bjorn lomborg

Wed, 2011-04-13 17:20Mike Casey
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Gambling when we don’t have to

Two weeks ago, I visited the office of a friend of mine, a partner at a top cleantech Silicon Valley law firm. He and I shared a concern about the increasingly hostile, anti-clean energy propaganda from dirty energy-funded critics who are trying to position clean energy as expensive, subsidy-dependent, and “not ready.” The good news, my friend said, was that he’s increasingly hearing from cleantech executives and investors concerned about these growing attacks on their investments. The bad news was that many of those concerned don’t connect the attacks with the dirty energy money that’s funding them.

Now what cleantech needs to hear is, ‘No more Mr. Nice Guy’,” he told me. “These [dirty energy] guys are out to kick our butts, and they will if we let them.”

I think my friend is right. However, after attending last week’s Bloomberg New Energy Finance Summit, I think there’s a ways to go before enough cleantech players see that dirty energy is using media and government to protect its capital investments and decades-long feeding at the public trough.

Sat, 2010-11-13 13:17Jim Hoggan
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Andy Revkin Reviews Bjorn Lomborg's New Film 'Cool It'

Andy Revkin has posted an initial review on his Dot Earth blog about Bjorn Lomborg’s new film ‘Cool It.’

Head over to Dot Earth to read the whole thing, but here is an excerpt of important points and observations from Revkin about the film:

In “Cool It,” Lomborg breezily ticks down a laundry list of high-tech ways to engineer the atmosphere, for example, but punts on the tougher questions related to such planet-scale enterprises — such as the inevitable diplomatic dispute over who sets the planetary thermostat and how blocking the sun does nothing to stem the buildup of carbon dioxide, much of which will stay in the atmosphere for many centuries.

He proposes spending tens of billions of dollars (a bargain, he insists, compared to the hundreds of billions that would be spent on a cap-and-trade style approach), but he doesn’t say how he’d convince the United States or China to adopt the necessary carbon tax.

And he doesn’t deal with the full pipeline for innovation that is required to take a promising technology from idea to breakthrough. A greatly intensified research effort is a vital, but insufficient, facet of any plan to foster progress without disrupting the climate.

Its chiding tone in places is unlikely to build the sense of consensus and excitement around an energy quest that Lomborg seems to desire.

Fri, 2010-09-17 09:47Jim Hoggan
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Bjorn Lomborg’s Climate Confusionist Spin Is Never Ending

Bjorn Lomborg

Bjorn Lomborg is in the spin business, plain and simple.  In his Wall Street Journal op-ed this week, the Danish game theorist pretends to be so surprised that people were confused by his ‘change of heart’ last month – when he suddenly recognised that climate change is “one of the chief concerns facing the world today” and advocated for a $100 billion annual investment and a carbon tax – after years spent arguing that the world shouldn’t spend a penny on the problem. 

Hardly surprising to anyone who has followed Lomborg’s long trail of disingenuous spin, the ‘change of heart’ was nothing more than a ploy manufactured to tease his forthcoming book. 

Spinning like a top, Lomborg starts off his oddly defensive opinion piece with this twister:

After years of being accused of believing something I didn’t believe—or, more accurately, not believing something I really did—I made headlines last month for changing my mind even though I hadn’t.”

Dizzy yet? Well let’s review Lomborg’s history of spin.

Mon, 2010-08-30 16:02Brendan DeMelle
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Bjorn Lomborg Now Says Climate Change “Chief Concern,” Calls for Carbon Tax

The Guardian reports today that long-time global warming contrarian Bjorn Lomborg has changed his tune a bit, and now acknowledges that climate change is “a challenge humanity must confront.”  In an interview with the paper, Lomborg calls for a carbon tax and a $100 billion annual investment in clean technologies and other solutions to climate disruption. 

Lomborg has never been among the outright climate deniers, acknowledging repeatedly over the years that he accepts the science confirming manmade global warming.  But until now he has downplayed the need for massive investment to solve the problem, and is often seen cavorting with the ExxonMobil-funded denier crowd.  In his 2007 book ‘Cool It,’ he argued that spending huge amounts of money to address climate change would do little to address the problem.  

Now it appears Lomborg has come to his senses, becoming an unlikely advocate for massive public investment in creating a low carbon energy future. 

It’s about technologies, about realizing there’s a vast array of solutions,” he tells the Guardian.

Sat, 2010-01-16 14:52Richard Littlemore
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The Disingenuous Environmentalist offers a solution with no funding model

Bjorn Lomborg, the Disingenuous Environmentalist, is (with the generous assistance of the Washington Post opinion page editor) once again fighting against any tax or regulation that might inconvenience his buddies in the fossil fuel industry. But, perhaps out of character, Lomborg is also proposing a very specific global investment - $100 billion US - in alternative energy research.

This is probably a good idea, although anyone who is even slightly skeptical of government might worry about empowering politicians to try to pick winners when it comes to financing research and innovation.

