world's most high-profile climate change sceptic now believes global warming is true

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by Free Thinker, Aug 31, 2010.

  1. i wonder. will any of the resident et denier morons change their mind too?
    world's most high-profile climate change sceptic is to declare that global warming is "undoubtedly one of the chief concerns facing the world today"and "a challenge humanity must confront", in an apparent U-turn that will give a huge boost to the embattled environmental lobby.

    Bjørn Lomborg, the self-styled "sceptical environmentalist" once compared to Adolf Hitler by the UN's climate chief, is famous for attacking climate scientists, campaigners, the media and others for exaggerating the rate of global warming and its effects on humans, and the costly waste of policies to stop the problem.

    But in a new book to be published next month, Lomborg will call 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," the book concludes.

    Examining eight methods to reduce or stop global warming, Lomborg and his fellow economists recommend pouring money into researching and developing clean energy sources such as wind, wave, solar and nuclear power, and more work on climate engineering ideas such as "cloud whitening" to reflect the sun's heat back into the outer atmosphere.

    In a Guardian interview, he said he would finance investment through a tax on carbon emissions that would also raise $50bn to mitigate the effect of climate change, for example by building better sea defences, and $100bn for global healthcare.

    His declaration about the importance of action on climate change comes at a crucial point in the debate, with international efforts to agree a global deal on emissions stalled amid a resurgence in scepticism caused by rows over the reliability of the scientific evidence for global warming.

    The fallout from those rows continued yesterday when Rajendra Pachauri, head of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, came under new pressure to step down after an independent review of the panel's work called for tighter term limits for its senior executives and greater transparency in its workings. The IPCC has come under fire in recent months following revelations of inaccuracies in the last assessment of global warming, provided to governments in 2007 – for which it won the Nobel peace prize with former the US vice-president Al Gore. The mistakes, including a claim that the Himalayan glaciers could melt by 2035, prompted a review of the IPCC's processes and procedures by the InterAcademy Council (IAC), an organisation of world science bodies.

    The IAC said the IPCC needed to be as transparent as possible in how it worked, how it selected people to participate in assessments and its choice of scientific information to assess.

    Although Pachauri once compared Lomborg to Hitler, he has now given an unlikely endorsement to the new book, Smart Solutions to Climate Change. In a quote for the launch, Pachauri said: "This book provides not only a reservoir of information on the reality of human-induced climate change, but raises vital questions and examines viable options on what can be done."

    Lomborg denies he has performed a volte face, pointing out that even in his first book he accepted the existence of man-made global warming. "The point I've always been making is it's not the end of the world," he told the Guardian. "That's why we should be measuring up to what everybody else says, which is we should be spending our money well."

    But he said the crucial turning point in his argument was the Copenhagen Consensus project, in which a group of economists were asked to consider how best to spend $50bn. The first results, in 2004, put global warming near the bottom of the list, arguing instead for policies such as fighting malaria and HIV/Aids. But a repeat analysis in 2008 included new ideas for reducing the temperature rise, some of which emerged about halfway up the ranking. Lomborg said he then decided to consider a much wider variety of policies to reduce global warming, "so it wouldn't end up at the bottom".

    The difference was made by examining not just the dominant international policy to cut carbon emissions, but also seven other "solutions" including more investment in technology, climate engineering, and planting more trees and reducing soot and methane, also significant contributors to climate change, said Lomborg.

    "If the world is going to spend hundreds of millions to treat climate, where could you get the most bang for your buck?" was the question posed, he added.After the analyses, five economists were asked to rank the 15 possible policies which emerged. Current policies to cut carbon emissions through taxes - of which Lomborg has long been critical - were ranked largely at the bottom of four of the lists. At the top were more direct public investment in research and development rather than spending money on low carbon energy now, and climate engineering.

    Lomborg acknowledged trust was a problem when committing to long term R&D, but said politicians were already reneging on promises to cut emissions, and spending on R&D would be easier to monitor. Although many believe private companies are better at R&D than governments, Lomborg said low carbon energy was a special case comparable to massive public investment in computers from the 1950s, which later precpitated the commercial IT revolution.

    Lomborg also admitted climate engineering could cause "really bad stuff" to happen, but argued if it could be a cheap and quick way to reduce the worst impacts of climate change and thus there was an "obligation to at least look at it".

    He added: "This is not about 'we have all got to live with less, wear hair-shirts and cut our carbon emissions'. It's about technologies, about realising there's a vast array of solutions."

    Despite his change of tack, however, Lomborg is likely to continue to have trenchant critics. Writing for today's Guardian, Howard Friel, author of the book The Lomborg Deception, said: "If Lomborg were really looking for smart solutions, he would push for an end to perpetual and brutal war, which diverts scarce resources from nearly everything that Lomborg legitimately says needs more money."
  2. Guess he is being paid by the other side now.:confused:
  3. either that or he actually looked at the evidence.
  4. Normally a last resort in such matters.
  5. Hmm...the sun hits us with over 8.2 million quadrillion BTUs of energy per year. It pumps out 386 billion million gigawatts.

