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Welcome to Lateline. I'm Tony Jones. 10 days ago, PM Howard called for a "full-blooded" debate in
Australia on nuclear energy. Tonight, we add to that debate the voice of the man who's been called
the father of the contemporary environmental movement - the originator of the Gaia theory, James

I had dinner with that famous gentleman, Hans Blix, about a year ago, and he turned to me and said,
"What on Earth is all this fuss about nuclear waste - "there's hardly any of it, is there?" And
this is the truth of it. The quantity of nuclear waste is trivial, tiny and no great problem. It
stays where it is and that's it. But just think of the carbon dioxide waste. Every year, we produce
in the world enough carbon dioxide that if you froze it solid to dry ice, it would make a mountain
1 mile high and 12 miles around in circumference. Now that is deadly waste, and it'll kill nearly
all of us if we don't stop doing it.

Professor Lovelock on his latest book 'The Revenge of Gaia', a passionate case that global warming
has put humanity on the brink of destruction. That's coming up, but first our other headlines.
Torrential rain and traffic jams hamper relief efforts in Java as the quake's toll nears 5,500. A
divergent urge to merge - Queensland Nationals vow to push ahead but the State's Liberals may bow
to Federal opposition to a merger. Climber Sue Fear is declared dead as Everest survivor Lincoln
Hall reaches Kathmandu.

Gusmao declares state of emergency in East Timor

Broadcast: 30/05/2006

Gusmao declares state of emergency in East Timor

Reporter: Geoff Thompson

GEOFF THOMPSON: Thousands of people waited for food in Dili today.

SOLDIER: Get back! Get Back!

GEOFF THOMPSON: As a whole nation waited for answers to a stagnant political crisis, Mari Alkatiri
ended a meeting of East Timor's Council of State through the front door, but left from the back.

JOSE RAMOS HORTA, EAST TIMOR FOREIGN MINISTER: Even what might appear to be a simple decision that
the sacking of the Prime Minister will resolve the political crisis, not might necessarily be the
case. We have to look also at the implications from some other quarters if the Prime Minister were
to be sacked.

GEOFF THOMPSON: Instead, in a dramatic development tonight, President Xanana Gusmao declared he is
assuming emergency powers and taking control of the army. A decision, he said was made in
collaboration with the Prime Minister. Today's violence was worse than yesterday, according to
joint force commander Mike Slater.

BRIGADIER MIKE SLATER, AUSTRALIAN COMMANDER: If you look at the number of weapons that have already
been taken off the street. Between 3 and 400 high-powered rifles, handguns, shotguns and grenades,
as well as swords and machetes, three days we've taken that many off the street.

GEOFF THOMPSON: It's not yet a civil war situation, says the President's Australian wife.

KIRST SWORD-GUSMAO, FIRST LADY: I think the worst of it is over. I believe it can be resolved at a
political level and probably the reason I have confidence is the fact that people have confidence
in Xanana and clearly he's at the helm of resolving this crisis now.

GEOFF THOMPSON: But that's not being achieved by Australian's apprehending offenders as promised.

LT-COL MICK MUMFORD, AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCE: At the moment we have none under detention at this
moment. We've detained a number of them that after questioning we've released.

GEOFF THOMPSON: And this is how that works in practice. Armed gangs roam neighbourhoods at will
until they run into Australian troops.

SOLDIER: Don't move.

GEOFF THOMPSON: Half run away and hide their weapons, while the rest are forced to the ground and

SOLDIER: Move all the weapons to the other side of the road.

GEOFF THOMPSON: After a quick search and questioning without an interpreter, no-one is detained.
The soldiers take some weapons and leave. Then the gang jumps up to find their hidden arsenal and
go on their way, straight to a shop around the corner. Less than 5 minutes after the Australians
left, this shop just next door is being looted. It's nearly impossible to maintain, it seems, a
permanent security on the streets of Dili. It's unclear how Xanana Gusmao's control of an army now
exiled from this city will make any difference.

(c) 2006 ABC

International relief efforts are picking up in Jogjakarta three days after an earthquake devastated
the region. Emergency food and water supplies are now being distributed to survivors with 29
countries pledging to assist Indonesia in emergency operations.

