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Gilderoy Lomborg – Magical Me

Posted by Jeff Id on September 1, 2010

Global Warming Dissenter Bjorn Lomborg (Sort of) Has a Change of Heart

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Has climate skeptics’ favorite Danish statistician, Bjørn Lomborg, changed his stance? In the forthcoming book edited by Lomborg, Smart Solutions to Climate Change, he calls climate change one of the world’s “chief concerns” and suggests investing $100 billion annually on climate change solutions.

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Lomborg, the Gilderoy Lockhart of present day climate science, possesses the only website with a dozen pictures of himself posing for the camera (here you go ladies) and a cute little zero in his name.   He’s supposed to be the favorite of skeptics, but I know of precisely zero science oriented skeptics whom have ever mentioned his work in a positive light here before.  Not that there wasn’t someone in the past two years.  He started his career goals of fame years ago on the wrong side of the issue, a greenpeace activist or something.  Then he changed to being skeptical that global warming was the worlds biggest problem (if that counts), now he wants the evil high tax solution, still without a well defined problem.

Bjorn Lomborg

Bjorn Lomborg is now urging world leaders to invest heavily in clean energy Photo: ABBIE TRAYLER-SMITH

Lockhart, Magical me book signing.

He’s made a career of being wrong though, so the media picked up their man and splashed his picture on every article for his new book which I guess makes this claim.

Lomborg now proposes a global carbon tax to raise $250 billion annually, where $100 billion will be spent on clean energy research and development, $50 billion on climate change adaptation and $1 billion on low-cost geo-engineering solutions. He wants the rest to be spent on better healthcare in poor countries and cleaner water.

A carbon tax (a tax on all things) for geoengineering (which does’t exist), clean energy research (not bad but 100 billion!!) development (rock dumb) and 50 billion on adapting to what?  Nothing has happened, nothing is going on which needs to be adapted to yet, so what is that, a slush fund?  Of course 99 billion 40% is left for better health care in poor countries.  – From a carbon tax.

Bjorn is a political scientist, which is a belief system which works never ending government possibilities as a mechanism against humanities problems. He’s spent years of his life devising a better world through usage of law, tax and regulation to fix his perception of other peoples problems. You want better healthcare in Africa Bjorn, free the people from their insane governments.  Alas no, the answer is to give them our money, cause that works so well on paper.  Besides, if the people are free, what will political scientists do?

So we end up with his best idea ever, let’s have all the bad consequences, for none of the problem.

37 Responses to “Gilderoy Lomborg – Magical Me”

  1. sod said

    nice picture, nice comparison.

    and i even agree with the first half of your article Jeff.

    sorry, but i don t want Lomborg on my team. please keep him!

  2. vern said

    Pretty sure the photos aren’t for the ladies

  3. Joe Born said

    Lomborg’s approach has always been not to go much behind the official numbers (or the science, either); it’s been just to work out what the logical conclusions are if the official numbers are taken at face value. Also, if this recently publicized position is new, it is new only quantitatively. Although he concluded from the official numbers that other uses of our resources fetch better human-welfare returns than limiting CO2 enrichment of our atmosphere, he had at least by a year or two ago espoused diverting some limited resources to limiting CO2 emissions. I suppose one could defend this apparent non sequitur by inferring from his position that he saw a limited amount of low-hanging fruit among proposed efforts to block CO2 enrichment, although I don’t remember his saying that explicitly.

    In any event, as far as I am aware, he has never been a skeptic about CO2 enrichment’s supposed net bad effects–he just was skeptical about how cost-effective most efforts to combat those emissions would be.

  4. Sam said

    Bjorn is a political scientist, which is a belief system which works never ending government possibilities as a mechanism against humanities problems. He’s spent years of his life devising a better world through usage of law, tax and regulation to fix his perception of other peoples problems. You want better healthcare in Africa Bjorn, free the people from their insane governments. Alas no, the answer is to give them our money, cause that works so well on paper. Besides, if the people are free, what will political scientists do?

    This is true of most political scientists, but not all. My degree is in political science and I view government as the problem 99% of the time. There were several libertarians who graduated with me. Some political scientists get their education to be able to enter in the system and change it (shrink it). Obviously a very small minority, but they exist.

    Lomborg’s desire for a tax to pay for healthcare shows who he really is. Why is everyone’s solution to problems taxation? If a subsidy creates more of something, a tax creates less, and when people are taxed for nothing other than living you have a serious incentive to either cheat or produce less. Is it really that difficult to understand?

