Lomborg on “Climate Hysteria”

As concerned as I have been about the scientific sensationalism and downright deceptive presentations in Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth“, I was rooting for Al last night at the Oscars. Perhaps as consolation prize for losing the US Presidency?

Contrary to what many think it’s clear to me that Al Gore is sincere in his crusade against climate change, and also it’s important to remember that if the US electoral system OR the ballots in a critical county in Florida did not have significant quirks he is *extremely* likely to have won the presidency, shifting global affairs over the past 6 years about as much as you can imagine since Gore was strongly against the Iraq war and would have brought an entirely different agenda to the American political table.

As Arnold Schwarzenegger pointed out at the National Press club recently, political compromise and partnerships are the practical approach to solving problems. I really like that guy!

With this in mind I’ve been feeling too strident in my criticism of focusing far too much on Global Warming, but whenever I read Lomborg’s clear headed analysis…I know I’m right to be upset at the hysteria mongers who are deflecting us from caring about ongoing health and human welfare catastrophes in the 3rd world.

Lomborg’s got it right .. again… but nobody is listening … again.

PS – for anybody who thinks Katrina was from Global Warming *please* at the very least, review the comments by key, mainstream scientists which suggest quite clearly that it’s absurd to suggest Katrina is from warming.  Also interesting.  People have become so immune to the Global Warming truth they aren’t even reading any science. READ the IPCC summary!

15 thoughts on “Lomborg on “Climate Hysteria”

  1. Sorry Joe I have to disagree…if he were sincere he would not waste as much energy as he does personally.

    With the kind of money he has and has access to there is no excuse for his mansion near Nashville to use 20X the amount of power an average homes uses. In less than a month he wastes more power than the average home in the US uses in a year.

    I think that makes him a hypocrite and that is where his problems begin. Ok for everyone else to change but he doesn’t have to – sounds like he is part of an “elite” class and the lessers have to bear the change not him.

    So for me to take him seriously he should put his money where is mouth is. No excuse for Al Gore not setting an example.

  2. I do agree with your comments about hysteria.

    It is obnoxious to even begin to contemplate that we have enough accurate data to predict climate change. The computer models continue to be wrong. Not that it doesn’t warrant scientific study but to divert trillions of dollars and to enact more useless laws on non-proven assessment seems foolish to me.

    Michigan State’s Math department still has the record for the most accurate weather forecast – “Same as yesterday”.

  3. “. . . Not that it doesn’t warrant scientific study but to divert trillions of dollars and to enact more useless laws on non-proven assessment seems foolish to me. …”

    Hear!! Hear!!

    Would-be experts who claim precision on matters of such complexity that precision and certainty are not attainable lose all credibility. A good bit of the Global Warming stuff is subject to the same disinformation campaigns used by ‘Big Tobaco’. A few buffoons, a few studies, a few public relations specialists … and lots of money!

  4. Glenn and Fools Gold – hmmm, sounds like you two were *not* rooting for Mr. Al at the Oscars?

    Maybe I should not be so surprised by the disconnect between the science and the public perception and spin. I guess that has been a challenge to humanity for … ever.

  5. Great post Joe, and thanks for the link to Lomborg and his quite accurate insistence that “HIV/AIDS, malaria, malnutrition, and trade barriers should all be tackled”. Hopefully there is room to continue working on Global warming AND the above issues. This much I know, I don’t trust corporate America to look after the best interests of our planet or humanity, and I don’t trust them to be honest about the perils (or lack thereof) of global warming. Their track record as good stewards of the planets health is pathetic.
    The Northwest is one part of the U.S. that would be severely affected if some of the more dire forecasts were even partially true. While I agree the media is again over-hyping the science, there is a legitimate need for continued research and activism on the topic, and in that regard Gore’s movie has done some good.

  6. Paul I think awareness needs to be raised and we need to be good stewards to our planet, however Al Gore’s movie is filled with many misrepresentations…when is it ok to misrepresent the truth to further your agenda?

    I would rather a factual movie representing the reality based on scientific fact otherwise we can tune into Discovery Channel’s wild disaster scenario shows to see the fiction side of things.

    Al Gore certainly doesn’t deserve an Oscar for misrepresenting the truth – or wait isn’t that what acting is all about?! Maybe he has set a new standard for the Oscar!!! 🙂

  7. Writing in The Atlantic Monthly in 2004, liberal writer Eric Alterman criticized producer Laurie David for her use of private Gulfstream jets. David, he wrote “reviles the owners of SUVs as terrorist enablers, yet gives herself a pass when it comes to chartering one of the most wasteful uses of fossil-based fuels imaginable.” New Republic writer Gregg Easterbrook followed up, computing that “one cross-country flight in a Gulfstream is the same, in terms of Persian-Gulf dependence and greenhouse-gas emissions, as if she drove a Hummer for an entire year.”

    That is an excerpt from this article…

    Doesn’t this kind of stuff bother anyone? They can sit there and blast people for their choices regarding energy waste and they are the biggest wasters of energy!

    Shouldn’t they be held accountable for their personal decisions when they try to force an agenda on all of us?

    Kind of goes back to the golden rule – You should treat others they way you want to be treated.

    There is no excuse with the kind of resources that they have. They could switch from a Gulfstream to a Preggio pusher similar speed performance but much less fuel consumption, etc…

    Joe doesn’t it bother you that Al Gore wastes so much energy but wants the rest of to change?

