‘Skeptical environmentalist’ Bjørn Lomborg reverses his climate skepticism
Courtesy of Lomborg.comBjørn Lomborg — Danish statistician, self-styled “Skeptical Environmentalist,” shrewd self-promoter — is updating his long-held position that climate change isn’t much of a problem, the Guardian reports:
The world’s most high-profile climate change sceptic is to declare that global warming is “undoubtedly one of the chief concerns facing the world today” and “a challenge humanity must confront,” in an apparent U-turn that will give a huge boost to the embattled environmental lobby.
Bjørn Lomborg, the self-styled “sceptical environmentalist” once compared to Adolf Hitler by the U.N.’s climate chief, is famous for attacking climate scientists, campaigners, the media, and others for exaggerating the rate of global warming and its effects on humans, and the costly waste of policies to stop the problem.
But in a new book to be published next month, Lomborg will call for tens of billions of dollars a year to be invested in tackling climate change. “Investing $100bn annually would mean that we could essentially resolve the climate change problem by the end of this century,” the book concludes.
Lomborg used to mock climate “hysteria” by saying that even if climate change is happening, global health and other humanitarian concerns were more worthy targets for public spending (an obvious false choice; we should do both).
He and his fellow researchers at the Copenhagen Consensus Center revisited their previous research and concluded it’s now worth spending more on climate change. He comes up with a fairly standard prescription for a carbon tax and more investment in clean-energy R&D as well as geoengineering:
Examining eight methods to reduce or stop global warming, Lomborg and his fellow economists recommend pouring money into researching and developing clean energy sources such as wind, wave, solar, and nuclear power, and more work on climate engineering ideas such as “cloud whitening” to reflect the sun’s heat back into the outer atmosphere.
In an interview with the Guardian, he said he would finance this investment through a tax on carbon emissions that would also raise $50bn to mitigate the effects of climate change, for example by building better sea defences, and $100bn for global healthcare.
Grant him this: Dude knows how to play the media. Who else could get such attention for adopting a position already held by millions of sensible people? I for one am not giving him and his book any more undeserved publicity. Oh wait.