    The environmentalists are both warning about peak oil and complaining about low carbon prices. Well, that problem will take care of itself, won’t it? When oil gets scarce, prices go up. It’s called supply and demand, a part of something called economics, which environmentalists (all I’ve talked to) don’t understand even in the simplest sense.

  5. Rick Bradford said

    Lomborg has always been opposed to the back-to-the-yurt solutions put forward by the hard Green Left. He has repeatedly said that the collectivist initiatives of the UN have cost vast sums of money for no result.

    In 2009, he was the key participant in a broadcast debate on climate policy – Elizabeth May and George Monbiot for the Warmies; Bjørn Lomborg and Lord Nigel Lawson for the Rationalists. (http://www.munkdebates.com/The-Debates/Climate-Change)

    He looks at this topic rationally, so by definition he is not a catastrophic doomsayer,and his views do not deserve to be dismissed out of hand.

  6. Roddy Campbell said

    Vern, I’m pretty sure you’re right.

    Delingpole covers it well: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100051954/but-lomborg-was-always-a-warmist/

    Lomborg likes selling books, that’s what it is, and nothing wrong with that. And that he is so loathed by enviromaniacs surely means he is doing something right. Go easy on him. The Skeptical Environmentalist was a seminal work.

  7. Jeff Id said

    I don’t intend to go easy on anyone with policy suggestions this stupid.

  8. Andrew said

    I have always gotten the distinct impression that Lomborg wanted to convince people there were better things to spend other people’s money on. Recently, I’ve gotten the impression that he thinks “Well, it’s clearly impossible to convince people not to do anything because there are much better things to do, so perhaps I should just try to convince them to optimize what they will do, even though they haven’t been persuadable with rationalism that what they are insisting on doing is not the best thing they can do.”

    Don’t be ridiculous! People who insisted on focusing on an issue against all rational arguments that this focus was misplaced, are not going to be rationally convinced to address the issue in the least unproductive way. On the contrary, if they have their hearts set on the most destructive way imaginable-and generally speaking, they do-they will insist upon it.

  9. Rufus T. Firefly said

    Be fair to Lomborg. He hasn’t made any change of heart – and if he had then being skeptical is reserving the right to change heart when the hard facts points in another direction.

    Since he published his first book that angered the green to unprecedented extent and made him their favorite hate object, he has been a luke warmer. Most green myths were slammed to the ground, but he considered AGW probable although he disagreed on the solution.

    Lomborgs error is, in my point of view, his addiction to “the best data available” which he usually transforms into UN or UN-related organisations data – or maybe even renown organisations data. In the case of climate he should be more skeptical to the validity of the data provided.

    If you do believe i AGW, where I’m getting more and more skeptical, then Lomborgs proposal of funneling more money into R&D in energy technology is quite sound. If you don’t it might even be a good idea. Our energy dependence on unstable stoneage regimes is certainly not healthy.

  10. Kenneth Fritsch said

    Lomborg’s political views have been rather obvious from the start. I am sure that he does not appreciate the unintended consequences of what he suggests – as I would suspect that he is a committed statist.

    In a rather pragmatic approach, he made himself famous by laying bare some of the wilder speculations of some environmentalists. I do not think what he revealed should be especially surprising to the more level-headed and skeptical thinkers out there of what someone would find by taking the time to delve into the hard numbers.

    Lomborg is pretty much an open book – about everything.

  11. C Monster said

    Your title, and the art of course, is the best I’ve seen on this. Bravo, Jeff.

  12. George Tobin said

    I think you have mischaracterized Lomborg. His position from the beginning is that (a) the high end predictions about AGW were highly unlikely but not impossible and (b) even if we were to conclude that AGW were to have measurable adverse effects, mitigation is always going to be cheaper and more practical than futile and costly attempts to abruptly curtail the use of fossil fuels.

    He has also said (from his first book on) that if the leaders of the developed world were going to do massive economic interventions and reinvestment, things like clean water, malaria, famine etc should get precedence over narrowly focused and hideously costly anti-carbon programs.

    He was slammed as a heretic even though he has openly affirmed a belief in a 2.0 to 3.0 degree AGW change (up from 1.5 degrees in his first book) by the end of the century. His sin is that does not accept the central planning / tofu & hairshirt approach that the IPCC was created to justify.

