream of it. It’s just a joke. To pay money to plant trees, to think you’re offsetting the carbon? You’re probably making matters worse. You’re far better off giving to the charity Cool Earth, which gives the money to the native peoples to not take down their forests.
     Do he and his wife try to limit the number of flights they take? “No we don’t. Because we can’t.” And recycling, he adds, is “almost certainly a waste of time and energy”, while having a “green lifestyle” amounts to little more than “ostentatious grand gestures”.
     He distrusts the notion of ethical consumption. “Because always, in the end, it turns out to be a scam . . . or if it wasn’t one in the beginning, it becomes one.”