JoNova

A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Lomborg: 50 years of unmitigated climate change might leave us only 356% richer instead of 363%

Bjorn Lomborg was going to present some economic pointers to Duke University last week, but even UN approved estimates were too high-risk for Duke .  Evidently the students are so poorly trained they couldn’t be trusted around a different point of view. Lomborg might seed all kinds of wicked ideas about them doing their own research. Though, more likely, it had nothing to do with the students. The real problem with Lomborg was that he threatened their branding. What if Duke lost some big lefty donors? (Or the biggest donor of all, Big Government?)

Lomborg shows how fragile the UN-Wall of Science is

All he aimed to do was to join together two separate UN economic factoids, but he had to be axed. He even agrees “climate change is a problem”. But agreeing on the science is not enough.

When climate alarmism meets cancel culture

Bjorn Lomborg, The Australian

One of my [axed] presentation points was highlighting the latest full UN Climate Panel report which estimates the total cost of climate change. They found that unmitigated climate change in half a century will reduce general welfare equivalent to lowering each person’s income by between 0.2 and 2 per cent. Given that the UN expects each person on the planet to be much better off – 363 per cent as wealthy as today – climate might cause us to only be 356 per cent as rich by then. That is a problem, but certainly not the end of the world.

Except it’s not a problem, just an error bar. With blind economic models piled on broken climate models, fifty years from now the world might well be cooler, and poorer too.

But Lomborg’s point is still potent. The UN are complete hypocrites and troughers.

Interestingly activists at Duke apparently used the 2020 Australian fires against him. Apparently, they still think the whole Australian Continent was on fire. Bjorn has some interesting statistics:

 But we know from satellite measurements, published in Nature, that while the fires near population centres had severe impacts, the total land area burned was 4 per cent – one of the lowest-ever percentages, from an average this century of 6.2 per cent and last century of 10.1 per cent. Four per cent is not “much of the Australian continent”. Such claims are more like rantings from people who have been watching too much alarmist TV.

Total area burned in January 2020 in Australia was 16.9 million hectares. But Australia is 7 million square kilometers. It might have been less than 4%.

9 out of 10 based on 66 ratings

30 comments to Lomborg: 50 years of unmitigated climate change might leave us only 356% richer instead of 363%

  • #

    Based on actual climate change in the past 45 years, not wild guess projections, global warming benefits our planet in the same way that CO2 enrichment systems benefit greenhouse owners. The GDP should be higher, not lower, from more global warming.

    251

  • #
    Jojodogfacedboy

    Looks like the Bank of Canada has cut off PM Trudeau’s plan to borrow his way with all this new green crap that we don’t want.
    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/bank-canada-ends-all-pandemic-bailout-facilities
    He’s already raising the “Carbon Tax” 33% April 1st.
    Plus we can expect a wrench in the fuels supply on May 12.
    Don’t sound to good for the Canadian citizens…

    150

  • #
    John R Smith

    It’s the disease of affluence.
    In my US state the MVA has a goal of zero traffic deaths.
    Who can argue against that goal?
    How far are we willing to go to achieve it?
    No cars?
    (We may have to cancel lightening to prevent bush fires.)
    No human contact or activity will stop the spread of pathogens.
    No mean words and there will no bad feelings.
    Stop climate change.
    Only run away affluence could produce such ideas.

    310

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Well summarised.
      I feel the noose tightening.

      So much for “democracy” when the population is guided, directed and controlled by the “News Media” which is herding us into ever decreasing field of view.

      All we see is what the Elites let us.

      It’s unsustainable, and close to a big crash.

      KK

      200

    • #
      Hasbeen

      If they cancel cars, we will have to go to the much more dangerous bikes, or even horses.

      Much as I love my horses, they are dangerous animals. The horse & sulky killed & maimed a much higher percentage of it’s users than any mechanised transportation, other than an army tank, ever did.

      221

  • #
    Kalm Keith

    Did Bjorn really insinuate that;

    “The UN are complete hypocrites and troughers.”

    I can imagine the Australian contingent, to a man, saying;

    “how dare you”.