    The specific endorsement of a carbon tax idea may be new to Lomborg (I think he has discussed hypothetical outlays like that in past writings). However, the notion that developed countries should commit huge resources to deal with global poverty-related issues has always been part of his outlook. (In the prevailing Scandinavian political culture he is considered a raging right-winger which is either mildly amusing or kinda sad.)

    I find Lomborg’s writings to be substantive, well-grounded and thoughtful even when I find him unpersuasive. That he clearly enjoys being a recognized pundit/author/commentator does not change that. The fact that the AGW Doom Zombies loathe him is also a major plus in my reckoning. I would also be predisposed to making major anti-poverty investments a la Lomborg if someone can solve or minimize the agency problems of passing that amount of cash through kleptocrat politicians.

  13. kdk33 said

    Ahhhh, to be liberal.

    To know exactly how to fix all the worlds problems. To know what’s best. All you need is money… someone elses, of course.

  14. DeWitt Payne said

    Re: George Tobin (Sep 1 13:15),

    even if we were to conclude that AGW were to have measurable adverse effects, mitigation is always going to be cheaper and more practical than futile and costly attempts to abruptly curtail the use of fossil fuels.

    Shouldn’t that be adaptation, not mitigation?

  15. Nullius in Verba said

    Interesting. A few days ago, I spent several hours defending the right-wing, sceptical Lomborg from warmists who said he was an anti-AGW denialist crackpot, and now I see the sceptics are attacking him for being a left-wing credulous warmist who wants to tax and redistribute his way to a socialist nirvana.

    And I don’t recognise either picture as being Lomborg.

    His arguments have been misrepresented and distorted before. I haven’t read the new book, and it’s always possible he’s changed his views, but I’m considering the possibility that it’s happening again.

    He used to say that if you was going to spend the money, it would be better to spend it on providing clean water and electricity, instead of global warming and regulating pesticides. And they said “he want’s to ignore global warming and stop regulating pesticides”. Now, apparently, he saying he wants to tax us to the hilt and spend it all on global warming? Hmmm.

    Lomborg ploughs his own furrow, and belongs to neither camp. I don’t agree with him, but I respect his point of view, and it’s a hell of a lot healthier than the average environmentalist’s. Still, all the fuss has garnered a lot of publicity for the book…

  16. Jeff Id said

    #15, It’s amazing that anyone would call lomborg right wing. Odd world.

  17. Navy Bob said

    Believe Vern is right. Ladies are the last thing Bjorn is intererested in.

  18. Margaret said

    From that fount of all reliable knowledge…Wikipedia:
    Personal life

    Lomborg is gay and a vegetarian.[25] As a public figure he has been a participant in information campaigns in Denmark about homosexuality, and states that “Being a public gay is to my view a civic responsibility. It’s important to show that the width of the gay world cannot be described by a tired stereotype, but goes from leather gays on parade-wagons to suit-and-tie yuppies on the direction floor, as well as everything in between”[26]

    Not that it makes the slightest bit of difference to whether he is right or wrong on AGW or on the policy prescriptions to apply if it is right.

  19. Tom Fuller said

    I’m with George Tobin. I like Lomborg, always have, and think he’s been consistent. He just gets used and abused by people on different sides.

  20. Mike M. said

    Enough of this trivial stuff. Tell us what you wrote that Anthony snipped. It’s got to be good, heh, heh.

  21. Jeff Id said

    #20, Who got snipped?

  22. Jeff Id said

    Ah, I found it.

    I said:

    he kinda looks like Gavin.

    Just kidding.

  23. An inspired comparison. Glad someone else posted a link to to the Delingpole article yesterday.

  24. boballab said

    #22

    Jeff for shame. How could you slander that poor lunatic like that, he looked no where near that Satanic.

  25. Jeff Id said

    hehe,

    Maybe I should say sorry. I did write “just kidding” though.

    The Lee guy is certainly a whackjob though and Anthony probably doesn’t want the thread to be too vitriolic – hard to imagine that I was perceived as the worst.

  26. ROM said

    A regular lurker here!
    Seems like I will have to make an addition to one of my [ cynical! ] basic beliefs.

    Science is the only profession where you can be wrong all the time and still be respected.
    And this despite any catastrophes you and your ilk might inflict on the unsuspecting public.

    To that, add “economists”.

