Lomborg: a real about turn? By Zoë Casey

Bjorn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist – a book first published in 1998 which argued that claims about global warming were over-played and were leading to climate change hysteria – appears to have made a u-turn in his beliefs.

In a new book set for the shops next month, Lomborg will argue for “tens of billions of dollars a year to be invested in tackling climate change”, according to a story published by the Guardian. Funds should flow towards R&D investments in clean energy such as wind power and wave, he told the British daily newspaper. This should be financed through a tax on carbon emissions, he said.

But the Skeptical Environmentalist’s volte face has met with its own measure of scepticism. Greenpeace said Lomborg’s conversion comes too late. Meanwhile Howard Friel, writer for the 350 ppm campaign blog, finds that Lomborg still claims that it is prohibitively expensive for the world to sharply reduce CO2 emissions to the level suggested by scientists to prevent dangerous climate change.

“Lomborg does not seriously address the fundamental problem of rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations and the absence of global greenhouse reductions”, Friel says.

In answer to the holes Friel finds in the Skeptical Environmentalist’s new book, Friel claims: “If Lomborg were really looking for smart solutions, he would push for an end to perpetual and brutal war, which diverts scare resources and public focus from what Lombard accurately says needs more money.” An idea which would likely receive support from a far wider audience than just the climate change camp.

The New York Times Green Inc blog also picked up on the story noting that Lomborg says he has always taken the issue seriously, but green campaigners have twisted his views. News blog, 80 beats, sums up the debate in saying: “Opinions vary as to the merits of [Lomborg’s] new book and as to whether it’s a shift, a drastic shift, not a shift or a publicity stunt.”

By Zoë Casey, blog.ewea.org