  8. Paul – I totally agree we need a lot of research (because IPCC could be wrong in both directions and warming is potentially catastrophic) *and* agree we should be aggressive with cheap remedies (e.g. energy conservation). My main beefs with Global Warming activism is that it’s getting hyped very unscientifically and that the money could be spent on current catastrophes, especially when they involve children.

    I should note that I’m very wrong here if, as some suggest, it’s cheaper to reduce warming than let it go on. However the earlier detailed IPCC report suggests very huge costs to alleviate warming – along the lines of 1% Global GDP I think. This kind of money would come close to providing food and modest health care for every human on earth.

  9. Joe doesn’t it bother you that Al Gore wastes so much energy but wants the rest of to change?

    Glenn – yes, it does! The purchase of carbon credits complicates the issue and should at least be addressed by FOX non-news and detractors, though I personally agree it doesn’t get him off the hypocrisy hook since clearly they use up a LOT of Tennessee power and he’s calling for others to conserve.

    However I still like big Al. My political views are unusual in that I believe the overwhelming majority of politicians are good guys and very devoted public servants, especially those that make it to the Presidency and Senate. I’d like to replace political ambition with more wisdom of course, but
    I have a lot of respect for GW Bush, Gore, Kucinich, Clinton, McCain, Obama – agreeing with each on many topics, disagree on others. We should all realize that on many basic issues we all agree. I really think we now have a very strong sort of ‘tribal’ politics in America that is not serving the country well at all, rather it’s polarizing and cornering all of us into reckless thinking about spending, society, and science.

  10. 10 – Joe I think the carbon credits purchase is just whitewash. Just another convenient way for a politician to cloud up the issue and provide deniability. As you can probably tell I do not have a great deal of faith in the establishment, it is horribly corrupt.

    Al Gore could easily cut his “purchased” energy consumption in half by introducing clean reusable energy generation at his home. Yes it is expensive but until we all start doing it – the costs will not come down.

    Even Lennar homes in California is now producing homes with complete solar energy generation designed into the home.

    Politics is full of avarice and unfortunately the mavericks are made out to be demons.

    I didn’t see Gingrich in your list – what do you think of Newt?

  11. I like Newt now that he’s taken off his sort of “attack dog” rhetoric from the old days, and instead has been talking history stuff and free market health reforms. I really like many of his health reform ideas that bring in free market to bear against health costs which are a great example of how Govt intervention + private sector …. fails.

    When you say “the establishment is horribly corrupt” do you mean you think people are very actively engaged in illegal deceptions, taking bribes for votes, etc? What percentage of congress do you think is involved in that? People talk a lot about all the corruption but there is not much evidence to support this. Many of these folks forego lucrative business potential because they want to change things / have the power / serve the public. Dick Cheney is a great example of this. I disagree with many of his ideas about policies – especially the notion that spending trillions on expensive security like TSA isn’t for the most part foolish and wasteful use of taxes, but he’s not a corrupt guy at all. The Halliburton stuff, for example, is bogus – Cheney gives 100% of his options profits to charity!

  12. Corruption doesn’t necessarily mean kickbacks and bribes…

    Look at Sandy Berger – he gets his top secret clearance suspended for a little while – ah hello, this man should be in jail for what he did. I have to believe he was directed by somebody to cover those tracks as well. For what reason? So someone could run for an office someday. Forget the truth to the American people we have to protect our political skin. If that isn’t a form of corruption I don’t know what is?

    They wouldn’t disbar Clinton until after he was out of office – not sure that would happen for any other lawyer. All under the guise we can’t damage the national image around POTUS. IMHO it had already been tainted. It is also pretty clear that corruption played a roll in not nailing Bin Laden when we had the chance (actually 13 very real chances).

    They get a lot of power and they have the ability to sweep things under a rug and make them disappear. They grind down their opponents until they go away.

    IMHO their profligate ways are most definitely a form of corruption.

    Until we really clean house and get some serious reform on lobbying (you can’t tell me lobbying isn’t corrupt?), etc. We will continue in a downward spiral. History has a way of repeating itself and we are still a very young country in scheme of other “empires”. It is a shame that we can’t seem to learn and put it all together and actually do something beneficial long-term.

    A true leader could certainly make alternative energy a reality in this country and it could be done in less than 10 years – just like Kennedy did with getting to the moon.
    Can you imagine how the last 10 years would have been if we were not dependent on foreign oil?

    Can you imagine the long-term supporting partnership we could forge with China if we provided them with the means to escape oil from the Middle East?

    Look at how many bad policy decisions have been made world-wide and with the U.N. because of the need for oil. What good does it do us to keep buying and promoting the use of foreign oil? We are just providing all the funding these radicals need to destroy our way of living. I know if I were part of the supply chain to my enemy I would find a way to stop it.

  13. Glenn I sure agree that “Oil reform” should be a huge priority. It is arguably the best way to fight the rise of terrorism, and comes with a negative price tag to boot!

    Nuclear was a great solution but activism got in the way of common sense and now we are decades from viable large scale nuclear, though I think it should be “super” fast tracked to plants can go online without the normal regulatory nightmares. I think coal plants still put out more radioctivity than nuclear plants, so let’s build the nuclears!

    Alternative energy is usually good but it’s currently hard to scale up some of those approaches to the huge consumption levels we demand. Ironically I see a lot of tiny approaches to conservation and I think these may be keeping people from the big, more uncomfortable changes that would make a difference. ie “

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