Came across this article in The Washington Post by Bjorn Lomborg – read
it all. A glib summary of the article would simply be…..if climate change
gets the blame for more extreme weather, why doesn’t it also get credit
for less extreme weather periods (such as this rather calm hurricane season)?
I love reading such challenges to the established views on climate change and
wish there was more (intelligent) debate along these lines.
I use readings written by Bjorn in all of my classes to provide students some much needed alternative viewpoints. I especially like discussing some of the policy ideas coming from the Copenhagen Consensus. One of their arguments that money spent today on costly efforts to stem climate change could be better spent on things like vitamins and mosquito nets for children in Africa. Here is their base statement on their climate change page:
“Global warming is real, and it is caused by man-made CO2 emissions, and we feel need to do something about it. But we don’t need action that makes us feel good. We need action that actually does good.”
More on their views on climate change actions here:
The book pictured above is Bjorn’s latest work. I haven’t read it (or any reviews) yet. Here is the blurb promoting it:
“There are often blanket claims that the world is facing more problems than ever but there is a lack of empirical data to show where things have deteriorated or in fact improved. In this book, some of the world’s leading economists discuss ten problems that have blighted human development, ranging from malnutrition, education, and climate change, to trade barriers and armed conflicts. Costs of the problems are quantified in percent of GDP, giving readers a unique opportunity to understand the development of each problem over the past century and the likely development into the middle of this century, and to compare the size of the challenges. For example: how bad was air pollution in 1900? How has it deteriorated and what about the future? Did climate change cost more than malnutrition in 2010? This pioneering initiative to provide answers to many of these questions will undoubtedly spark debate amongst a wide readership.”
Maybe something to read on a rainy day, perhaps as the next hurricane passes through? But you might just have to wait some time for the next major hurricane to come. Either way, just be sure to blame climate change.