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James Lovelost on Stupidity

March 29, 2010

This proclamation from environmental sage James Lovelock is sure to help matters.

“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,” said Lovelock in his first in-depth interview since the theft of the UEA emails last November. “The inertia of humans is so huge that you can’t really do anything meaningful.”

I’m not even sure what it means to say that we (humans) are “too stupid.” Is it that I am too stupid? That my neighbor is too stupid? Or that as a collective (?), we’re too stupid? He must be speaking metaphorically. But then it gets creepy:

One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is “modern democracy”, he added. “Even the best democracies agree that when a major war approaches, democracy must be put on hold for the time being. I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.”

Oh boy. Abandoning the checks and balances of a (well-run, appropriately structured) democracy seems like a surefire way to destroy the earth. We’d only be rolling the dice on a non-stupid world government. Maybe — only maybe — would such a government be better at resolving the world’s problems.

Tell ya what: let’s not put democracy on hold for a while and instead work to establish structures and procedures that make us accountable for our decisions.

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One comment

  1. Still a hero, but a hero gone emeritus.

    It’s not so surprising that Lovelock would blather about the CRU emails in much the same uninformed manner that he did about the PIG, but it’s illustrative of the problem with the UK media that the columnist only saw fit to interpolate a correction on one of them and then headlined the other, and is pretty ironic in light of science editor Randerson’s recent defense (on RealClimate)of the Grauniad’s CRU coverage.



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