Diane Francis: An interview with Bjorn Lomborg — a rare breath of fresh air in the climate debate
‘Environmental journalists have become PR persons for green movements and that leads us to become poor because we end up with bad decisions’
Two weeks of climate change alarmism is in full throttle and Canadian taxpayers are footing the bill to send 277 delegates and 17 press aides to attend the gigantic COP26 conference in Glasgow, as world leaders are lining up to make long-term announcements, with few specifics on how, or if, they will be implemented, or what the consequences might be. Few are able to provide a counterbalance to all this as well as climate economist Bjorn Lomborg.
“I’m depressed that the media and climate reporters and environmental reporters are not like others who are critical,” he said in an interview with the Financial Post. “They don’t demand evidence, or ask how much, and what are the alternatives? Environmental journalists have become PR persons for green movements and that leads us to become poor because we end up with bad decisions.”
Lomborg is president of the Copenhagen Consensus think tank and a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution. His latest book is “False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet.”
“The science shows us that fears of a climate apocalypse are unfounded. Global warming is real, but it is not the end of the world. It is a manageable problem,” he said. “But the singular obsession with climate change means we are now going from wasting billions of dollars on ineffective policies, to wasting trillions.”
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And it certainly doesn’t help when environmentalists come out against low- or no-carbon technologies for ideological reasons. “If you really believe the end of the world is coming, why aren’t environmentalists committing to the only solution plausible right now, which is nuclear power?” Lomborg asked. “It’s clean and safe and solves the problem.”
Lomborg also disputes common claims, such as the idea that global warming leads to a large increase in natural disasters.
“We have data on global deaths from all climate-related weather disasters such as floods, droughts, storms, and fire from the International Disaster Database. In the 1920s, these disasters killed almost half a million people on average each year. The current climate narrative would suggest that natural disasters are ever deadlier, but that isn’t true. Over the past century, climate-related deaths have dropped to fewer than 20,000, on average, each year, even though the global population has quadrupled since 1920,” he said.
He suggested that politicians like to blame natural disasters, in order to deflect from the reality that damage is often the result of lack of preparedness, inadequate warning systems, insufficient drainage capacity, human or political stupidity, people living where they shouldn’t or failed disaster responses.
Unfortunately, Lomborg’s research and the facts have become climate casualties and the media encourage an irrational exuberance that ignores real solutions.
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