On my latest podcast, I had the fortune of hosting Michael Shermer, who is the founder of Skeptic magazine and author of the important new book The Believing Brain. Shermer is also a self-identified libertarian, but one who drew much attention in 2006 when he dropped his global warming skepticism and embraced the scientific consensus that we’re causing climate change to happen.
However, oddly, Shermer still isn’t really worried about global warming. He falls into roughly the same camp as Bjorn Lomborg, arguing that it isn’t likely to be a big deal and will be something we can manage. Here is Shermer’s summary of Lomborg’s answers (in the film Cool It) to two key questions that one must confront if one accepts global warming is happening and caused by humans.
Q: How much warmer is it going to get?
A: Probably a little, very unlikely a lot.
Q: What are the consequences of a warmer climate?
A: Debatable depending on how much warmer it will get, but very likely the consequences will be minor.
Now, this baffles me. I don’t understand how anyone could be so confident warming would be on the low end of the projections, and not that big a deal.
When I had Shermer on the show, it was not my goal to debate him about global warming…