Bjorn Lomborg on why we shouldn’t act on climate change.

Bjorn Lomborg has again been given prime space in The Australian.  Reading the article, one is struck by  Bjorn’s oversimplification of the issues perhaps exemplified by his claim that a sea-level rise of 5m would not be so bad.  For whom?  Is it just coastal people in developing nations? The recently released Department of Climate Change report on sea level rise points out that “Up to $63 billion (replacement value) of existing residential buildings are potentially at risk of inundation from a 1.1 metre sea-level rise, with a lower and upper estimate of risk identified for between 157,000 and 247,600 individual buildings.”  and that’s just residential buildings.  What about the fact that Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne airports will be inundated as well and have to be moved?

Why are such clear impacts ignored by Bjorn?  The book from Yale University Press (“The Lomborg Deception“) should be useful in outlining in detail Lomborg’s long and pathological history of deception.

Here is the article in The Australian.  Make sure you read the responses from some readers – they reveal that most Australians are not taken by such simplistic and downright deceptive garbage.

The Australian (March 19 2010)

FOR the better part of a decade, I have upset many climate activists by pointing out that there are far better ways to stop global warming than trying to persuade governments to force or bribe citizens into slashing their reliance on fuels that emit carbon dioxide.

What especially bugs my critics is the idea that cutting carbon would cost far more than the problem it is meant to solve.

“How can that be true?” they ask. “We are talking about the end of the world. What could be worse or more costly than that?”

They have a point. If we actually face, as Al Gore recently put it, “an unimaginable calamity requiring large-scale preventative measures to protect human civilisation as we know it”, then no price would be too high to stop global warming. But are the stakes really that high?

The answer is no. Even the worst-case scenarios proposed by mainstream climate scientists, scenarios that go far beyond what the consensus climate models predict, are not as bad as Gore would have us believe. For example, a sea-level rise of 5m – more than eight times what the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change expects, and more than twice what is probably physically possible – would not deluge all or even most of mankind.


5 thoughts on “Bjorn Lomborg on why we shouldn’t act on climate change.

  1. Wow thats really amazing seeing such comments from the Australian commenters. The Australian is pretty much the bastion of conservative news in Australian newspapers & thoroughly delights in attacking the pro agw side of the debate. Its commenters are usually all too willing to denigrate anything AGW or progressive in nature. What a refreshing change.

    On an alternative note. This is one of my favourite sites for discovering Bjorn Lomborgs lies, by Kare Fog of Denmark:

    It covers the Lomborg deception & more. One of Lomborgs infamous techniques is his bait & switch technique.

    E.g. Sure AGW is a problem, but shouldnt we be spending valuable captial & resources on :

    a) ending famine
    b) ending poverty
    c) ending disease
    d) ending war
    e) ending attacks on corporate profits

    While the above points are certainly good points, one has to ask, what has prevented them doing it for the past few centuries before the topic of AGW had even presented itself? Its just a delaying technique & doesnt take into account that scientists on the pro agw side & military advisers are saying that those above points will be much more severe if we dont do anything about global warming.

    To attempt to fix one of those points above without fixing global warming would be like trying to fill a bucket that has a large hole in it. Eventually you have to concede that you have to fix the bucket.

  2. The article, ” Cars, bombs, and climate change” and this one indeed make final- The earth anyways does not matter to up humans. The cost is not that high- so keep on the deforestation and indirect killing of animals. Not interested! thank you.

  3. Ah, but if we just stay the course the magic of the invisible hand – the one true unassailable constant in a complex and often bemusing world – will ensure we’ll all be so wealthy by 2080 that each of us, Bangladeshi or Brisbanite, will be able to afford their own personal seawall. How could that be a problem? How could you fail to see the beauty of the one true idea?

    More to the point, how could anyone claiming to be a ‘conservative’ swallow any of this nonsense? A suggestion for an alternative energy source – use the high-speed rotation of Adam Smith in his grave to power a small turbine!…

  4. Bill, I’m not sure how to take your post. I cant tell whether you are for or against AGW by what you say.

    Its quite apparent that the conservatives here in Australia are not supporting any of Adam Smiths free market economic philosophies. Take climate change out of the picture entirely & its clear we have issues with energy. Not so much in the supply side, as there is plenty of fossil fuels to last us a few hundred years, there is nuclear & there is renewables.

    But the costs are just becoming obscene to consumers & the conservatives appear to oppose competition in this field from renewables. The last thing they want is for voters to think green is good & ultimately for their votes to slip into the hands of green parties because of that. If the renewables sector were given the same amount of subsidies that the fosil fuel sector attracted, then we would have a very different energy supply market now.

    Instead, what we have is a monopoly on energy. Something the fossil fuel sector would like to hold onto & something that the conservatives seem to embrace, which is diametrically different than what Adam Smith advocated.

    Tony Abbott first said “climate change is absolute crap” to support his right leaning friends. Then does some fence sitting having a bet both ways fashion, so as to appeal to the centrists in his party & the AGW believing public says:

    “I agree that the science is far from settled. Still, it’s common sense to take prudent precautions against potentially serious risks.

    So the prudent precautions would be a tax payer big government funded green army, tree planting & a suggestion to fossil that they self regulate? Like thats gonna happen. Their approach is opposite of what Howard, not considered to be a centrist by any means, pioneered & what Rudd ultimately took up. A free market approach.

    In opposition to the free market approaches of Adam Smith, the conservatives are backing monopolies & fending off the free market.They are stifling competition & preventing a chance for our energy needs to decrease in price & at the same time helping to prevent the earth heating too quickly & also mitigating risk. Arent conservatives supposed to be pro business & about mitigating risk?

    They are pretty much putting their head in the sand on both counts.

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