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Bjorn Lomborg  (Source:
Copenhagen Consensus Project makes Bjorn Lomborg see importance of cutting carbon

A well-known climate change skeptic has changed his mind regarding the importance of global warming, and in his new book, he is urging the spending of over $100 billion annually to help fight warming.

Bjorn Lomborg, an academic and environmental author, has held a strong opposing opinion against global warming for some time now, writing books such as "The Skeptical Environmentalist." In this book, he argues against claims regarding certain aspects of global warming, species loss, water shortages, etc. It was a controversial book when it was first published in Danish in 1998, then in English (2001).

In addition, Lomborg has campaigned against the Kyoto Protocol, which is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that fights global warming. He has stated that humans should adapt to short-term climate rises, since they are inevitable, instead of trying to cut carbon emissions in the short-term. 

After making so many controversial statements and making his opinion against the importance of global warming known, Lomborg has now switched teams and makes this new vision clear in his upcoming book, "Smart Solutions to Climate Change," which will be published next month. 

Lomborg never denied the human role in global warming, but always argued that trying to counter climate change should be a "low priority" when it comes to government spending. Now, in his new book, Lomborg says fighting climate change is a priority and that over $100 billion should be spent annually to address the issue. 

"The point I've always been making is it's not the end of the world," said Lomborg. "That's why we should be measuring up to what everybody else says, which is we should be spending our money well."

So what made him change his mind? According to Lomborg, the Copenhagen Consensus project, which is where a group of economists are asked to consider the best way to spend $50 billion, made him reconsider global warming's importance. He noted that in 2004, global warming was put near the bottom of the list, and in 2008, new ideas for fighting global warming made it about halfway up the list. Lomborg then stated that he "decided to consider a much wider variety of policies to reduce global warming, so it wouldn't end up at the bottom." 

Lomborg now proposes a global carbon tax to raise $250 billion annually, where $100 billion will be spent on clean energy research and development, $50 billion on climate change adaptation and $1 billion on low-cost geo-engineering solutions. He wants the rest to be spent on better healthcare in poor countries and cleaner water. 

"Lomborg has acknowledged the need for public spending on man-made climate change," said Mike Childs, Friends of the Earth climate campaigner. "He is right that wind, wave and solar are the energy industries in the future and need much greater support from governments. A carbon tax to raise funds is undoubtedly part of the solution, but regulation and public spending also have their place.

"But he is still dangerously attracted to pursuing the cheapest, more risky geo-engineering solutions, is putting too much faith in future technologies and R&D, and is not giving enough support to the urgent need to reduce current emissions through rapid deployment of existing solutions and behavioral changes."

A Greenpeace spokesperson noted that while Lomborg's cross to the other side is welcomed, it's about two decade too late, and it's hard for some groups to take him seriously. According to the Guardian, some have dismissed Lomborg as "politically naive." Lomborg was an anchor in the climate change skeptic community, and his change of mind is sure to rock the boat. 

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RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By Stacey Melissa on 9/1/2010 2:43:03 PM , Rating: 1
I'm going to put aside morality for the moment and argue purely from a numerical standpoint. Do we really want to be giving undeveloped nations clean water?

No, we shouldn't be giving those poor people clean water. I think you made an incredibly cogent argument that is both about what we should do, and also not about morality. Somehow.

Well, anyway, the obvious solution to poor people without clean water is not only to not give them clean water. The obvious solution is for us first world people to eat them. Preferably while they're still children, so they never get to reproduce. That will have the most beneficial numerical effect on the number of people without clean water. Plus, they're tenderer when young. Mmm-mmm good.

Cheers to Jonathan Swift.

RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By clovell on 9/1/2010 2:55:25 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for that. The problem here is that everybody wants to be a hardass when the topic is related to redistribution of wealth.

People - you don't have to tear down the benefits of charity and generosity to have an arguement against the redistribution of wealth. Logicians call this the 'either or fallacy'.

RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By ekv on 9/2/2010 1:32:07 AM , Rating: 2
You wouldn't happen to have a relative by the name of James J. Lee (aka Discovery bldg. gunman), would you?

RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By Stacey Melissa on 9/2/2010 9:52:33 AM , Rating: 1
So let me get this straight. I'm the random faceless internets poster who mocked a grossly inhumane post that dehumanized poor people to the point of just letting them die for lack of potable water. And now you're thinking that, out of our planet's 6.7 billion people, I just might happen to be related to a guy who dehumanized people to the point of taking hostages to get his message across that "the planet does not need humans"? Wow.

If you're looking for someone who doesn't much care if people die, take a look at the atrocious post I was mocking.

RE: Redistribution of Wealth
By ekv on 9/2/2010 12:31:02 PM , Rating: 2
Sarcasm is a two-way street, no? My apologies for striking such a nerve, as apparently I did 8)

Yes, I read Solandri's post (not long after he put it up). There are good points and bad points. Good is the stuff about not going beyond infrastructure. Bad is not providing clean water. In case you aren't convinced of the latter, I do have some other posts here, Living Water Int'l to be specific.

LWI raises private funds, locates a potential well site (geologists are on staff), drills the well, teaches the village leaders -- typically -- how to take care of the well, teaches the village about hygiene. The last step is the most important and also the most time-consuming. One guy, literally, drills the well, but the rest of the team is required for all the other steps. No sense in drilling the well and the water to become tainted later on.

I well understand about clean water AND infrastructure. My apologies if my sarcasm was out-of-line.

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