Polite suggestion for Bjorn Lomborg and Tony Abbott

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced that Australian taxpayers are now going to finance attempts to disprove the need to decarbonise our global power generation systems as fast as possible (see yesterday’s article on the Guardian website). However, Lomborg’s position is very confused (and confusing): Lomborg: “Natural science has undeniably shown us that global warming is manmade and real. But just as undeniable is the economic science which makes it clear that a narrow focus on reducing carbon emissions could leave future generations with major costs, without major cuts to temperatures.” Reality: Natural science has undeniably shown us that global warming is real and predominantly manmade. Just as undeniable is the economic assessment that any further delay in reducing carbon emissions will make it harder and more expensive to mitigate and/or adapt to increases in global temperatures. My suggestion to both Lomborg and Abbott is that they should take time out to read the assessment of the formerly-skeptical Yale Professor of Economics, William D. Nordhaus: ‘Why the Global Warming Skeptics Are Wrong’ by William D. Nordhaus (2012). Writing in response to an article in the Wall Street Journal signed by sixteen fossil fuel-funded ‘Merchants of doubt’ (including Richard Lindzen), Nordhaus began thus:

I have identified six key issues that are raised in the article, and I provide commentary about their substance and accuracy. They are: — Is the planet in fact warming? — Are human influences an important contributor to warming? — Is carbon dioxide a pollutant? — Are we seeing a regime of fear for skeptical climate scientists? — Are the views of mainstream climate scientists driven primarily by the desire for financial gain? — Is it true that more carbon dioxide and additional warming will be beneficial? As I will indicate below, on each of these questions, the sixteen scientists provide incorrect or misleading answers. At a time when we need to clarify public confusions about the science and economics of climate change, they have muddied the waters. I will describe their mistakes and explain the findings of current climate science and economics…

Therefore, if anyone is inclined to think Bjorn Lomborg’s position on climate science has any credibility, I would suggest that they need to read (or if necessary re-read) what Nordhaus wrote over three years ago.

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About Rick Altman

Possibly just another 'Climate Cassandra' crying 'Wolf' in cyberspace. However, the moral of the old children's story is that the Wolf eventually turned up!
This entry was posted in Climate Science, Economics, Environment, Merchants of Doubt, Politics, Richard Lindzen and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Polite suggestion for Bjorn Lomborg and Tony Abbott

    • Rick Altman says:

      Thanks, John. It is very good of someone like yourself to take time to post links like this on my “li’l ol’ blog”. I hope you have had more success than me in engaging Lomborg or Abbott on Twitter…? I also tried and failed to get an answer to the question as to how UWA could simultaneously: (a) defend Stephan Lewandowsky (et al) in exposing the ideological blindness of climate change ‘scepticism’; and (b) support Bjorn Lomborg (et al) in contesting the validity of the scientific consensus. Is this a classic case of “the left-hand not knowing what the right-hand is doing”…?

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  1. John Mashey says:

    No response: well, the last thing he would have wanted to do was to point at my blog post. IRS Form 990s are rather strong evidence. I’m a Trustee of a real 501(c)(3), I’ve studied hundreds of Form 990s, looked at tax law, skimmed adverse determinations. But, I am delighted that Lomborg went on the record this way… especially when CCC’s website says: “Most of our core team, consisting of about 8 full-time project managers and communication people are working from Budapest. Despite the name we no longer have an office in Copenhagen. Our president and founder Bjorn Lomborg resides in Prague, but travels more than 200 days per year for conferences, seminars, meetings and interviews.”

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    • Rick Altman says:

      Thanks, John. Sorry for very much delayed acknowledgement. 4 days per week is a lot. He must have shares in carbon capture and storage research (not that it is likely to be able to save any of us).

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