Bjorn Lomborg has written a challenging article on why Barack Obama should not do anything about climate change. Lomborg is probably the most respected of climate change skeptics, and author of two books, The Skeptical Environmentalist and Cool It. He doesn’t dispute that global warming is happening, but argues our money is better spent on other policy goals. He makes the following points.
1) Global food production is expected to decrease with climate change, but only by a small amount: 1.4 per cent. Even under the most pessimistic predictions, advances in technology mean food production can more than keep pace with this slight decrease to feed the world’s hungry.
2) Implementing the Kyoto Protocol will cost $180 billion annually. If we spent $10 billion annually on direct food aid, the United Nations estimates we could help 299 million hungry people now.
3) Sea levels are rising, but they have been rising since the early 1800s. (The last mini Ice age was from 1550-1850, which is why sea levels have been rising for that long. Since 1993, the rate of rise has in fact increased).
4) Coastlines are determined as much by the natural climate as by human intervention. The massive humanitarian disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina was mainly because of the lack of intervention to protect the coast and disorganized and poorly-managed clean up efforts. New Orleans needs to focus on how to protect itself against the next hurricane, as there will be another hurricane of equal ferocity regardless of how the planet is affected by global warming.
Anyway, you can read the full article here. I have some objections to his points, but I’d like to hear from readers first.