Two weeks ago the U.K. Guardian gleefully reported that the self-proclaimed “skeptical environmentalist” Bjorn Lomborg, the best-selling writer on the environment, professor, and director of the Copenhagen Consensus think tank, had made a serious acquiescence to the global warming climate change global climate disruption movement that could quite possibly change the face of the entire conversation. From the article:
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 UN’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 has a unique voice in the climate change debate because while he has always believed in man-made climate change, he doesn’t believe it’s catastrophic nor does he subscribe to the Leonardo DiCaprio/Laurie David school of thought that massive cut backs in carbon emissions is the one and only way to fix the problem. So a “U-turn” from this stance would mean that after years of studying and writing on the matter, he’s all of a sudden become an Inconvenient Truther. Having met Mr. Lomborg just last year and being a fan of his work, this report made me highly… skeptical.
After the Guardian article came out, the Huffington Post triumphantly plastered blogs all over their site, The Week, NPR, the New Republic, USA Today, Frum Forum, UC Berkeley, and undoubtedly countless others in the international media touted the claim that Lomborg had made some sort of flip-flop. So, I approached the Professor myself to verify the article. I asked Lomborg if the Guardian piece was accurate, pointing out that all of the quotes the Guardian cherry-picked from an interview could easily line up with his traditional position, which, in a nutshell, is that man-caused climate change is an issue, just not one that’s going to be corrected with things like the Kyoto Protocol. Here’s how he responded:
You’ve got it exactly right. The Guardian’s spin notwithstanding, there has been no “U-turn” or other change of direction in my thinking about global warming. I’ve always said it was real and we must do something about it. Where I parted with conventional wisdom, and still part, is in my belief that some of the proposed cures for climate change (most especially drastic cuts in carbon emissions) would actually be worse than the disease they are meant to solve. I appreciate the fact that you realize this.
So there you have it: no U-turn, and the Guardian is spinning. Meanwhile the MSM is doing double time to spread the misinformation as quickly as possible to score a point for Al Gore and help him get that much closer to catching the illusive ManBearPig.
But Lomborg was mounting a retort to the journalism malpractice, one that would firm up his position and make fools out of the left-wing media spin machine, aptly titled, “U-Turn On Global Warming? Hardly.” Some highlights:
After years of being accused of believing something I didn’t believe–or, more accurately, not believing something I really did–I made headlines last month for changing my mind even though I hadn’t.
Confused? Imagine how I feel.
The fact that I’ve always asserted the reality of man-made climate change never seemed to make an impression on my critics. What mattered was that I had the temerity to question two key tenets of the received wisdom about global warming: I was skeptical of the idea that we were facing the apocalypse, and I didn’t accept that the only solution was to mandate drastic cuts in carbon emissions.
The main global-warming solution our experts analyzed was the carbon-cutting approach advocated by Al Gore and endorsed at the 1997 global climate summit in Kyoto. We found that compared to solutions to other problems, direct carbon cuts were woefully ineffective. For example, while every dollar spent on fighting malnutrition would yield nearly $20 in benefits, every dollar spent on cutting carbon would avoid much less than a dollar of global warming damage.
I spent a good part of last year and most of this year advocating for this sensible approach to solving global warming, which is “one of the chief concerns facing the world today,” as I said in an Aug. 31 interview with the Guardian, the British newspaper.
What happened next was startling. The Guardian reported my commonplace observation as evidence of “an apparent U-turn” by “the world’s most high-profile climate change skeptic.” This set off a media stampede; news organizations around the world scrambled to report my so-called change of heart.
I tried to explain that I had always considered climate change to be a problem. The only thing that had changed was that we finally had some good solutions to consider.
Full must-read column here.
Of course some corrections and retractions are in order, but perhaps Lomborg and critics of the liberal media may get the last laugh. Maybe, just maybe, some of those who subscribe to the philosophy and pseudo-science behind prophet Al’s heavily edited and largely discredited gospel, An Inconvenient Truth, will pick up Lomborg’s new book, Smart Solutions to Climate Change: Comparing Costs and Benefits. They’ll pick it up excited for the self-affirmation only an A-list convert to their cause can provide them and will be utterly shocked when they’re confronted with still more blasphemy. If that happens, we’ll have only our pals in the mainstream media to thank.
Next month, you can read it for yourself.