  27. Mike M. said

    Meh, I guess your’e timing was just a bit off, he having just died and all that. It will be fun to examine the MSM narrative on this for the next few days.

  28. Jeff Id said

    #27, Not sure when that happened but it wasn’t up when I wrote it.

  29. Jeff Id said

    Not that I care about his death– to be honest. This isn’t a politically correct blog until someone says it must be. I’m glad and proud of the fact that the police did their job and I hope the officer (hero) who faced a loaded weapon doesn’t loose too much sleep. Some idiots wrote in to WUWT talking about how the guy didn’t kill anyone and that means something – still haven’t read the thread.

    Ya know, firing a weapon while screaming demands in a crowd, skyward or otherwise, and you loose your right to life IMO. I’m just glad that the police aren’t so PC they can’t shoot back. If NY citizens were armed, the story would have had a lot fewer words.

    Lee is gone, and you won’t see his manifesto posted here. Or I’ll snip it.

  30. boballab said

    Jeff no one was as low and mean as you were, you compared him to Gavin.

    Compare this photo of Gavin: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://ghgphotos.com/picturingclimatechange/gavinschmidt.jpg&imgrefurl=http://ghgphotos.com/picturingclimatechange/authors.html&usg=__N0l-4x3UCmm1spxfMJW0rqjbVtw=&h=230&w=216&sz=7&hl=en&start=176&sig2=NV20SmC-eQALDUo4_LButg&zoom=1&tbnid=gun63HfqujC07M:&tbnh=119&tbnw=112&ei=Su9-TMW-KoG88gaMo-XUAw&prev=/images%3Fq%3D%2522Gavin%2BSchmidt%2522%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG%26as_st%3Dy%26biw%3D1596%26bih%3D694%26tbs%3Disch:1&itbs=1&iact=rc&dur=187&oei=Du9-TJ20LoP98AaAk_nSAw&esq=18&page=6&ndsp=37&ved=1t:429,r:15,s:176&tx=53&ty=111

    To this photo of Anton Lavey: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://content8.flixster.com/photo/13/09/21/13092146_tml.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.flixster.com/actor/anton-lavey&usg=__s_TApE2PGCK9dMJRrAkmuZtRXew=&h=240&w=240&sz=11&hl=en&start=82&sig2=bs_MwkIPRaVDEFSdVs9wFg&zoom=1&tbnid=_610RxRt9VNr1M:&tbnh=119&tbnw=119&ei=__B-TOPCGsO78gbqptTUAw&prev=/images%3Fq%3D%2522Anton%2Blavoy%2522%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG%26as_st%3Dy%26biw%3D1596%26bih%3D694%26tbs%3Disch:10%2C1334&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=1361&vpy=198&dur=4540&hovh=192&hovw=192&tx=112&ty=119&oei=h-9-TIScNoT68AafgPHSAw&esq=20&page=3&ndsp=40&ved=1t:429,r:29,s:82&biw=1596&bih=694

    Twins separated at birth? Never mind now do you see how low down mean that was.🙂

  31. Brian H said

    Lomborg seems to be taking the finance-grab as unstoppable, and recommending some sane uses (in his opinion) of some of the funds. I’d prefer to focus on derailing the grab in the first place.

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  35. Geoff Sherrington said

    Once you realise that fossil power stations are not the only source of CO2, you can go wild thinking about what else could be taxed to torture point to save the vironment.

    One is sporting events. Just imagine the saving in energy and the release of productive work time, if organised sports were banned.

    The military. It goes abroad, fights, comes home and then the invaded country reverts to BAU. Chop it to 90% of present, leave the 10% for natural disaster response.

    Hollywood. Ban the making of movies. Tax the many grossly high income earners until they have the average wage. Most do an average job, occasionally.

    The media. Some say the big players who own media are in this carbon footprint for profit business. The blog is about to consume them anyhow. Once again, excessive profits and high consumption.

    ……………………

    By just these 4 measures, you could achieve about all targets that have been proposed for GHG reduction. There are plenty more in reserve, like bureaucracies and government departments.

    Why victimise coal/oil burning givers of energy, dear readers? Be more naughty and gay with your intellect. Tax the greedy consumer instead. Greed is good for carbon credits.

  36. PhilJourdan said

    Jeff Id #7:

    I don’t intend to go easy on anyone with policy suggestions this stupid.

    You will not be wanting for material.

  37. Brian H said

    #34;
    See #33. SPAM!

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