From Bjorn Lomborg:
The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris later this month is being billed as an opportunity to save the planet. It is no such thing. As I show in a new peer-reviewed paper, even if successful, the agreement reached in Paris would cut temperatures in 2100 by just 0.05° Celsius. The rise in sea level would be reduced by only 1.3 centimeters.
This may seem surprising: we constantly hear how every country has made important commitments to reduce CO2 emissions – the so-called “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions,” or INDCs. According to the UN’s climate chief, Christiana Figueres, “the INDCs have the capability of limiting the forecast temperature rise to around 2.7ºC by 2100, by no means enough but a lot lower than the estimated four, five, or more degrees of warming projected by many prior.” http://ow.ly/UNyZj
A facebook friend (Jeff C) has pointed out that there are many criticisms of Lomborg's position. See, for example, this site. I'll add that some appear to be valid, some don't.
- The criticism that he is not trained in science means little to me. Indeed, his graduate degrees are in political science, not environmental science. [See his Wikipaedia entry for more on his background].
Most of his skepticism about Global Warming is based on concerns that economists refer to as "opportunity costs": what are the options? what are the assessments of the options? Unlike too many people writing about AGW, Lomborg continually refers to alternatives. Indeed, his academic work is in a bizskool, not in a science department. Bizskools emphasize the identification and assessment of alternatives.
- Like it or not, the climate models have been all over the place (or so it seems to me from the things I see). The variability and the missing of predictions has led numerous climate scientists to reassess the models, enrich them, and expand their complexity. This is good science. I note that Lomborg appears to have done the same thing, emphasizing more the costs of the actions and policies required by AGW treaties and de-emphasizing his skepticism.
- Any cost-benefit analysis begs the question of who benefits and who bears the costs.
- Most criticisms of Lomborg do not consider the benefits of global warming.
- Nevertheless, as much as I like Lomborg's approach and the questions he raises, I worry that he may be misrepresenting facts (just as I worry about the same tendency with so many AGW warriors). For example, see the criticisms not only in the above piece but also in