Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Former Climate 'sceptic' Lomborg now believes global warming is one of world’s greatest threats

Lomborg is one of those names that sceptic love to cite. Wrongly, often as he's always accepted the findings of the IPCC, just disagreed that we should spend any money to do much about it. I've had confused denialists cite Lomborg then Monkton - both denialists - but who contradict each other in their reading of the science. Plus neither of them is a statistician. Anyhow, Lomborg is the most recent of the line of high profile figures (such as Republican strategist Frank Luntz and editor of sceptic magazine Michael Shermer and oil giant Exxon - though they are still at it on the sly...) moving from denial to accepting that we need to act:

Lomborg's latest book, published by CUP next month, is likely to reignite these passions, because it appears to contradict so much of what he has said before and because he is straying into newly controversial territory. He is advocating that much more attention and money be lavished on climate engineering methods, such as whitening clouds so that they reflect back more of the sun's heat.

Heat is something he is resigned to. When he gives talks, he says, he often meets "people who come up and say: 'I thought I'd hate you.'"

But Lomborg's record on climate change is more nuanced than the stereotype suggests. From the beginning, he has said global warming is happening and is largely caused by humans. However, he has been consistently critical of what he sees as exaggeration of how much this matters, and of policies to tackle the problem. These would achieve too little and cost too much, he argues, meaning the money would be better spent on, say, reducing malaria and HIV/Aids, or extending clean water and sanitation.


Though other argue, he's just shilling another book.

3 comments:

manuel "moe" g said...

Copy/Paste of my comment on Google Buzz:

Bjørn a "warmist"? I will believe it when I see it. It may be a desperate grab at relevancy post-"climategate", and to frustrate adequate taxation on fossil fuels by claiming to be trying to maximize revenues from taxation. Because, logically, zero fossil fuel use means zero revenue from fossil fuel taxes. The point is not to maximize fossil fuel taxes - the point is to fulfill stewardship of natural resources and a mild climate for future generations.

The only part I agree with is that with taxing carbon emissions from fossil fuels at a high enough rate to slow/stop emissions, a portion of the money should go for climate disruption mitigation/remediation and a portion to help humanity suffering from deprivation. If the rich first-world finally reacts to an existential threat, put the horse in front of the cart and use that urgency to also fight against sickening deprivation.

Also, what the hell is the "Copenhagen Consensus"? Is the Copenhagen Consensus limited to the space between Lomborg's ears? Can the Consensus fit on a motor-scooter? Why the heck would they allow the silly leering Lomborg to be the most public face?

dbmm said...

Lomborg's career has been built on the right-wing think-tank/conference circuit. He represented the third denialist position on climate change - the first being that nothing was happening; the second, that something was happening, but we weren't responsible; the third being that something was happening, we were responsible, but we shouldn't do anything about it. When climate change was heading to the top of people's concerns a couple of years ago, Lomborg offered a last resort for fossil fuel corporations lobbying against industry controls.

Since the Copenhagen summit fell through last year, these corporations are no longer worried about emission controls - so no more gigs for Lomborg.

Hence the need for our arch-contrarian to perform a volte-face: to get himself back into the media spotlight; hoping, that the logic of the prodigal son will reignite his career. The Guardian was ready to oblige, putting a man who most environmentalists regard as a joke, slap on the front page.

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