So should we be trying to save the world? Or perhaps we should look closer to home?
“Don’t try and save the world, it’s pure hubris. We might be able to save Dorset. I don’t know how we do it. It’s up to us. I think it’s easier to save Dorset than the planet.”
Adding: “There’s one thing to keep in mind here. We don’t need to save the planet, it’s looked after itself for four billion years. It’s always been habitable and things have lived on it, so why worry.”
This is where Gaia Theory comes in – the idea that the planet itself is a self-regulating system. It is perhaps Mr Lovelock’s best known work and perhaps his most controversial. Named after a Greek goddess, the idea has alternatively been criticised or lauded over the 50 years since Mr Lovelock first proposed it.
He added that global warming proponents stated that the earth would get hotter and hotter but “they don’t really know,” and climate models are only based on what data goes into them, so it was hard to say what would happen in the future.
Mr Lovelock is interested in what can be measured, what can be observed.
So for example the sea temperature around Chesil Beach being so low and the effects of the Gulf Stream dropping ‘significantly’.
He said: “That’s one reason global warming hasn’t been so noticeable around here. Far from being an automatic warming up. If the sea starts moving the currents in different directions we get quite cold conditions.”
He said: “The other thing I predict, everyone will be living in cities towards the end of the century,” adding: “This is a trend all over. What’s left of the rest of the world is difficult to predict.”
Climate and energy production is not surprisingly one of his main concerns. But as to predictions about the future, he is far less certain, saying: “I think anyone that tries to predict more than five to ten years ahead is a bit of an idiot, so many things can change unexpectedly.”