James Lovelock, often known as the father of Gaia theory, or the "highly influential hypothesis" that Earth is a self-regulating, single organism, has radically altered his environmentalist beliefs after being forced to move because of skyrocketing energy costs.
In a profile with the U.K.'s Guardian, Mother Earth's former advocate is introduced:
Three years ago, he received a heating bill for the winter [totaling] £6,000. His [old] age means he has to have the heating on full in his poorly insulted home and, with his disabled son, Tom, living in a house next door, his outgoings on fuel rocketed... The experience altered his attitude to the politics and economics of energy... [He] is now coming out in favour of "fracking", the controversial technique for extracting natural gas from the ground... "Gas is almost a give-away in the US at the moment. They've gone for fracking in a big way. Let's be pragmatic and sensible and get Britain to switch everything to methane. We should be going mad on it."
Not only that, Lovelock is also saying he is no longer concerned about rising sea levels, and that windmills are both "ugly and useless."
Quite a change from the man who, in 2006, wrote an influential book called "The Revenge of Gaia,” saying that by the end of the century "billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable."
Having admitted that he was probably "extrapolating too far," Lovelock also took time to criticize the "green" movement, which has been highly influenced by his ideas:
"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. You can't win people round by saying they are guilty for putting CO2 in the air."
Here is a dramatic BBC clip of Lovelock describing his "Gaia" theory, and what will likely happen to the planet:
In addition to fracking, the former alarmist now also embraces nuclear power in the strongest of terms.
A blogger for the U.K.'s Telegraph embraces the change, but asks:
Could he really not see where green energy policies (inspired partly by his doomsday predictions in books like The Revenge of Gaia) were leading until he was socked with his first whacking great £6,000 heating bill? If so, then it strikes me as both a woeful failure of imagination and a lack of clear thinking. High energy bills, after all, are no accident. They are result of a very deliberate strategy by environmental pressure groups to make energy bills more expensive in order to force everyone to reduce their energy usage. Of course, the people this hits hardest are the ones for whom reducing energy usage is not really a viable option: the old and inform, many of whom have been driven into "fuel poverty" by the greens' well-meaning attempts to save the world from the illusory threat of ManBearPig.
"Better late than never, eh?" he concludes, declaring his favorite line of the article to be: "I'm neither strongly left nor right, but I detest the Liberal Democrats."
(H/T: Red State)