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More hot air


As a follow up to my post about Global Warming, Navin had mentioned that he found Lomborg's article in the Economist interesting. I re-read it and realized it does make a compelling argument. But here's the other side of the story.

Grist has a whole series of articles that rebut Bjorn Lomborg's article and his book “The Skeptical Environmentalist.” Grist is a an environmental magazine, so it is probably skewed a little bit, but read this:

Lomborg writes, “If we fail to consider how the money could otherwise have been spent, we actually create a societal structure in which fewer people survive. … We are in reality committing statistical murder.” But who is really failing to consider how our money is spent? As Lomborg notes, “We will never have enough money,” and therefore, “Prioritization is absolutely essential.” Why, then, does he weigh the environment only against hospitals and childcare, rather than against, say, industry subsidies and defense spending?

Exactly. To me, this is why Lomborg's article is deceptive. It is not very smart to argue that Governments should protect the environment at the expense of say, feeding people or providing clean water. But there are a million other things that Governments and industries do, so why not ask them to spend at least some of it on protecting the environment?