    But the U.N. has been so good to us here in Australia:
    just ask Julie, Julia and our Kevin.

    On second thoughts maybe it was the other way around;
    how much did it cost us?

    KK

    141

    • #

      Obviously I said that not Lomborg. What other conclusion can anyone draw from knowing that two UN documents both predict that we will all get much richer and that the economic loss from unmitigated climate change (even by their hyperbolic exaggerated estimates) will be a lowering of income at most by 2%.

      The UN knows there is no threat, but sells it anyway.

      But failure to scare does threaten income — theirs.

      150

      • #

        The leftist goal is to tell everyone how to live, and micro-manage their lives.

        They cannot do that by telling people to keep on doing whatever they were doing before they got political power.

        They have to declare a crisis, or a coming crisis, real or fictional, that “requires” a lot of changes, that they will lead.

        A fictional crisis, such as the always coming, but never arrives, climate crisis, is fine, as long as most people believe it.

        People are so dumb, well leftists are, that they will continue to believe in a coming climate crisis after 63 years of predictions with no crisis.

        And they will continue to believe future global warming will be horrible … after enjoying about 45 years of pleasant global warming since the mid-1970s.

        When you are a leftist, you trust leftist “experts”, and you trust that experts with high level science degrees can predict the future climate, even after many decades of predictions that failed.

        To quote Rush, leftists are mind numbed robots ( the Star Trek Borg of the twenty-first century ).

        40

  • #
    Penguinite

    Lomborg got the same treatment from Australian Universities for the same dumb reasons! Even Toyota knows better than to predict nature!

    130

  • #
    Simon

    Once again Bjorn is being disingenuous with statistics. He knows full well that a Northern Territory scrub fire is not the same thing as a high intensity Southeast Australia forest fire but lumps them together anyway.

    521

    • #

      So are you trying to maintain that “much of the Australian continent” was on fire? What percentage of the continent was on fire? Do tell.

      171

      • #

        In this case Lomborg is simply adding a bit a perspective to slightly reduce the disingenuous non-stop repetition of hyperbole and Climate ChangeTM advertising.

        If you care at all about disingenuous descriptions I’m sure you’ve been writing to The Climate Council Committee (or whatever they are called.) as well as the various taxpayer funded deceptive self serving pushers of “the continent on fire” propaganda. I’m keen to see your emails and letters…

        There’s a pendulum swinging here and the disingenuousness dial is far out on the left.

        140

    • #
      John R Smith

      “disingenuous with statistics’
      Yes … this must be stopped along with mean words and non-consensus opinions.

      130

    • #
      GlenM

      That is the way that all assessments of land area affected by fire is established. Fires burn out a certain area of the land mass and it’s irrelevant what the vegetation type is. All wood burns, but all that burns is not wood.

      131

    • #
      R.B.

      This seems to be spin of criticism of statistics that more of NSW was burnt by fires started by lightning than people. It ignores that most of the fires of forests near populated areas was lit by people, either by mistake or deliberate. Huge acres of grasslands get burnt every year in the West, which are started by lightning.

      NSW Police took action against 180 people for lighting fires, 24 deliberately. One, in August had tried to light a fire in a pristine forest that hadn’t had fire in recent history, presumabably,in order to blame climate change.

      151

    • #
      el gordo

      Simon its important to keep in mind that the 2020 bushfire season was exacerbated by a blocking high off the Queensland coast bringing strong north westerlies along the Great Divide.

      I accept Lomborg’s stats.

      131

    • #
      BriantheEngineer

      I suspect it has all grown back after this extensive rain (despite Flammery’s hyperbole)

      101

  • #

    I followed the link to the letter written by the “Sunrise Movement” (who they?) ranting about how Lomborg shouldn’t be allowed to speak and should be cancelled forthwith.
    Having read their censorious vitriol, all I can say is that they are batsh*t crazy. Worryingly (but not surprisingly), a bunch of so called “distinguished” professors put their names to the loony diatribe.

