Lovelock Gives Conservatives Another Occasion To Dodge Climate Science
In a recent interview with MSNBC.com, scientist James Lovelock said  that he was too "alarmist" in his previous statements about the consequences of global warming and he now appears to be overcorrecting  in the  opposite direction . While conservative media have used  his reversal  to question  the scientific consensus on climate change, the truth is that Lovelock's views were never in line with mainstream climate science.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change  is a large group of experts that synthesizes climate research into massive reports on the state of the science. The Los Angeles Times reported  in 2009 that Lovelock, who is known for formulating the Gaia hypothesis in the 1960s, considered those reports "too optimistic, constrained by 'consensus' (a word that makes his teeth itch) and wedded to computer models." Climate experts, in turn, distanced themselves from Lovelock's doomsday rhetoric. The IPCC's chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, told  Agence France-Presse in September 2009 that Lovelock's predictions were "highly improbable"; RealClimate.org, a blog written by climate scientists, noted  in 2006 that Lovelock's claims weren't supported by scientific research.
AFP labeled  Lovelock a "scientific black sheep." The London Independent said  in 2006 that Lovelock was "going out on a limb" and that his claims were "far gloomier than any yet made by a scientist of comparable international standing." And The Washington Post reported  in 2006 that "the warming that Lovelock fears will occur is far more dire than that projected by many other scientists," and that  his "dire talk no doubt occasions much rolling of eyes in polite circles, particularly among scientists in the United States."
Conservative media have repeatedly tried to seize upon one study , one scientist , or one phenomenon  to disprove the climate change consensus, all while ignoring the massive body  of scientific evidence behind it. But while some in the conservative media like to label  anyone  who agrees with the majority  of scientists as "alarmist," they are the ones making claims not  based  in science .