Bjorn Lomborg Strikes Again: Spreads Obfuscation about AGW Costs and Lethality

Lomborg is c_o_n_c_e_r_n_e_d

Bjorn Lomborg is at it again, spreading confusion about climate change and doubt about its lethality:

When Good Intentions Go Bad

“Two studies—one on genetically modified corn and one on climate change—demonstrate how scare tactics can backfire.”

Campaigners on important but complex issues, annoyed by the length of time required for public deliberations, often react by exaggerating their claims, hoping to push a single solution to the forefront of public debate. But, however well-intentioned, scaring the public into a predetermined solution often backfires: When people eventually realize that they have been misled, they lose confidence and interest.

Last month, there were two examples of this in a single week. First, French researcher Gilles-Eric Séralini attempted to fuel public opposition to genetically modified foods by showing the public how GM corn, with and without the pesticide Roundup, caused huge tumors and early death in 200 rats that had consumed it over two years.

[…]

The Séralini fiasco was only a week old when, the Climate Vulnerability Forum, a group of countries led by Bangladesh, launched the second edition of its Global Vulnerability Monitor. Headlines about the launch were truly alarming: Over the next 18 years, global warming would kill 100 million people and cost the economy upwards of $6.7 trillion annually.

These public messages were highly misleading and clearly intended to shock and disturb. The vast majority of deaths discussed in the report did not actually result from global warming. Outdoor air pollution—caused by fossil-fuel combustion, not by global warming—contributed to 30 percent of all deaths cited in the study. And 60 percent of the total deaths reflect the burning of biomass (such as animal dung and crop residues) for cooking and heating, which has no relation to either fossil fuels or global warming.

[…]

First off, Lomborg is just wrong in equating the two “studies”. Lomborg is trying to plant into the minds of his readers the following syllogism:

A: Estimates of deaths from AGW are just like the Seralini paper.
B: The Seralini paper is probably fraudulent.

Therefore estimating deaths from AGW is likewise fraudulent

The GMO “study” was published in a scientific journal, and it immediately brought criticism from other scientists and while it is being promoted by policy activists to change laws, the science community will get to the bottom of the Seralini controversy. Furthermore, the controversy over the Seralini paper has been noticed far and wide - for example, see here: Using junk science to promote Proposition 37

The AGW position paper Lomborg references is just that - a publication of an independent organization (sort of a cross between a think tank and an aid organization) called DARA:
[Link: daraint.org…]
and the very effort that Lomborg laments:
[Link: daraint.org…]
is upfront that they are tackling a variety of issues surrounding carbon. And, Lomborg seems to be looking at media headlines to pull his “scare” blaming, rather than the actual press release by DARA:
[Link: daraint.org…]

Now, one can quibble with the economic costs described in the DARA documents - as I keep pointing out, Economics really is the “dismal” science. DARA presents costs as percentages of GDP, but as anyone who has followed arguments over what constitutes “GDP” knows, the concepts of national economic valuations are fraught with issues.

And as we all know, not all “costs” in life can be meaningfully measured in a dollar amount.

Lomborg isn’t really doing a detailed rebuttal of the costs of AGW that DARA has offered but is trying to sweep the whole DARA position under the rug, because whatever DARA comes up with will be different from what Lomborg himself has claimed, in books and lectures, about the costs and impacts of AGW, and he doesn’t want to be shown to be wrong.

Furthermore, Lomborg uses his latest article to once again try to get people away from worrying about CO2, even though increasing CO2 in the atmosphere is far and away the principle means by which humans are modifying the climate.

Mostly, I suspect, is that DARA is bluntly stating that people will die because of AGW, and Lomborg tends to want and ignore the moral implications of such.

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Recent PagesClick to refresh
Daniel J. Berrigan, Defiant Priest Who Preached Pacifism, Dies at 94When I was younger I wasn't quite a full metal wingnut but I was close when it came to matters military; and during those days Father Berrigan was in the opposing camp. However even then I recognized that he was ...
Thanos
1 hour, 15 minutes ago
Views: 67 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Marcus Miller - Metropole Orkest - Edison Jazz/World Awards 2013 Eindhoven 2013 - Optreden van Marcus Miller en het Metropole Orkest tijdens de uitreiking van de Edison Jazz/World Awards 2013 in het Muziekcentrum Frits Philips. Het orkest staat onder leiding van Daniel Jamieson. Eindhoven 2013 - Performance of Marcus ...
Thanos
4 hours, 39 minutes ago
Views: 121 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Pop Goes the Digital Media Bubble Warning: this leads into the latest Mother Jones begathon, however there are salient facts regarding the state of journalism and digital advertising today before you get there. Look at it this way: A reporter doing even modestly original work ...
Thanos
12 hours, 5 minutes ago
Views: 183 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Nvidia GPU-Powered Autonomous Car Teaches Itself to See and Steer During the past nine months, an Nvidia engineering team built a self-driving car with one camera, one Drive-PX embedded computer and only 72 hours of training data. Nvidia published an academic preprint of the results of the DAVE2 project ...
Thanos
13 hours, 1 minute ago
Views: 209 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
How to Set Up Your Newsroom to Find Breaking News on Social Media | To cover news through social media right it takes a team and some tools. He recommended a three-person team to cover the key platforms on which reports and footage emerge: one person looking for material on Twitter, one on ...
Thanos
15 hours, 5 minutes ago
Views: 223 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Trump Praises Putin in Interview With Far-Right Conspiracy Theorist Trump on the Michael Savage show. Donald Trump has made no secret of his admiration for Russian president Vladimir Putin, and the feeling seems to be mutual . So Trump naturally brought the subject up again in an interview ...
Thanos
15 hours, 27 minutes ago
Views: 224 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 5 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
The Racist Roots of a Way to Sell Homes Contracts for deed are making a comeback. They are increasingly being used by investment firms that have bought thousands of foreclosed homes and want to sell them to lower-income buyers “as is,” according to a recent report in The ...
Thanos
15 hours, 50 minutes ago
Views: 177 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Trump’s Calculated Misogyny The conservative media is still not quite behind Trump, this morning Dana Milbank, George Will, and Kathleen Parker all write opinion pieces that do not favor him. That will change, but you might as well take a look while ...
Thanos
16 hours, 23 minutes ago
Views: 252 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 3 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Iran State Media: Moderate Bloc Wins More Seats in Runoff Iran’s moderate-reformist bloc secured more than 30 more seats in parliamentary runoff elections, according to a Saturday report on state TV. The bloc, which supports President Hassan Rouhani and a nuclear deal the country reached with world powers last ...
Thanos
16 hours, 32 minutes ago
Views: 230 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 3 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
This Is What the Revolution Looks Like: Former Sanders Staffers Are Launching a New PAC Aimed at Midterm Congressional Elections Political movements have no spirit, no spine, and no heart if they can not persist past a singular defeat. Real change in this country will require a sustained national mobilization, what I’ve called a counter-Tea Party movement. While their ...
Thanos
1 day, 14 hours ago
Views: 473 • Comments: 2 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0