TwitterFacebook

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

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!

Contact Us LGF Pages

This button leads to the main index of LGF Pages, our user-submitted articles. You can post your own LGF Pages simply by registering a free account with us.

Create a Page

This 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: 2015-08-02 10:58 am PDT

LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds
Recent Pages
Great White Snark
Jewelry Industry Shrinkage Trend Continues
This news looks awful as if the economy including the spending habits of the 1% and 1/10th% are steeply trending down. By implication, this flies in the face of the improving economy as described elsewhere. Well that hasty conclusion would ...

6 hours, 38 minutes ago
Views: 107 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
I Stand With Planned Parenthood
Jimmy Carter: America Is Not a Democracy Anymore (AUDIO)
Former President Jimmy Carter called the United States an "oligarchy" with "unlimited political bribery," on a radio program this week. More: Jimmy Carter: America Is Not a Democracy Anymore (AUDIO)

11 hours, 16 minutes ago
Views: 145 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Thanos
Police: James Blair Shot Neighbor Linda Ciotto in Face, Ran Her Over With Mower
A man who became agitated about his next-door neighbor mowing her lawn at night shot her and then ran a push mower over her body, authorities said Friday. Newsnet5 reported on Wednesday that Linda Ciotto, 62, was shot in ...

1 day, 9 hours ago
Views: 470 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 2 • Rating: 2
Cheechako
Iditarod Champ Dallas Seavey Adds Dog Treadmill to Training Repertoire
Suzanna CaldwellAlaska Dispatch NewsAugust 1, 2015 WILLOW -- Forget the gentle swoosh of sled runners over snow. Iditarod champion Dallas Seavey's summer training offers a stark contrast to his winter routine: more than a dozen dogs yapping manically in a ...

1 day, 20 hours ago
Views: 528 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 10 • Rating: 1
Eclectic Cyborg
MS GOP rep campaigns on pro Confederate Flag platform
So this showed up at my house today, it's an election mailer from one Jeffrey Guice who is running for re-election to the Mississippi State Senate. As you can see, it included an interesting detail... So basically he's taking pride ...

3 days, 23 hours ago
Views: 734 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 56 • Rating: 3
EiMitch
Cracked: 5 Sworn Enemies Who Formed Inspiring Friendships
I was catching-up with Cracked articles. I found an obvious click-bait article, "4 Sexual Preferences That Only Recently Became Taboo": cracked.com Knowing that, I read it anyway. From there, I read a depressing article, "5 Ways College Screws Over Poor ...

4 days, 5 hours ago
Views: 551 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
Skip Intro
Windows 10 is out. Help a guy out, please.
So I downloaded the Win 10 ISO image today, and started the install. The first thing I come across is a screen asking what I want to keep, my apps, data, and program settings, my data and program settings, or ...

5 days, 8 hours ago
Views: 816 • Comments: 7
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Iwouldprefernotto
More Edited PP Videos
NYT -- More Edited PP Videos in the Pipeline The activist behind the videos, David Daleiden, has said he has enough covertly recorded footage for perhaps a dozen videos that he could release, one a week, for the next few ...

1 week ago
Views: 477 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 2
Predaka
Swedish Right Plans Gay Pride March Through Muslim Areas Of Stockholm
haaretz.com From the article: Swedish nationalists are planning a gay 'pride' march through Muslim-majority districts in the country's capital, according to media reports and a dedicated Facebook page. The march, called 'Pride Järva,' is scheduled to take place on July ...

1 week ago
Views: 825 • Comments: 14
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
Lumberhead
#BlackLivesMatter Shows There Are Problems in American Life That Can’t Be Blamed on the Rich
Democratic presidential candidates should take heed. They need to come up with a way to speak to this issue. Otherwise, in an Obama-less election, part of the Obama coalition may not be motivated to show up. Obviously, you can be ...

1 week, 5 days ago
Views: 601 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 3
 Frank says:

Anything played wrong twice in a row is the beginning of an arrangement.