Fortune Brainstorm Green

God knows why, but they invited Bjorn Lomborg for a short one-on-one interview. Somewhat embarrassingly for Fortune, they got about a third of the crowd that’s come to most other sessions. Apparently people are tired of his shtick.

For some reason, Adam Lashinsky from Fortune is kissing Lomborg’s ass, asking him to “challenge our cozy consensus,” granting him his self-proclaimed status as “skeptical,” talking about how challenging he is, blah blah.

Lashinsky: Do you know the deniers?

Lomborg: Yes, and it makes me uncomfortable. I want the people who don’t like me to like me, and the people who like me, not so much.

Kyoto bashing, blah blah. Global warming isn’t our biggest problem, blah blah. No sense regulating carbon, better to invest in technology, blah blah.

Talks about starting a worldwide fund to invest in clean energy technology. (Golly, this focus on technology sounds familiar.)

Mindy from Ceres: limits on carbon spur investment and innovation, no?

Lomborg: I support a reasonable carbon tax of $2/ton. And cap-and-trade actually doesn’t drive R&D.

Dude from Amyris Biotech: Yeah, early adopters pay more, but that’s what drives the cost down.

Lomborg: Buying tons of crappy stuff doesn’t get you all that much R&D — better to pay for it directly.

John from NRDC Jon Anda from EDF: What about the new economic work being done about uncertain risks, tipping points, etc.?

Lomborg: Nordhaus shows that it still doesn’t pencil out to spend the money. Also, there are uncertain risks in lots of other areas too — HIV, famine, etc.

Well, that was mercifully short.