So international cooperation is moving well and we welcome and are grateful for this kind of

Still, vital aid is yet to reach many, as authorities struggle with bad weather and massive traffic
jams. Already overwhelmed hospitals are preparing for a second wave of casualties as victims from
remote areas of the island make their way towards cities and regional centres. The death toll is
now edging towards 5,500 with rescuers all but giving up hope of finding any more survivors. An
estimated 200,000 people have been left homeless.

Howard pressure pushes Qld Liberals to rethink party merger

Broadcast: 30/05/2006

Howard pressure pushes Qld Liberals to rethink party merger

Reporter: Dana Robertson

TONY JONES: Well, back to Australian, and the Deputy Prime Minister, Mark Vaile, has tonight failed
to convince the Queensland National Party to dump the idea of merging with the State's Liberals.
After talks in Canberra this evening, the State leader, Lawrence Springborg, was still committed to
a single conservative party to contest the next State election. But it appears John Howard's strong
opposition to the plan could carry more weight. The Queensland Liberal Party is expected to meet
within days to take another look at the decision to negotiate a merger. Dana Robertson reports from

DANA ROBERTSON: At the last federal conference it was all smiles, but tonight, the two men at the
top of the Nationals are deeply divided. The Deputy Prime Minister is demanding the Party's Federal
President, David Russell, stand aside for keeping him in the dark about the Queensland merger talks
when he was in the thick of it.

MARK VAILE, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: I've made a request of the organisation and the organisation is
complying with the processes under the constitution that is available to them.


DANA ROBERTSON: Mr Russell was one of the key backers of the disastrous 'Joh for Canberra' campaign
nearly two decades ago, but the Queensland reaction to Mark Vaile's demand is all too typical of
the division now racking the party.

LAWRENCE SPRINGBORG, QUEENSLAND NATIONALS LEADER: David Russell is an excellent Federal President.
He's extremely intelligent, very capable, very applied, and knows the Nationals like no other

DANA ROBERTSON: Lawrence Springborg emerged from his talks with Mr Vaile this evening still
committed to the idea of a single conservative party for Queensland.

LAWRENCE SPRINGBORG: There's been significant progress in one, the understanding and two, the way
that we could accommodate both the Commonwealth's issues, as expressed by the Prime Minister and
Deputy Prime Minister.

DANA ROBERTSON: But as to just how those concerns could be placated, he was less forthcoming.

LAWRENCE SPRINGBORG: There's always more than one way to skin a cat.

DANA ROBERTSON: Convincing the doubters though, seems an almost insurmountable task.

BARNABY JOYCE, QUEENSLAND NATIONALS SENATOR: There are a lot of people if they didn't vote
National, they'd vote Labor and they're not going to be joining - they're not going to be voting
for us if we join the Liberal Party.

SENATOR BOSWELL, QUEENSLAND NATIONALS SENATOR: I just know everyone is supporting Mark and Mark's
position. Everyone. Well, nearly everyone - Bruce Scott's not.

GEORGE BRANDIS, QUEENSLAND LIBERAL SENATOR: I think it's very important that this issue should be
taken off the table fast before it causes any more damage to the federal coalition.

DANA ROBERTSON: And John Howard's certainly not for turning. He told the closed door meeting of
Coalition MPs today that his permission had not been sought, but, if it had, "I would have said
'No. Under no circumstances'." And why? "The National Party would be divided and cause a whole lot
of trouble." That message was reinforced by the Prime Minister tonight at an almost 2-hour-long
meeting with Queensland Liberal MPs and senators. And it's understood the Queensland Liberal
Party's State executive is expected to meet again within days to look again at its decision to
endorse the negotiations with the Nationals. Mr Howard didn't convince everyone though: three
Queensland Liberals are still backing the merger idea. Dana Robertson, Lateline.

(c) 2006 ABC

A series of attacks in Iraq today has left close to 50 people dead. In one of nine roadside
explosions, a dozen people were killed, most of them were schoolchildren. Another bomb struck a US
news crew embedded with an infantry brigade, killing the cameraman and sound operator and
critically injuring the female reporter. The crew was travelling with US soldiers to film a story
marking Memorial Day - when Americans remember their war dead. Stephen McDonell reports. In the
United States today was Memorial Day, established in the 19th century to honour the civil dead, it
now marks 19th century to honour the civil war dead, it now marks all Americans dead, it now marks
all Americans who have died in combat.

Our nation mourns the loss of our men and mourns the loss of our men and women in uniform. We will
honour them by completing the mission for which they gave their lives.