Smart economists (clearly a group to which Lomborg has no affiliation) tend to agree that the best way to address climate change is to ask the market to do it. You put a price on carbon - a price that begins to reflect the unfunded damage that CO2 (and other fossil fuel pollutants) do to the atmosphere - and let entrepreneurs act on that price signal and seek the most efficient solutions.

But Lomborg is suddenly a socialist - suddenly an advocate for direct government control and investment.

Sun, 2009-12-13 14:13Kevin Grandia
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Copendenier Henrik Svensmark collapses on Danish TV

A little drama on Danish TV tonight here at the Copenhagen climate talks.

This article was drafted by Steffen Gronemann from the Danish site, Klimakampen.org, who I asked to write up a report on this, given my complete lack of ability to speak Danish.

During a live primetime climate-debate broadcasted on Danish national TV one of the participators, climate-skeptic scientist Henrik Svensmark, had a heart attack.

Bjorn Lomborg was by his side in the tv-studio when the scientist mid-sentence fell ill. THe 41 year old Henrik Svensmark made an awkward spasm/shudder and burst out a strange noise, sounding like a cough.

The other participants in the debate looked baffled and he mumbled:

“It’s my heart,” and fell to the ground and the pacemaker kicked in once more and you could hear him scream. Bjrøn Lomborg yelled “call an ambulance, call an ambulance” and the host and the other participants came over to help the man.

Mon, 2009-09-28 18:00Richard Littlemore
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Lomborg: Argument today; "proof" tomorrow

Updated to correct source of research

Bjorn Lomborg, the Disingenuous Environmentalist is at it again, taking advantage of the delusionist tendencies of the Washington Post’s opinion page editors to argue that climate change is no worries and that coal is the key to our long-term health and prosperity.

Lomborg bases this particular example of economics fiction (a less rigorous form of science fiction) on the work of the economist Richard Tol, whose previous machinations have made it obvious that he is happy to take Lomborg’s Copenhagen Consensus Center funding and feed back the conclusions Lomborg would like.

Fri, 2009-08-21 14:30Jim Hoggan
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Reynolds, Tol, Lomborg: The Case for Ignoring Climate Change

The most successful Libertarian politician in Canadian history, Globe and Mail columnist Neil Reynolds, has joined the campaign to do nothing about climate change, basing his argument (A Net-Benefit Greenhouse Gas Plan - Less is Really More) not on the work of anyone who actually studies climate science, but rather on two economists with a track record of trying to discourage action.

Most famous of these is Bjorn Lomborg, the Disingenuous Environmentalist and director of a Danish think tank that specialilzes in understating the costs of climate change and overestimating the costs of taking preventative action.

In the run-up to the United Nations meeting scheduled for his hometown in December, Lomborg’s Copenhagen Concensus Center has commissioned 21 reports “to examine the costs and
benefits of different solutions to global warming.” The most recent result, a paper by the economist Richard Tol (inset), gives a good indication of how agenda-driven and, in some regards, surprisingly unprofessional, those papers might be.

Mon, 2009-08-10 12:37Mitchell Anderson
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Lomborg's Robot Navy

Bjorn Lomborg has found a new vocation. For years, the Danish doubter has been hectoring the scientific community about their shoddy understanding of climate science – a discipline he has never published a peer reviewed paper about.

Now he is championing the dangerous prospect of geo-engineering as his latest reason to ignore ballooning carbon emissions. Specifically he believes a fleet of 1,900 robotic ships patrolling the Pacific Ocean churning seawater into the upper atmosphere will negate the need to do anything about climate change.

Problem solved!

This loopy prospect emerged from the Copenhagen Consensus - Lomborg’s personal climate conference where hand-picked attendees parrot his fringe notion that climate change is simply to expensive to deal with. Real economists around the world have come to exactly the opposite conclusion.

And now Lomborg finds himself at odds with actual experts yet again. The same week he was courting press attention for his robot ship solution, a gathering of independent scientists was warning the world about the dangers of relying on geo-engineering instead of emission cuts.

“Playing with the Earth’s climate is a dangerous game with unclear rules,” said Robert Jackson, director of Duke University’s Center on Global Change and organizer of a symposium on geo-engineering at the Ecological Society of America’s Annual Meeting.

Sun, 2009-08-09 09:42Richard Littlemore
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Incorrigible Lomborg: Defending the right of rich people to pollute

The Disingenuous Environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg has once again celebrated a public epiphany on climate change, bringing him. once again, to the conclusion that the globe is warming, that humans are to blame and that we - especially we rich people - shouldn’t do anything about it.

In Lomborg’s latest feint, he suckered some reporter at London’s Financial Times into reporting that he has broken common cause with the “climate sceptics” and called for an a global agreement on climate change in this December’s Kyoto negotiations in Copenhagen.

But if you read the details, his position is the same as ever: that it would be a “mistake” to try to get rich countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Lomborg’s choice is to concentrate on every other thing - and especially to think about ignoring the problem in the short term, putting our energies into adaptation and “weighing up whether emission cuts are cheaper to do now or later.”

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