I was all geared up to recommend this review of Bjorn Lomborg’s new book Cool It, written by The Weather Makers author Tim Flannery, but it turns out to be pretty bad. It’s kind of scattered all over the place a makes no coherent, forceful critique.
Much better is Eban Goodstein’s review in Salon, which drills in on the subject of tipping points, which Lomborg totally ignores:
But this really is not the point. The glaring error in “Cool It,” and the one that disqualifies the book from making a serious contribution, is that Lomborg ignores the main concern driving the debate. Incredibly, he never mentions even the possibility that the world might heat up more than 4.7 degrees. Although he claims IPCC science as gospel, in fact the scientific body gives no single “standard” estimate as its official forecast for this century’s warming. Instead, the IPCC provides a range of up to 10.5 degrees — more than double the number on which Lomborg bases his entire argument.
The global warming “alarmism” that Lomborg finds so distasteful is motivated by a serious, science-driven concern that hidden within our global climate system are powerful positive feedback loops. So that as we inch up from 3 to 4 and then 4 to 5 degrees of warming, we may very well cross some temperature threshold that would trigger a couple of degrees of further warming, causing a catastrophic upward spiral in global temperatures.
See also this interview with Lomborg in Salon — I’ll give this to the guy, he gives good shtick.
And finally, see this Chris Mooney post on DeSmogBlog, on how Lomborg is twisting hurricane science to his own ends.
I understand McKibben’s got a smackdown on the way. I expect it to be a doozy.