    210

  • #
    another ian

    “It’s Here: Morano’s New book: ‘Green Fraud: Why The Green New Deal Is Even Worse Than You Think’ – Foreword By Mark Steyn – Arrives March 23”

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/03/23/its-here-moranos-new-book-green-fraud-why-the-green-new-deal-is-even-worse-than-you-think-foreword-by-mark-steyn-arrives-march-23/

    80

  • #
    GlenM

    WE might have lost over 600,000 sq kms in area. Can we have it back.

    50

  • #
    Popeye26

    Jo,

    Just for info – one of the worst bushfire seasons in Australia was the 1974-75 season.

    For comparison to last years fires where about 16.9 million hectares were burnt that season 117 MILLION HECTARES WERE BURNT.

    Absolutely NO comparison.

    People need to brush up on their very poor knowledge of history.

    Cheers,

    110

  • #
    feral_nerd

    Unfortunately the article as it appears in the Australian is paywalled. Fox has republished it here:

    https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/climate-change-fear-guilt-panic-policies-bjorn-lomborg

    Shame that a decent chap with his factual ducks in a row could be so shabbily treated.

    30

  • #
    Kevin kilty

    The comparison of 356% versus 363% is, apparently, too quantitative for most people to handle. What they imagine instead that of is being only 98% as rich as now. They have no point of reference to help them imagine, which is what they need to do, what 356% richer means. Like so many things in this debate, innumeracy is taking a toll.

    00

    • #
      Kevin kilty

      Oh, woe. Get the cursor in the wrong spot and what happens? “What they imagine instead that of is…” should be “What they imagine instead is that of …”

      00

  • #
    Gerry, England

    Given that every ‘green’ idea seems to be a huge cost to the economy I think the 363% is complete rubbish. It must be way less than that so therefore we are better off by not doing anything, which I think a lot here would agree with.

    20

  • #
    Tilba Tilba

    They found that unmitigated climate change in half a century will reduce general welfare equivalent to lowering each person’s income by between 0.2 and 2 per cent. Given that the UN expects each person on the planet to be much better off – 363 per cent as wealthy as today – climate might cause us to only be 356 per cent as rich by then. That is a problem, but certainly not the end of the world.

    I really shake my head when I read such UN stuff. Firstly, “each person on the planet” is a meaningless metric where averages simply distort reality. You can’t average the poorest with the richest.

    Secondly, for the wealthiest (?)25% of world population, if there were no increase in wealth it wouldn’t be a tragedy (and would be very good for the planet), but for the poorest five billion , every incremental step up can be hugely beneficial, and life-saving.

    They must be very brave indeed in the UN – even daring to put on paper very precise projections for 50 years hence. It’s hard enough for economists and others to make reliable five-year projections, and they are often wrong.

    If Peak Oil doesn’t knock all this hubris off its perch, then all manner of financial collapse is more probable than the “363%” claim. Plus a wide range of other critical resources are not going to last forever.

    But apart from all that, I remain deeply sceptical of the oft-heard claim that “increased CO2 will be good for the planet” – as if the world’s climate is as straightforward as growing nice plump tomatoes in a greenhouse.

    The rise in CO2 is the cause of global warming – but it is the additional average temperatures that are the danger, and cause wide-ranging climate change and chaos.

    14

    • #
      Kalm Keith

      Weird that some people take what others say as being real when in reality it has no foundation.

      Tragic that they so religiously believe those speaking from on high, and

      Sad, that that’s the case.

      For me, watching this collapse of the world into a primitive belief state, it is devastating; it’s as if there’s no hope for a rational future for humanity.

      KK

      10

  • #
    Philip

    Very well written and considered. Nothing further to add.

    00

  • #
    CHRIS

    “The rise in CO2 is the cause of global warming”. Well well well… Tilba puts all his eggs in one basket. Now, Tilba, I want you to PROVE TO ME, just why CO2 is the ONLY driving force in the current period of “Global Warming”? Of course, there are no other factors such as Solar activity, or the warming of the Oceans which causes release of CO2 into the atmosphere (remember, there is almost 50 times as much CO2 dissolved in the oceans as there is existing in the atmosphere). No no no…of course not. Humans are the total cause of CAGW. Nyah nyah nyah. Tilba, just take it easy and pray to your shrine of St Greta of Thunberg.

    10