Save the world, ignore global warming

As I noted before I actually admire and respect Al Gore for his passion regarding the environment and his sincerity about creating a better world. However I wonder if his global warming alarmism is misguided.

Here is a short and articulate summary by the controversial "skeptical environmentalist" Bjorn Lomborg of the view that Global warming is happening but that those suggesting dramatic measures are proposing we waste time and innovation better spent on problems we *can* solve.

Personally, I'm incredibly frustrated by how *every source I've read* suggesting global warming remedies fails to even attempt a cost benefit analysis when this should be a key concern due to the overwhelming costs associated with, for example, Kyoto Protocol implementation.

Lomborg suggests:
… in a curious way, global warming really is the moral test of our time, but not in the way its proponents imagined. We need to stop our obsession with global warming, and start dealing with the many more pressing issues in the world, where we can do most good first and quickest.

Lomborg's book "The Skeptical Environmentalist" suggests that many of the sacred cows of the environmental movement, including Global Warming, are supported more by political and ideological rather than scientific and mathematical motivations.

Lomborg has been villified in some scientific circles and if I can get permission I'll post some very interesting correspondence I had with the editor of Scientific American, which challenges Lomborg in what I feel are more personal rather than scientific ways. Lomborg's critics are notoriously vicious with ad hominem attacks on Lomborg rather than attacking his math and scientific assumptions. I'd suggest this is a strong indication that we should be paying more attention to Lomborg's analyses of pressing global concerns and that we should be careful to review the motivations of ALL of those involved in the global environmental debate.

Wikipedia on Global Warming – an excellent summary

EPA's Global Warming Site
Cooler Heads Coalition – industry funded I think. Note the paper about Terraforming Mars using injected greenhouse gasses! These guys seem to LIKE global warming!

Clear vs Artistic thinking

I wonder if a reasonable way to broadly categorize people's thinking is dividing folks into TWO groups?.  "Clear thinkers"  tend to apply reason, logic, and the experimental method, accept new information as it comes to them, change their mind when evidence demands it, and generally seek out information even when it contradicts their position.  

The second group is much larger and in fact more representative of the forces that shaped humans over time, and tends to think "tribally" (Groupthink, conformity, dogma, prejudices,alliances) and "emotionally".   I'm starting to call this "artistic" thinking, which is often more interested in the outcome of the analysis than the analysis itself.      For artistic thinkers facts are collected with the outcome in mind rather than to support or disprove their working hypothesis.   Focus is narrowed to those things that support the story line.

What if we all agreed for a few years to apply a combination of rational analysis, experimental method, and highly optimized government spending using things like risk and reward analysis rather than political and emotional analysis?

We could solve a lot of problems by accepting more risk/danger in areas where we now demand far too much safety or quality standards.