    All the energy on earth that is used in a single year is about 15 terrawatts(15,000 gigawatts).

    The suns energy is not constant. It fluctuates from year to year. Records have only been kept of the suns energy output since 1978, so we really cant judge how much global warming is related to the sun and how much to man. It stands to reason that a very tiny change in the suns output could heat or cool the entire planet by a few degrees, much more likely than man could with all his inventions though.

    I mean if we have been bombarded by all that solar energy since the beginning of time, it stands to reason the earth can take a beating and man isnt going to be able to do any greater damage than nature.

    I think this guy is just trying to increase market share for his book. He sold to one group and now he is selling to others.

    If you didnt believe this guys research 3 years when he said there was no global warming, how can you believe his research now that he is for it? You can only believe it if you are bias which you are "freethinker"
  6. this may go over your head as most scientific things do but it has to do with the evidence behind the decision.
    here is an example you might understand being the bible thumper you are. when a person is religious it is in spite of the evidence. if a religious person gives up religion it is because of the evidence.
  7. Cash wins all arguments in the usa.
  8. peilthetraveler: a cautionary tale of how a little bit of information can be a dangerous thing. How a vague familiarity with a few technical terms and phrases in the absence of a qualified background, and the comprehension that goes with it, can lead to painting one's self into corners they don't even recognize. Now that your work here is done, peil, perhaps you will go back to where you are sorely needed: denying evolution in favor of the science behind Adam and Eve.
  9. jem


    I find it odd that anyone knows global warming is man made when the ice cores show temperature goes up years before CO2 accumulates.

    If you wish to explain that to me. I will convert too.

  10. What the science says...
    When the Earth comes out of an ice age, the warming is not initiated by CO2 but by changes in the Earth's orbit. The warming causes the oceans to give up CO2. The CO2 amplifies the warming and mixes through the atmosphere, spreading warming throughout the planet. So CO2 causes warming AND rising temperature causes CO2 rise.

    Over the last half million years, our climate has experienced long ice ages regularly punctuated by brief warm periods called interglacials. Atmospheric carbon dioxide closely matches the cycle, increasing by around 80 to 100 parts per million as Antarctic temperatures warm up to 10°C. However, when you look closer, CO2 actually lags temperature by around 1000 years. While this result was predicted two decades ago (Lorius 1990), it still surprises and confuses many. Does warming cause CO2 rise or the other way around? In actuality, the answer is both.
    Interglacials come along approximately every 100,000 years. This is called the Milankovitch cycle, brought on by changes in the Earth's orbit. There are three main changes to the earth's orbit. The shape of the Earth's orbit around the sun (eccentricity) varies between an ellipse to a more circular shape. The earth's axis is tilted relative to the sun at around 23°. This tilt oscillates between 22.5° and 24.5° (obliquity). As the earth spins around it's axis, the axis wobbles from pointing towards the North Star to pointing at the star Vega (precession).
    The combined effect of these orbital cycles cause long term changes in the amount of sunlight hitting the earth at different seasons, particularly at high latitudes. For example, around 18,000 years ago, there was an increase in the amount of sunlight hitting the Southern Hemisphere during the southern spring. This lead to retreating Antarctic sea ice and melting glaciers in the Southern Hemisphere.(Shemesh 2002). The ice loss had a positive feedback effect with less ice reflecting sunlight back into space (decreased albedo). This enhanced the warming.

    As the Southern Ocean warms, the solubility of CO2 in water falls (Martin 2005). This causes the oceans to give up more CO2, emitting it into the atmosphere. The exact mechanism of how the deep ocean gives up its CO2 is not fully understood but believed to be related to vertical ocean mixing (Toggweiler 1999). The process takes around 800 to 1000 years, so CO2 levels are observed to rise around 1000 years after the initial warming (Monnin 2001, Mudelsee 2001).

    The outgassing of CO2 from the ocean has several effects. The increased CO2 in the atmosphere amplifies the original warming. The relatively weak forcing from Milankovitch cycles is insufficient to cause the dramatic temperature change taking our climate out of an ice age (this period is called a deglaciation). However, the amplifying effect of CO2 is consistent with the observed warming.

    CO2 from the Southern Ocean also mixes through the atmosphere, spreading the warming north (Cuffey 2001). Tropical marine sediments record warming in the tropics around 1000 years after Antarctic warming, around the same time as the CO2 rise (Stott 2007). Ice cores in Greenland find that warming in the Northern Hemisphere lags the Antarctic CO2 rise (Caillon 2003).

    To claim that the CO2 lag disproves the warming effect of CO2 displays a lack of understanding of the processes that drive Milankovitch cycles. A review of the peer reviewed research into past periods of deglaciation tells us several things:
    #10     Aug 31, 2010