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Friday, May 22, 2009

Bjorn Lomborg: Barron's interview

Kind of a think piece for Friday and your Memorial Day weekend: Barron's interviews Bjorn Lomborg, "the skeptical environmentalist", for a profile entitled, "Global Warming is Manageable - if We're Smart".

Here's an excerpt from that piece:

"Barron's: Bjorn, what do you think will be the outcome of the negotiations to curb global warming this December?

Lomborg: The participating nations will again agree to spend quite a bit of money to cut carbon emissions and again achieve virtually nothing. We already tried that twice -- in Rio in 1992, and in Kyoto in 1997. Both of these treaties failed.

We will see a lot of posturing, but presumably this isn't about having a lot of environmental ministries or even presidents and prime ministers come out and claim credit for making costly commitments that we won't be able to live up to, and which would barely make a dent in the problem anyway.

When I first started in the global-warming debate, I was struck by the fact that the world was going to pay $180 billion a year for a protocol that could at best reduce the temperature by 0.3 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the 21st century. The U.N. estimates that for less than half that amount, we could provide clean drinking water, sanitation, and basic health care and education to every single human being on the planet. The same warped sense of priorities will continue to bedevil us this December in Copenhagen..."

Before reading this interview, I didn't know much about Lomborg, a statistician keen on discussing solutions to our environmental problems and debating global warming issues.

I recall listening to his 2007 interview with the Financial Sense Newshour, but I'll have to hear it again to recall the full details of this discussion.

For those who want to hear more, Lomborg also appears in this TED talks video, offering his views on climate change and global health priorities.

Enjoy the interviews, and we'll see you after Memorial Day.