Friday, May 19, 2006

James' Gaian Paradoxical Lovelock with Nuclear Delilah

To Bristol again last night to hear James Lovelock at the Arnolfini.

He presents a picture of inevitable severe global warming turning most of the world into a waterless desert, with an enclave of "civilisation" preserved near the poles by the stop-gap means of nuclear electricity. It was unstated how the rest of the world was to be kept out of this little oasis, but I presume it would involve hurling depleted uranium at them and zapping them with bolts of nuclear electricity.

Jim's "vision" of the future contains a strange paradox. The inventor of Gaia, a planetary system where everything interconnects with everything else, seeks salvation in nuclear power, a linear process which must be kept separate (as much as possible) from the rest of Gaia. Not to mention an elite corps of "civilisation" (the same idiots, no doubt, who have led us in to this ruinous state) separated from the rest of doomed humanity.

Against this Private Frazer analysis, greens argue for a systemic approach beginning with a paradigm shift, a Green Economics, and a response to the threat using a multiplicity of means: energy efficiency, diverse modalities of renewable energy, and extensive carbon sinks.

Jim Lovelock is an intellectual Samson who got into bed with the Delilah of nuclear power. His remaining job is to break the pillars of the intellectual edifice of the cornucopian world view. IMHO

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