Ireland predicted to escape global warming catastrophe


IRELAND WILL be one of the few countries left that will be habitable when global warming leads to a planet-wide catastrophe, one of the world’s best known scientists has predicted.

James Lovelock, the originator of the Gaia theory, has forecast that rapidly rising temperatures will turn most of the world into a desert by the middle of the century and that its population will be about a billion people by the end of the century.

He also believes that the damage has already been done; he disagrees with the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which maintains that the process of climate change will be halted if humanity can reduce CO2 emissions by 60 per cent by 2050.

Mr Lovelock (89), who was recently named by Fortunemagazine as one of the world’s top 100 global public intellectuals, will take part in a public conversation this evening with Prof Frank Convery, director of the UCD Earth Institute, at O’Reilly Hall in University College Dublin.

Mr Lovelock is best known for his Gaia theory, which states that the world is a living organism and that life helps to moderate the climate and conditions to allow it to continue flourishing.

He forecasts a rapid rise in temperatures within 30 years which will cause widespread famine, but he said Ireland, along with New Zealand, will be spared the worst effects because of its maritime climate, relatively high latitude and under-population.

Ireland will be a “lifeboat for humanity” that might be able to sustain a population of about 10 million people with modern farming methods, but he warned that the country would be overwhelmed with immigrants if it operated an open-door policy.