With the families of US soldiers in Iraq thinking of their missing loved ones, US television
networks found ones, US television networks found a timely focus for their reporting. CBS News
centre - sent a crew out CBS News centre - sent a crew out to film with the fourth infantry film
with the fourth infantry fourth brigade in Iraq. They experienced first-hand the No. 1 killer of US
soldiers there when their condition vowed stopped, they left their armoured vehicles to conduct
interview was theed soiers and a roadside bomb was detonated. Those immediately killed included
British cameraman Paul Douglas and British sound recordist James Brolin. US journalist Kimberly
Dozier was in a critical condition and tonight was flown to Germany for treatment.

She went into surgery this morning just after the explosion and there was a risk of her losing her
leg was a risk of her losing her leg and a 50/50 chance of her even surviving.

An unnamed US soldier


An unnamed US soldier and Iraqi civilian were also killed in the blast. But this was only one
incident today, as escalating violence again grips Iraq. In the last 24 hours, nine separate
roadside bombs, mostly in Baghdad, have killed dozens of people. In have killed dozens of people.
In the blood yis, a bomb apparently designated for an Iraqi army patrol, killed 12 people, mostly
students from a nearby school. A further 17 were wounded.

TRANSLATION: Sit a car bomb here hurting a lot of people with a great deal of damage and a big
number of bodies.

If you include other types of attacks, nearly 50 people were nearly 50 people were killed in nearly
50 people were killed in Iraq today. Back in the United States, the Bush Administration is bracing
for the fallout of last November's alleged massacre by US Marines of unarmed Iraqis in the town of
Hadetha. In the coming weeks the formal investigation will commence into the incident which saw 24
Iraqis shot in their homes and allegations of a subsequent cover-up.

One is to find out what happened. The other is to find out why did it take us so long to find out
what happened.

Military investigators expect the Marines went on a killing spree after one went on a killing spree
after one of their colleagues were killed. They could be charged with murder as could be charged
with murder as soon as this June. Plans to mount a rescue mission to save Australian mountain
climber Sue Fear have been abandoned. The decision was made after her fellow mountaineers decided
it was impossible to find the exact place where she disappeared. Ms Fear fell through an ice shelf
into a crevasse while climbing Nepal's Mount Manaslu two days ago. A sherpa tied to her by a rope
spent an 1.5 hours trying, without success, to pull her from the crevasse. The mountaineering
group, World Expeditions released a statement tonight, saying that no recovery mission would take
place and that it was Sue Fear's wish to be buried in the mountains if she died while climbing.

Aussie climber to make full recovery from Mount Everest ordeal

Broadcast: 30/05/2006

Aussie climber to make full recovery from Mount Everest ordeal

Reporter: Peter Lloyd

TONY JONES: Meanwhile in Kathmandu, Sue Fear's close friend Lincoln Hall is receiving medical
treatment tonight after surviving the worst of Mount Everest. Doctors say the 50-year-old will make
a full recovery, but it may be several days before he's well enough to talk about his experience in
detail. South Asia correspondent Peter Lloyd reports from Nepal's remote northern border.

PETER LLOYD, SOUTH ASIA CORRESPONDENT: The man who'd been given up for dead on the world's highest
peak seemed in good spirits as he strode back into Nepal from neighbouring Tibet.

LINCOLN HALL, RESCUED CLIMBER: Hi there. Good thanks. Good to see you. Everybody's so clean.

REPORTER: How are the fingers?

LINCOLN HALL: (Raspy voice) OK. They're OK. They're OK. They'll be OK.

PETER LLOYD: Along with frostbite, Lincoln Hall is still in a physically fragile condition after
developing acute altitude sickness that was so severe his climbing companions believed he was dead.
The exact detail of what happened 8,700 metres up Mount Everest are still not clear and they may
never be - Lincoln Hall's memory is clouded by confusion brought on by the illness. After 12 lonely
hours, Hall was discovered alive by an American climber who mounted the rescue operation.

LINCOLN HALL: I... I have been able to talk to my family, so they know I'm OK. But it's just very
hard to... talk.

PETER LLOYD: Hall has not been told of the reported death of friend and fellow climber, Sue Fear,
who fell into a deep crevasse in western Nepal.

MICHAEL DILLON, MOUNTAIN CLIMBER: Firstly, because of the miracle with Lincoln, we can't be sure
that she's dead until the Sherpa comes back and really confirms it and b, it would be just one more
trauma for Lincoln at the moment.

