James Lovelock doesn’t think we will need innovation 10 years on. Not because the business world will find a new jazzword to hang their marketing spiels on but ‘scarily’ because planet earth wouldn’t exist. According to Lovelock, by the end of the century, 80% of the world’s population will disappear and half of Britain will be under water. And to prove his point, the octagenarian is buying a ticket to outer space.
Climate science maverick James Lovelock believes catastrophe is inevitable, carbon offsetting is a joke and ethical living a scam.’Therefore’, he says, ‘Enjoy life while you can’ via ‘Enjoy life while you can’ | Environment | The Guardian.
This is one scary take on climate change and sustainable development.
What is the future of planet earth? This question is linked to our very existence. Innovation therefore is a powerful way to arrest the earth hurtling to its fate. Not the way we’ve known innovation in the past, or even the present ‘tool obsession’ we have for everything. We’ve got to turn things over on their heads.
I believe Lovelock is on the right track and has been since the mid-60’s. Only nobody was listening to him then and nobody is listening to him now. Because vested interests won’t let them.
Who is James Lovelock?
In 1965 executives at Shell wanted to know what the world would look like in the year 2000. They consulted a range of experts, who speculated about fusion-powered hovercrafts and “all sorts of fanciful technological stuff”. When the oil company asked the scientist James Lovelock, he predicted that the main problem in 2000 would be the environment. “It will be worsening then to such an extent that it will seriously affect their business,” he said.
“And of course,” Lovelock says, with a smile 43 years later, “that’s almost exactly what’s happened.”
Another gem ..
This is all delivered with an air of benign wonder at the intractable stupidity of people. “I see it with everybody. People just want to go on doing what they’re doing. They want business as usual. They say, ‘Oh yes, there’s going to be a problem up ahead,’ but they don’t want to change anything.”
Innovation tells us that sometimes the only way forward is to go backwards. In Lovelock’s words, “We must think of moving away from sustainable development to sustainable retreat”. In a spurt of peotic prophecy he goes, “Enjoy life while you can. Because if you’re lucky it’s going to be 20 years before it hits the fan.
1. The Guardian Article – Enjoy life while you can
2. The Strategist | Blog| – Bleak prophet
3. Wikipedia entry – James Lovelock
4. Book list – on Amazon
5. Interview 22 APR 2009 | Video| – How to save Gaia
6. Latest Book on Nature – The vanishing face of Gaia