What Lomborg claims is that Global Warming is a type of global effect, but it must be placed in the context of the world we live in. He tries to explain that all changes to our environment have both negative effects, but also positive ones, and therefore we must evaluate both when making judgment on the effects of such change.
Wait, What? You mean, we can't simply just FREAK OUT and yell at people for how BAD it is that we affect the environment? Is a scientist really going to tell us, that we can put things into a perspective and not simply make rash generalizations and claims based on a single set of theories?
Here is an excerpt:
"Q: There are advantages to global warming?
A: Absolutely. I come from Denmark, and there it's pretty cold. The environmental assessment of the impact of global warming in Denmark is that overall it will be slightly positive. We'll have better agricultural production. We'll probably have better forestry. We will, however, also have more flash rain. That will be a negative."
More behind the PERMALINK...
Now it wouldn't be fair to assume or even proclaim that this scientist is correct and all others with a more "cynical" view on Global Warming are wrong, but I do think it is important to consider all well founded arguments.
Q: Do you think that global warming, like predicting the weather, is complex and chaotic? Or is there some sort of linear pattern we can take from the data? How do we know which we're dealing with?
A: It makes sense to try and predict it. That's how we've gotten to where we are. We try to use science to understand how things work. But just like we use scientists to be better able, we should also use economists to tell us how much this is going to cost and how much good is it going to do. And that is exactly what the Copenhagen Consensus and my new book is about.
We can do fairly little about global warming at a fairly high cost. Maybe there are other things we'd like to be spending our money on doing first.
Lomborg is essentially trying to ease back on most enviro-claims. It is a responsible approach. I think it could be said as such:
- If Theory A: "Global Warming will kill us all in 50 years" is '0' on a spectrum, then Theory B: "Global Warming may be helpful" would be '100'
- We must consider all theories with in the spectrum equal, unless that theory lacks evidence.
- Other factors must come into our analysis of "course of action" besides simply preservation of current 'Status Quo'.
- The environment is important to maintain and preserve, but 'Status Quo' levels (@ current time) are not paradigmatic nor is a move into a "worse environmental state" necessarily a solely bad thing.
Like I said, I am not going to go and burn Styro-foam in my back yard for fun, but it does place the environmental debate into a context and more logical approach. It is only fair, and although I know it won't get much "play" it's good to know someone out there is thinking it.