PETER LLOYD: After struggling through passport and visa formalities with his frostbitten hands,
Lincoln Hall was escorted to an Australian embassy vehicle for the long journey to hospital in

GRAEME LADE, AUSTRALIAN AMBASSADOR TO NEPAL: There's one clinic that specialises in pulmonary
oedema, another one that specialises in frostbite.

PETER LLOYD: He's back from the dead, but has a long road to recovery ahead. In northern Nepal,
Peter Lloyd, Lateline.

(c) 2006 ABC

Nuclear energy lobby gains unexpected scientific boost

Broadcast: 30/05/2006

Nuclear energy lobby gains unexpected scientific boost

Reporter: Brett Evans

TONY JONES: When Prime Minister Howard called recently for a "full-blooded" debate about nuclear
power in Australia, he might have had Professor James Lovelock, in mind as a participant. Described
by 'New Scientist' as "one of the great thinkers of our time", James Lovelock first came to
prominence for his Gaia hypothesis - the theory that Planet Earth itself is a living,
self-regulating system. It was an idea that made him one of the most influential figures in the
environmental movement. But James Lovelock alienated many former disciples when he came to the
conclusion that nuclear energy was the best way to save the planet from man-made global warming.
His latest book, 'The Revenge of Gaia', claims that climate change has brought humanity to the
brink of destruction. We'll explore that issue with him in a moment, but first, this background
report from Brett Evans.

BRETT EVANS: The classic 'Mad Max' movies offer a frightening vision of the future - civilisation
brought to its knees, life reduced to an endless struggle for fuel. George Miller's trilogy of
action films are popular with audiences around the world but are they also prescient? One of the
world's leading environmentalists certainly thinks so. Professor James Lovelock claims that
man-made climate change will soon cost us the earth.

understand. If we get this 6-degree Celsius rise of temperature by the end of the century, we're
talking about billions of deaths.

BRETT EVANS: By continuing to burn fossil fuels and pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere,
Professor Lovelock is convinced a grim future awaits the human race. From the sanctuary of his farm
in Devon, the 86-year-old scientist foresees a world of rising oceans, collapsing ecosystems,
vanishing farmlands; a new dark age ruled by brutal warlords.

JONATHON PORRITT, ENVIRONMENTALIST: Jim Lovelock is extremely pessimistic about this. I still
believe that we have perhaps 10 years, perhaps 15, to put the world on a sustainable energy path.

BRETT EVANS: He is revered in the environment movement for his Gaia Thesis, which argues that all
life on earth is interconnected.

DR. TIM FLANNERY, AUTHOR 'THE WEATHER MAKERS': Well, he's always been one of my great heroes. He's
a - he's someone who's inspired political action on climate change at a very early stage - he was
the one who got Margaret Thatcher moving and interested in the topic.

BRETT EVANS: But Professor Lovelock has broken ranks with many of his fellow greens on a key issue.
He is a passionate advocate of nuclear power, arguing it's the only major source of carbon-free
electricity. He's the sort of thinker Prime Minister Howard would like to hear more from.

JOHN HOWARD, PRIME MINISTER: The scene on nuclear energy is going to change significantly in our
country and I want a full-blooded debate in Australia about this issue and I want all of the
options on the table.

BRETT EVANS: Australian environmentalists say Professor Lovelock has got the science of climate
change right and applaud his sense of urgency, but they view his pro-nuclear stance with

sensible response to climate change - it's too expensive, it's too slow, it makes too little
difference. Nuclear power, as a solution, is getting out of the greenhouse frying pan into the
nuclear fire.

BRETT EVANS: The nuclear option has always been a tricky issue for greens. Physicist Ian Lowe was
once a supporter.

DR IAN LOWE: I was reasonably positive about nuclear power 30 years ago, but that was before the
age of terrorism and before we had as many countries developing nuclear weapons as we have now.

BRETT EVANS: Meanwhile, fellow climate change expert Tim Flannery is moving in the opposite

TIM FLANNERY: I think personally that nuclear power may be part of the solution, but, in a sense,
the free market has to decide that, once we factor in all of the costs.

BRETT EVANS: But Dr Flannery is insistent that the Prime Minister's nuclear power debate should
really be a broad debate about the growing climate change emergency.

