I’m on a cross-Canada road trip these days, so don’t have much time to spend on my blog. Bjorn Lomborg’s u-turn on climate change is significant enough, though, to merit an on-the-fly posting:
From The Guardian last Monday, the headline:
Bjørn Lomborg: the dissenting climate change voice who changed his tune: With his new book, Danish scientist Bjørn Lomborg has become an unlikely advocate for huge investment in fighting global warming. But his answers are unlikely to satisfy all climate change campaigners.
The article goes on to describe how Lomborg, in his new book Smart Solutions to Climate Change: Comparing Costs and Benefits, states that climate change must be addressed now (Lomborg has written in the past that climate change is a problem but not one that should be a top priority for governments). Now, Lomborg has changed his tune enough to say that “man-made global warming exists” and “we have long moved on from any mainstream disagreements about the science of climate change.” This last statement is particularly interesting because Lomborg has often been quoted by anti-science climate deniers in their arguments against the reality of climate change.
Climate Progress has an interesting and in-depth analysis of Lomborg’s shift in position, and Joe Romm isn’t convinced that Lomborg is anything but an opportunist who has only changed his position slightly. The substance of Lomborg’s argument remains the same, Romm argues, and quotes Howard Friel, author of The Lomborg Deception: Setting the Record Straight on Global Warming, who wrote recently on Common Dreams:
While spanning the globe for “smart solutions” to climate change and to improve the human condition, Lomborg ignores an obvious major source of human suffering, economic deprivation, human rights violations, and vast amounts of wasted money-that is, perpetual war and global military spending-which now totals approximately $1.5 trillion per year. While Lomborg argues on cost-benefit grounds, by citing a select group of climate economists, that it is too expensive for the world’s economies to reduce CO2 emissions, he voices no opposition to the state of perpetual global war and sky-high military expenditures.
Lomborg is not a responsible climate commentator, and it would be good if responsible news organizations finally figured that out.
It seems it is still good to be skeptical of the “Skeptical Environmentalist”, as Lomborg titled one of his books. Having said that, The Week published an interesting articled on the heels of Lomborg’s apparent change of heart entitled 6 Global Warming Skeptics who changed their minds. Here’s an excerpt:
With 2010 shaping up as the warmest year on record and unprecedented heat waves gripping the planet, global warming skeptics have suffered another blow with the defection of the “most high-profile” member of their camp, author Bjorn Lomborg. But Lomborg isn’t the first doubter to accept the scientific consensus that human carbon emissions are warming the planet and need to be curtailed.
The article goes on to list 5 other high-profile skeptics of anthropogenic global warming, including Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. Click here to read the full article.