Arguments about the ‘skeptical environmentalist’ Bjørn Lomborg will doubtless take a new turn with the news that he’s written a new book, Smart Solutions to Climate Change Comparing Costs and Benefits, which calls for tens of billions of dollars a year to be invested in tackling climate change. “Investing $100bn annually would mean that we could essentially resolve the climate change problem by the end of this century,” he now says.
• Juliette Jowit, Bjørn Lomborg: the dissenting climate change voice who changed his tune, The Guardian, August 30, 2010.
• Juliette Jowit, Bjørn Lomborg: $100bn a year needed to fight climate change, The Guardian, August 30, 2010.
A quote from the first article:
… he is still deeply critical of the dominant, cutting-carbon approach, which four of the five economists who were asked to rank the options put at the bottom of their lists. Only Nancy Stokey, of the University of Chicago, ranked lower- and mid-level carbon taxes more highly, around the middle of her list. Instead, the book suggests the best policies would be investment in clean technology research and development, and more climate engineering development work. He suggests this could be funded by a $7-a-tonne tax on carbon emissions, which he says would raise $250bn a year. Of this, $100bn could be spent on clean-tech R&D, about $1bn on climate engineering, $50bn on adapting to changes (building sea defences, for example), and the remaining $99bn or so on “getting virtually everybody on the planet healthcare, basic education, clean drinking water, and so on. It seems a pretty good deal,” he says.
A quote from Lomborg, taken from the first article:
“If we care about the environment and about leaving this planet and its inhabitants with the best possible future, we actually have only one option: we all need to start seriously focusing, right now, on the most effective ways to fix global warming.”
I’m not particularly interested in arguments about a book that hasn’t appeared yet, so I won’t enable comments on this blog entry.
But when it shows up, let’s read it — and then let’s talk about it.