Bjorn Lomborg ask us to Save The World, Ignore Global Warming.
Global warming has become the obsession of our time. From governments and campaigners meeting for the climate summit in Buenos Aires right now we hear the incessant admonition: making global warming our first priority is the moral test of our age.
Yet they are wrong. Global warming is real and caused by CO2. The trouble is that the climate models show we can do very little about the warming. Even if everyone (including the United States) did Kyoto and stuck to it throughout the century, the change would be almost immeasurable, postponing warming by just six years in 2100.
Likewise, the economic models tell us that the cost is substantial. The cost of Kyoto compliance is at least $150billion a year. For comparison, the UN estimates that half that amount could permanently solve the most pressing humanitarian problems in the world: it could buy clean drinking water, sanitation, basic health care and education to every single person in the world.
The question becomes: Do we A) spend our resources on efforts to ameliorate poverty and suffering in this world, or B) spend our resources in a quixotic attempt to change global climate that can accomplish nothing but the damaging of the world economy? It stuns me that this is even considered a question. There is only one rational answer.
I'm a big fan of Lomborg. Invariably, when I mention any of his work I will recieve a dismissive "Oh he's been refuted" remark from somebody. But, also invariably, when I look at the so-called "refutations" all I find are rebuttal pieces from people directly criticized by Lomborg. For some reason the mere existence on another side to this issue is enough to qualify as a "refutation." Imagine if this standard was used in a criminal court.
Prosecutor: "Mr. Manson, I put it to you that you murderd Sharon Tate"
Charles Manson: "No way man, I was at the movies."
Prosecutor: "That's good enough for me. I stand refuted."
Judge: "Case dismissed!"