The Australian’s opinion piece writers on the energy and climate change issue include Judith and Henry as well as Maurice Newman, Chris Kenny and Graham Lloyd. They are all doing terrific work in addressing the myths and self-serving agitprop that has the main political parties in thrall.
But where does Danish statistician Bjorn Lomborg fit in with this? Articulate and courageous, he converted himself from being a member of Greenpeace and a climate change believer into a skeptic of sorts. He did so 20 years ago, after critically analysing but failing to repudiate Julian Simon’s assessments that environmentalists’ alarmism is unfounded.
His position became that any environmental damage humans might be creating would easily be solved by technological developments and that these developments would come all the more readily and cheaply if we refrained from imposing costs on the economy.
He was excoriated for this apostasy in Denmark and elsewhere, (including by establishment academic journals like Nature and the Scientific American) as only a reformed leftist can be.
Even so, back in 2008, he was named one of the “100 the most influential people on the planet” by Time, a “global leader for tomorrow” by the World Economic Forum, and “one of the 50 people who could save the planet” by The Guardian.
He has continued ever since to promote a philosophy that climate change might well be real but that other issues are more pressing and that climate change can be resolved by R&D funding.
In the weekend Australian he criticises the Paris Agreement arguing that the “truth of the (Agreement) was oversold”. Not only would the measures agreed to in the Paris Agreement have a trivial (0.053C reduction in temperatures) but he shows that the 1.5C target is a fantasy and that the agreed measures to meet even the 2C target would only go one per cent of the way.
He then draws on the literature to point out, “global warming has roughly a zero net cost to humanity”. So far so good, but he goes on to repeat a refrain he has used for the past decade – his “Copenhagen Consensus” calls for a $100 billion year spending on R&D to resolve this non-problem.
The world already spends colossal sums on the issue – not only directly but in research that is partially justified by the disaster said to be in the wake of postulated warming (think the Great Barrier Reef spending scam).
An LSE report found that, “In 2011, the last year for which comprehensive public R&D data reported to the IEA is available, OECD governments spent around €14 billion to support research in climate change mitigation technologies.” Kenneth Haapala found that for the US alone, in the 20 years to 2014 some $166 billion (in 2012 dollars) was spent on climate change research. Even in Australia our very own CSIRO at one stage boasted that half of its annual $1.6 billion budget was climate change oriented, and on top of that we have funding for the BoM and CRCs.
Lomborg points to the absence of a problem, the impossibility of the Paris Agreement being able to combat this phantom scare and a call for a sixfold increase in the already extravagant waste of resources to combat it. Something’s wrong with the logic here.