New Religions

Three minutes and twenty seconds into their conversation, James Delingpole asked 100 year old James Lovelock:

“How do I get to live to 100 and beyond, and be as hale as you are?”

And James Lovelock replied:

“The most important thing is not to smoke.”

And my heart sank.

It emerged over the next few minutes that James Lovelock had smoked cigarettes (Players Navy Cut) for 40 years, until he had a heart attack, for which he blamed smoking.  He’d grown up in a smokers’ household “full of cigarette smoke, you could hardly see the other wall.”

Whence the certainty about the perils of smoking? One possible explanation:

In 1948, Lovelock received a PhD degree in medicine at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He spent the next two decades working at London’s National Institute for Medical Research.

Born in 1919, Lovelock would have been about 30 years old in 1948, and so must have continued to smoke for another 10 years, surrounded by people like Richard Doll and his army of antismoking doctors. I’d thought that Lovelock was a physicist or something, but he wasn’t at all. It would appear that he was an antismoking doctor, just like Richard Doll and George Godber. He’s straight out of the heart of the beast.

So it would seem that his Gaia Hypothesis was really an idea from within medicine, not physics or chemistry as I had imagined.

Thinking about it later, I wondered how Lovelock knew with such apparent certainty that his longevity was the result of not smoking, and that smoking had caused his heart attack. The likely answer is that Lovelock has no idea whatsoever what his longevity is due to, nor any idea what caused his heart attack. For could we not equally ascribe Lovelock’s longevity not so much to the fact that he stopped smoking after 40 years, but instead to the fact that he had smoked for 40 years, and grew up in a smoke-filled household? Why not? It’s as good an explanation as any.

James Lovelock’s Gaia hypothesis is very arguably one of the fundamental ideas underlying the modern Green movement.

First formulated by Lovelock during the 1960s as a result of work for NASA concerned with detecting life on Mars, the Gaia hypothesis proposes that living and non-living parts of the Earth form a complex interacting system that can be thought of as a single organism. Named after the Greek goddess Gaia at the suggestion of novelist William Golding,

But James Lovelock is no Greenie. In fact he sees the likes of Extinction Rebellion as a new religion. How odd that one of the founding fathers of this new religion is not a believer in it.

He’s also the founding father of the Ozone Hole CFC scare, after he invented a device to measure their concentration in the atmosphere. I wonder if he’s not a believer in that religion either.

A little later in their conversation James Delingpole declared that he liked marijuana. “So do we,” said Lovelock, “But we take it medicinally (CBD).”

So James Lovelock and James Delingpole are both pot-heads! Delingpole presents an image of himself as a pipe smoker, but it would seem that it’s not tobacco that he smokes in his pipe. And was it that in the 1960s Lovelock stopped smoking tobacco, and started smoking pot, just like many other people? And given that pot smokers very often have an almost religious belief in the medicinal powers of pot, I’m surprised that Lovelock didn’t ascribe his longevity to having smoked pot for 50 years.

Lovelock also emerged as being strongly in favour of nuclear power, which he regarded as harmless, but having been demonised by the oil and coal and gas industries.

Strangest of all, perhaps, it also emerged hat Lovelock had been building bombs during the time of the Spanish civil war – something he refused to elaborate on.

I was disappointed to learn that Lovelock was an antismoker, But given the medical environment in which he worked for 20 years, it was probably mandatory in those circles to be antismoking. It was, after all, the In Thing back then. And, much like the Gaia hypothesis, it also went on to become a new religion.

About Frank Davis

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3 Responses to New Religions

  1. Smoking Lamp says:

    Antismoking certainly is a type of religion and an intolerant one at that. The antismoking dogma needs to be challenged and freedom to smoke without persecution restored.

  2. Algernon Struthers says:

    One of the problems is of course, Government education, an oxymoron, often proved by the obtuse bollocks uttered by people from those institutions, myself included, until I emerged and realised I was almost wholly uneducated.
    That’s what we’re dealing with, including James Lovelock, who suffers from a lack of education regarding the benefits of smoking, whereas the dude has no problem with puffing on dope. No glaring contradiction there, no, no, not a one. Youtuber, Kyle Kulinski, was also stunningly uninformed. Gazing from an aircraft window at strange lines and coloured squares below he was perplexed. What could they be? Farms, but poor Kyle had no idea, much to the amusement of many, so it doesn’t surprise me to hear about Lovelock, Green New Deals, Climate Panic, smoking bad, and other notions about which people have little or no facts.
    A Vietnamese businessman I knew, a smoker, naturally, told me that the two most profitable businesses were Funeral Directing and new religions.
    An entrepreneur, he’d done quite a bit of research on the subject.

  3. beobrigitte says:

    “How do I get to live to 100 and beyond, and be as hale as you are?”

    And James Lovelock replied:

    “The most important thing is not to smoke.”

    It would be easy to explain why Lovelock believes smoking caused his heart attack. The anti-smokers worked much harder on their propaganda than anyone ever before. And they were patient.
    Nevertheless, lies do not become the truth however often they are repeated.

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