Print Friendly

Never mind the Global Recession. Read James Lovelock’s interview in the new edition of the New Scientist. He offers us this cheery vision of the future:

I think it’s wrong to assume we’ll survive 2 °C of warming: there are already too many people on Earth. At 4 °C we could not survive with even one-tenth of our current population. The reason is we would not find enough food, unless we synthesised it. Because of this, the cull during this century is going to be huge, up to 90 per cent. The number of people remaining at the end of the century will probably be a billion or less. It has happened before: between the ice ages there were bottlenecks when there were only 2000 people left. It’s happening again.

I don’t think humans react fast enough or are clever enough to handle what’s coming up. Kyoto was 11 years ago. Virtually nothing’s been done except endless talk and meetings.

God help us. 90% of the world’s population wiped out this century? I mean, even if it was 10%…that would still be a humanitarian disaster that made everything else we worry about look insignificant.

Are we too dumb to handle climate change? Personally, I haven’t really done anything to try and help the effort to deal with it. This despite the fact that I am entirely convinced that this juggernaut is heading for us, and is likely to have a seriously big impact on our civilisation…And yet I personally have done nothing to try and avert this crisis. I continue living my life, writing about the well-being movement, and about the finance industry.

But how much well-being will there be if our societies are plagued by floods, droughts, food shortages, water shortages, resource wars?

One person who considers these issues and has at least some idea where we might be heading is my brother, Alex, who recently published a report on the upcoming food shortage for Chatham House.