Monday, February 15, 2021

There Goes Bjorn Lomborg, Making Sense Again

It's been awhile since I've done a post on Bjorn Lomborg (type his name into the search engine on this page to find other such posts), so here goes.

While I don't agree with Lomborg that man is having an appreciable affect on worldwide climate, I cannot help but admire the logic and reason he brings to the issue:

The equivalent cost for the US and the EU would be more than $5 trillion. Each and every year. That is more than the entire US federal budget, or more than the EU governments spend across all budgets for education, recreation, housing, environment, economic affairs, police, courts, defense and health.

Tellingly, the European Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans recently admitted that climate policies would be so costly, it would be a “matter of survival for our industry” without huge, protective border taxes.

Climate change is a real, manmade problem. But its impacts are much lower than breathless climate reporting would suggest. The UN Climate Panel finds that if we do nothing, the total impact of climate in the 2070s will be equivalent to reducing incomes by 0.2-2 percent. Given that by then, each person is expected to be 363 percent as rich as today, climate change means we will “only” be 356 percent as rich. Not the end of the world.

He's long written that we should adapt to so-called climate change, not try to stop it (if such is even possible).

Most voters aren’t willing to pay for these extravagant climate policies. While Biden proposes spending the equivalent of $1,500 per American per year, a recent Washington Post survey showed that more than half the population was unwilling to pay even $24.

And for what? If all the rich countries in the world were to cut their carbon emissions to zero tomorrow and for the rest of the century, the effort would make an almost unnoticeable reduction in temperatures by 2100.

This is because more than three-quarters of the global emissions in the rest of this century will come from Asia, Africa and Latin America. These nations are determined to lift their populations out of poverty and ensure broad development using plentiful energy, mostly from cheap fossil fuels.

An example:

Take the terrible air pollution in Los Angeles in the 1950s. It wasn’t fixed by na├»vely asking people to stop driving cars. Instead, it was fixed through innovation — the catalytic converter allowed people to drive further yet pollute little. We need to invest in research to make green energy much cheaper: from better solar, wind and batteries to cheaper fission, fusion and carbon capture.

We should spend tens of billions to innovate the price of green energy below fossil fuels. Spending trillions on enormous and premature emissions cuts is an unsustainable and ineffective First World approach.

Lomborg's book The Skeptical Environmentalist is a must-read. And I've just downloaded this audiobook, written in 2019.


Ellen K said...

We're actually dealing with the bad outcomes of "green" initiatives. It turns out wind turbines can't operate in temps lower than 22 degrees. Meanwhile power has to be diverted to keep them warm. When broken, which is frequently, the blades can't be recycled. These are massive public works boondoggles. And because ERCOT, the Texas energy delivery system, invested heavily in solar and wind under pressure and offers of Federal grants to private investors. As a result 36% of our grid is compromised. Of my three adult kids, two are without power and have been since early this morning. My son's wife is due to have her first baby literally any day now. My daughter and her husband have resorted to setting up their tent in the living room to conserve heat. This is ridiculous.

Darren said...

My favorite recent picture is of a helicopter, powered by fossil fuels, spraying chemicals, made from fossil fuels, onto a blade, made from fossil fuels, that's frozen and can't turn to make electricity.

Darren said...