TIM FLANNERY: For me the first danger of the nuclear debate is that it'll sidetrack the real debate
about climate change. But also, you know, let's treat it as we would any of the other power sources
and look objectively at its pluses and minuses.

BRETT EVANS: So, what's in store for the human race? A soft landing courtesy of nuclear power?
Salvation through renewables? Or a deadly carbon crash? Brett Evans, Lateline.

(c) 2006 ABC

Expert challenges scientific community over global warming

Broadcast: 30/05/2006

Professor challenges scientific community over global warming

Reporter: Tony Jones

TONY JONES, PRESENTER: James Lovelock, thanks for joining us again.


TONY JONES: Now, you refer to yourself as someone in the role of a doctor who has to tell his
patient they've got a malignant cancer. Tell us why you use that analogy.

PROFESSOR JAMES LOVELOCK: Well, I think a doctor in a position like that has one of the toughest
jobs in life, bringing really bad news to someone and in a way the way that the world's climate is
changing is almost like that and I've been thrown into the position as a kind of planetary doctor,
if you like, of bringing that particular bit of bad news. It may not be quite as bad as a cancer in
someone, but it is pretty serious anyway.

TONY JONES: Now, your Gaia thesis explains the world as a living organism. You say this organism,
the earth, is so seriously ill that it will soon pass into a morbid fever that will last as long as
100,000 years.

PROFESSOR JAMES LOVELOCK: Yes, indeed. The reason I can say that, and other scientists say the same
thing, is that the Earth went through a similar event 55 million years ago when roughly the same
amount of carbon dioxide was put into the atmosphere as a result of a geological accident. We are
doing just the same thing.

TONY JONES: We've looked at your book, 'The Revenge of Gaia'. It looks like a kind of cry from the
heart. Is it in fact your last plea to the world, as you see it, to save it from extinction?

PROFESSOR JAMES LOVELOCK: I'm pretty old, but I hope it's not my last plea to the world. (Laughs) I
hope it's not the world's last event either. But it is a warning cry, if ever there was one.

TONY JONES: Do you seriously think the human race actually faces extinction?

PROFESSOR JAMES LOVELOCK: No, I don't. We're an incredibly tough species. There will be humans
surviving around breeding pairs in all sorts of places, whatever happens. But it is serious and I
should add here that there's nothing certain in science. We might be saved by some natural events,
such as a sequence of big volcanoes or it may be when the penny drops in the United States, they'll
say, "But we can fix it" and do something about it like putting up sun shades in space. But, it is
a very serious problem and we should look at it that way.

TONY JONES: It's so serious that you write that billions of people could die and that the few - you
have talked about breeding pairs. I mean, you say in your book that the few breeding pairs of
people will end up in the Arctic because that's the only place where the climate will be compatible
with life.

PROFESSOR JAMES LOVELOCK: Well, when we look back at the past events of history 55 million years
ago, which seems to be our fate now, most of the earth's surface, the great continents, were
overheated and turned to scrub or desert and could support very little people. The people who are
in those regions now will just not be able to survive. There will be no food and no water for them.
So the consequences are almost inevitable.

TONY JONES: Can you paint a picture for us then of the world as you imagine it, both at the
Northern and Southern hemispheres if no major change happens to stop global warming now?

PROFESSOR JAMES LOVELOCK: Yes, they will become dry scrub and desert, those regions, and this is
what happened in the past and when it happened in the past, living things, life migrated to the
polar regions and survived through the change, which lasted for 200,000 years and when things
returned to normal, the living things up there in the Arctic or in the Antarctic - of course that
was then joined to the rest of the world and not a separate continent - migrated back and that's
why there was no extinction at that time and there won't be in this time. There will be no
extinction either of people or of - there will be of some plants and animals, but by no means all
of them.

TONY JONES: What do you say to those who believe your theories are more like philosophy than

PROFESSOR JAMES LOVELOCK: Well, all I can say to them is I wish they were right. No, the theory is
well established now and, indeed, in the UK the Geological Society awarded me their senior medal,
the Walleston Medal, this year purely for Gaia theory.

TONY JONES: Can you just go back and tell us how you formulated the Gaia Theory in the first place?
I understand it actually came out of conversations with a novelist?

