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James Lovelock's Quotes

James Lovelock profile photo

Born: 1919-07-26
Profession: Scientist
Nation: English
Biography of James Lovelock

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So-called 'sustainable development'... is meaningless drivel.

Tags: Climate, Happening, Toward

The tropical rain forests are a telling example. Once cut down, they rarely recover. Rainfall drops, deserts spread, the climate warms.

Tags: Example, Once, Rain

The world has not warmed up very much since the millennium.

Tags: Millennium, Since

There is little evidence that our individual intelligence has improved through recorded history.

Tags: Evidence, History, Individual

We'd never have got a chance to go outside and look at the earth if it hadn't been for space exploration and NASA.

Tags: Chance, Earth, Space

You mustn't take what I say as gospel because no one can second-guess the future.

Tags: Future, Gospel

You never know with politicians what they are really saying. And I don't say that in a negative way-they have an appalling job.

Tags: Job, Negative, Saying

Just after World War II, this country led the world in science by every way you could measure it, yet the number of scientists was a tiny proportion of what it is now.

Tags: Country, Science, War

All the modelling we do shows that the climate is poised on the jump up to a new hot state. It is accelerating so fast that you could say that we are already in it.

Tags: Fast, Hot, State

Climatologists are all agreed that we'd be lucky to see the end of this century without the world being a totally different place, and being 8 or 9 degrees hotter on average.

Tags: End, Lucky, Place

Fudging the data in any way whatsoever is quite literally a sin against the holy ghost of science. I'm not religious, but I put it that way because I feel so strongly. It's the one thing you do not ever do. You've got to have standards.

Tags: Against, Put, Science

Gas is almost a give-away in the U.S. at the moment. They've gone for fracking in a big way. This is what makes me very cross with the greens for trying to knock it... Let's be pragmatic and sensible and get Britain to switch everything to methane. We should be going mad on it.

Tags: Big, Moment, Trying

I don't think we're yet evolved to the point where we're clever enough to handle a complex a situation as climate change. The inertia of humans is so huge that you can't really do anything meaningful.

Tags: Change, Enough, Point

I would only have been too pleased if someone had asked me for my data. If you really believed in your data, you wouldn't mind someone looking at it. You should be able to respond that if you don't believe me go out and do the measurements yourself.

Tags: Mind, Someone, Yourself

I'm a scientist, not a theologian. I don't know if there is a God or not. Religion requires certainty. Revere and respect Gaia. Have trust in Gaia. But not faith.

Tags: Faith, Religion, Trust

If a power station were to be built down the road, I'd prefer a nuclear plant over an oil burner, and definitely over a coal burner. We simply have to lessen our consumption of fossil fuels.

Tags: Power, Road, Simply

If you start any large theory, such as quantum mechanics, plate tectonics, evolution, it takes about 40 years for mainstream science to come around. Gaia has been going for only 30 years or so.

Tags: Science, Start, Takes

It just so happens that the green religion is now taking over from the Christian religion. I don't think people have noticed that, but it's got all the sort of terms that religions use... The greens use guilt. That just shows how religious greens are. You can't win people round by saying they are guilty for putting (carbon dioxide) in the air.

Tags: Religion, Saying, Win

Life clearly does more than adapt to the Earth. It changes the Earth to its own purposes. Evolution is a tightly coupled dance, with life and the material environment as partners. From the dance emerges the entity Gaia.

Tags: Dance, Earth, Life

NASA will send up a big sun shade that will be in orbit between the earth and sun and deflect 2 or 3 percent of the sunshine back into space. It would be cheaper than the international space station.

Tags: Big, Sun, Sunshine

One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don't know it.

Tags: Hope, Time, Truth

The problem is we don't know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books - mine included - because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn't happened.

Tags: Books, Problem, Thought

This programme to stop nuclear by 2020 is just crazy. If there were a nuclear war, and humanity were wiped out, the Earth would breathe a sigh of relief.

Tags: Crazy, Humanity, War

We rushed into renewable energy without any thought. The schemes are largely hopelessly inefficient and unpleasant. I personally can't stand windmills at any price.

Tags: Energy, Stand, Thought

What I like about sceptics is that in good science you need critics that make you think: 'Crumbs, have I made a mistake here?' If you don't have that continuously, you really are up the creek. The good sceptics have done a good service, but some of the mad ones I think have not done anyone any favours.

Tags: Done, Good, Science

Sadly, it's much easier to create a desert than a forest.

Tags: Create, Desert, Forest
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If we gave up eating beef we would have roughly 20 to 30 times more land for food than we have now.

Tags: Environmental, Food, Times

For each of our actions there are only consequences.

Tags: Actions

I have heard that the Saudi Arabians are paying Greenpeace to campaign against Nuclear Power. It wouldn't surprise me at all.

Tags: Against, Power, Surprise

Life does more than adapt to the Earth. It changes the Earth to its own purposes.

Tags: Changes, Earth, Life

Evolution is a tightly coupled dance, with life and the material environment as partners. From the dance emerges the entity Gaia.

Tags: Dance, Life, Material

A billion could live off the earth; 6 billion living as we do is far too many, and you run out of planet in no time.

Tags: Living, Off, Time

An inefficient virus kills its host. A clever virus stays with it.

Tags: Clever, Host, Virus

Civilization in its present form hasn't got long.

Tags: Hasn, Present

Let's make hay while it lasts.

Tags: Hay, Lasts, While

Nature favors those organisms which leave the environment in better shape for their progeny to survive.

Tags: Leave, Nature, Survive

The oil companies regard nuclear power as their rival, who will reduce their profits, so they put out a lot of disinformation about nuclear power.

Tags: Nuclear, Power, Put

There aren't just bad people that commit genocide; we are all capable of it. It's our evolutionary history.

Tags: Bad, Capable, History

China will soon emit more greenhouse gases than America, but its regime knows if it caps aspirations there will be a revolution.

Tags: America, Knows, Revolution

Esso has been the main one in America spreading the disinformation that there is no global warming problem.

Tags: America, Global, Problem

Florida will be gone altogether, the whole damned place, in not too long.

Tags: Gone, Place, Whole

Geological change usually takes thousands of years to happen but we are seeing the climate changing not just in our lifetimes but also year by year.

Tags: Change, Happen, Year

I suspect any worries about genetic engineering may be unnecessary. Genetic mutations have always happened naturally, anyway.

Tags: Anyway, Happened, May

I'm a scientist, not a theologian. I don't know if there is a God or not. Religion requires certainty.

Tags: God, Religion, Scientist

I'm not a pessimist, even though I do think awful things are going to happen.

Tags: Happen, Pessimist, Though

I've got personal views on the '60s. You can't have freedom without paying the price for it.

Tags: Freedom, Personal, Price

If it hadn't been for the Cold War, neither Russia nor America would have been sending people into space.

Tags: America, Cold, War

Nowadays if you're dependent on a grant - and 99% of them are - you can't make mistakes as you won't get another one if you do.

Tags: Another, Mistakes, Won

One pound of uranium is worth about 3 million pounds worth of coal or oil.

Tags: Million, Oil, Worth

Science always uses metaphor.

Tags: Metaphor, Science, Uses
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