Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A skeptical look at global warming

I used to think that Bjorn Lomborg was a right-wing kook, but this video changed my mind. It's long (30 minutes) but well worth the time. Basically he makes the point that even if global warming is real and man-made (he concedes it is both), trying to reduce it still might not be a smart thing to do.

To be fair, one should be skeptical about the skeptic: one thing Lomborg doesn't take into account is the possibility of a catastrophic melting of the polar ice caps and the resulting sea-level rise flooding most of the world's coastal cities. It's hard to imagine what the silver lining would be in that scenario.

3 comments:

MissM said...

I enjoyed this discussion of personal carbon use, globalized and how we produce that much while not increasing the temperatures. I recommend the slideshow, because I listened to the podcast and wanted to see the charts. http://itc.conversationsnetwork.org/shows/detail3771.html

P.S. Loved the Africa pictures

coby said...

Lomborg is far from a kook, but he is not a credible commentator on climate change (a hobby horse of mine). He has even been formally accused of and found guilty of scientific fraud for distortions and misrepresentations in "The Skeptical Environmentalist".

There are many good sites taking apart his work, this is a good jumping off point here:
http://www.grist.org/advice/books/2001/12/12/of/

For a very well source debunking of one of his more recent op-eds have a look at this blog post:
http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/2008/07/22/willful-idocy/

trimtab said...

Lomborg is not known for his intellectual honesty. He got nailed by the editors of Scientific American in 2002, and has been served his ass on a silver platter by a boat-load of scientists, most of which got neither a direct reply from Lomborg, nor any retraction or correction for all the "errors" in his books.

Try the following links, detailing Lomborgs errors. Quite revealing.

http://www.lomborg-errors.dk/skeptical.htm
http://www.lomborg-errors.dk/coolit.htm
http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/2008/07/22/willful-idocy/