PROFESSOR JAMES LOVELOCK: No. It began, strangely enough, at NASA's jet propulsion laboratory in
California as long ago as the 1960s and my job was to help them design instruments for finding life
on Mars and this was the kind of space operation and this enabled me to look back at the Earth and
see what it was about the Earth, as if I was some alien, that would tell me that there was life on
it and it immediately became obvious to me that the atmosphere reveals the presence of life on the
Earth. It's a mixture of very strange gases, oxygen and methane, mixed together. That's the kind of
gas mixture that goes into the intake of your car. It's potentially explosive if its composition
were different in proportion. So we have a very strange atmosphere and that made me think there
must be something in the surface that controls it and regulates it and keeps it constant and safe.
This is what made me think of this great system Gaia and when I told my friend, the novelist
William Golding, about it and he said, "Oh, you better give an idea like that a proper name" and he
was the one that suggested Gaia.

TONY JONES: Now you're talking about the revenge of Gaia, that Gaia in fact will take revenge on
the human race for what it's done.

PROFESSOR JAMES LOVELOCK: Yes. Well, that's a bit of a metaphoric statement and it expresses
strongly what I feel and you see I regard our planet as a sort of living organism that's regulated
the atmosphere, the water and the chemical composition of the Earth for 3.5 billion years. It's
kept it comfortable for life for a quarter of the age of the universe and it's amazing that we're
in the midst of wrecking it.

TONY JONES: If global warming continues at the rate that it is now, what are the steps that need to
be taken to stop us reaching the tipping point, which you've been writing about.

PROFESSOR JAMES LOVELOCK: I'm not sure that we can stop it but we've got to try, obviously, by
cutting back on carbon dioxide emissions. But remember, it's not just emissions that does the
damage. During the course of our development to our present numbers over 6 billion, we've taken an
awful lot of the land surface of the Earth for farming and to produce timber for our homes and that
land surface used to be used before we took it away to regulate the Earth and we can't put that
back quickly. So this is among the reasons why I think it's probably too late to do very much.

TONY JONES: I'm intrigued to hear you say that because you seem to have moved beyond the point we
were at the last time we spoke, for example. You were advocating nuclear power worldwide as a way
of stopping carbon emissions. Are you now thinking it's too late to do that?

PROFESSOR JAMES LOVELOCK: I think it probably is. I don't think that we have time to do it
worldwide, although it takes nowhere near as long to build a nuclear power station as is often
stated. I think most people forget that the first nuclear power stations that were producing energy
for people, not making bombs, were in the United Kingdom and they took only 3.5 years to build and
even then when we knew very little about it, I think they could be built in two or three years now
if there was the will to do so.

TONY JONES: Bearing in mind what you've just said, Australia, for example, is now having a serious
nuclear debate that could go on, in fact, for many years. The big concerns are both political -
that nuclear power is not politically feasible, but that it's not economically viable. What do you
say to the Australian politicians who are thinking along those lines?

PROFESSOR JAMES LOVELOCK: I think the anti-nuclear stories are very understandable. You've got to
look at their history. Not too many years ago, most of us were scared rigid of the possibility of a
nuclear war between America and Russia and that sort of filled our lives for an awful lot of years
after World War II and during that time a great fear of everything nuclear built up and we haven't
dispelled that fear, in spite of the cessation of the Cold War. But nuclear power is nothing about
bombs. Modern nuclear power stations are useless for making bombs and the dangers are not real.
They've been exaggerated beyond all belief in the decent and proper cause of making people fight
against the idea of nuclear weapons. That sort of objection should not be applied to nuclear
energy, which quite the reverse could be our saving.

TONY JONES: The primary objection now obviously is nuclear waste is simply very, very difficult to
deal with and obviously remains radioactive for many thousands of years.

PROFESSOR JAMES LOVELOCK: I had dinner with a famous gentleman Hans Blix about a year ago and he
turned to me and said, "What on earth is all of this fuss about nuclear waste? "There's hardly any
of it, is there?" And this is the truth of it. The quantity of nuclear waste is trivial, tiny. No
great problem. It stays where it is and that's it. You just think of the carbon dioxide waste.
Every year we produce in the world enough carbon dioxide that if you froze it solid to dry ice, it
would make a mountain 1 mile high and 12 miles around in circumference. Now, that is deadly waste
and it will kill nearly all of us if we don't stop doing it.

TONY JONES: I have heard it said that you think nuclear waste is so containable you actually
wouldn't mind having it buried safely in your own backyard. Is that so?

PROFESSOR JAMES LOVELOCK: It is, indeed. I would be very glad to have it because when it is freshly
produced, it stays hot for about 10 or 20 years and I'd use it for free home heating. I'd be glad
to use it. It would be a waste not to.

TONY JONES: Now, Professor Lovelock, you've been a proponent for nuclear power for decades and this
has been a huge problem for the green movement, which, as you know, you're widely regarded as the
father of the environmental movement. Now you appear to be arguing as well that sustainable
development is no longer possible. You alluded to this before. Can you tell us what you mean by

PROFESSOR JAMES LOVELOCK: If you go right back in history to Malthus, he proposed that
overpopulation would ruin us all, destroy civilisation, way back 200 years ago. He was laughed at
and people sort of said, "No, no, no." He was exaggerating. "It's not that bad." I happen to think
he was just right because when he produced his ideas there was about a billion people in the world
and if you kept the population of the world to a billion you could do almost anything. We could all
drive around in gas guzzlers and it wouldn't really matter. The sad thing is I'm afraid it's not
just population that has grown, but we've tended to use all of those wasteful things as well and
this is what has landed us in the mess we are now in. So the green ideas of sustainable development
would have been wonderful if we had done them 100 or 200 years ago, but now they are hopelessly too

TONY JONES: You seem to be arguing for the complete abandonment of agriculture in some areas of the
world at least and the replacement with synthetic foods.

PROFESSOR JAMES LOVELOCK: I don't think we'll have to abandon them. Gaia will abandon them for us,
in a sense, because as the climate changes, already it is happening in East Africa and I think
you're finding it more and more in Australia. Growing food becomes more and more difficult. And so
if we want to carry on with large numbers, we all just have to synthesise food and for that we'll
need lots of energy.

TONY JONES: So in fact you think it's too late for the green solution? The sustainable agriculture
combined with large-scale alternative energy, sources like wind farms, hot rocks, wave energy? All
of those things combined with solar power, you don't think that will all work?

PROFESSOR JAMES LOVELOCK: I'm afraid it won't. They would have worked with a small population like
back in Malthus's time. If civilisation had developed that way we might not be in the mess we are
now in. But you can't support 6 billion, growing towards 7 billion people, on that kind of energy
source. It just won't work.

TONY JONES: So, do you actually think that the green movement, the environmentalists who hold to
those views are deluded?

PROFESSOR JAMES LOVELOCK: No, I don't. As you rightly said, I'm very much associated with them and
have been a green for most of my life. It's just that the green movement on the whole are not very
scientific and scientists who should be speaking out on these matters are nowadays hampered by the
fact that science is fragmented into a multitude of different expertises and each one sees the
Earth only through the tiny fragment of their discipline. So you don't get a clear voice of
science. I suppose it's been thrown at me because amongst scientists I'm one of the few that looks
at the planet from the top down from outside.

TONY JONES: But, a final question for you: if you don't think that the green movement is deluded,
you do apparently think it is doomed.

PROFESSOR JAMES LOVELOCK: No. I think the green movement has got to reform and change its attitude
away from the rather negative and rather pointless fear of chemicals and nuclear energy and things
like that that they've had for so long. I'm afraid that all comes because most of the green
movement is supported by people living in big cities. We're nearly all urbanised nowadays and
they've lost touch with the natural world. They don't see the world as it really is. They only see
their city environment and I think they've got to grow up and start realising that their citizens
have a really wonderful planet that's looked after itself for such a long time and we're the
enemies of it and not the supporters.

TONY JONES: Professor James Lovelock, some provocative thoughts there. We thank you once again for
taking the time to join us on Lateline.


(c) 2006 ABC

To the markets now. The All Ords ended slightly lower today. BHP Billiton dipped. The major banks
were down. The energy sector made gains. And retail stocks were stronger with Coles Myer hitting a
record share price. In the region - the Hang Seng and the Nikkei fell. In London, the FTSE is
weaker. On the commodities markets - both gold and oil are higher. And the Australian dollar is
buying US$0.7632. Now, to the weather - early coastal showers for Sydney, and some afternoon and
evening showers in Adelaide. But tomorrow should be fine in the other capital cities. And that's
all for this evening. Our interview with James Lovelock will be on our website shortly along with
our other stories and transcripts, at I'll be back tomorrow night so please
join me then. Goodnight. Closed Captions produced by Captioning and Subtitling International Pty