Lomborg & foreign aid

As I mentioned in my previous post, Bjorn Lomborg’s favorite argument against Kyoto is that the money it would cost would be better spent helping poor countries. This is in keeping with his pose as a leftist greenie, reluctantly convinced of the truth of the arguments of people like Julian Simon.

So it would not be surprising to find Lomborg working for a Danish government that opposed Kyoto and spent more on foreign aid. The Rasmussen govt, for which Lomborg works, does indeed oppose Kyoto. But it has also repeatedly cut foreign aid.

Lomborg is a hypocrite and a fraud. It’s as simple as that

Update Various commentators have reacted on the apparent assumption that Lomborg is a civil servant, expressing his private views in his spare time. In fact, the Danish government created an Environmental Assessment Institute with a position as director specifically for Lomborg, whose only qualifications for such a post are the political views expressed in The Sceptical Environmentalist (he has never published a refereed article on any environmental issue). Given the frequency with which he pops up around the world, I assume that his tour to Australia is being carried out as part of his official duties.

Further update 5/10 Stentor Danielson has a good discussion of the issues raised by Lomborg’s actions, and concludes, that Lomborg doesn’t care too much about the foreign aid cuts because

really thinks that reducing spending on global warming is a good thing in and of itself (only a suspicion because I haven’t read his manifesto, The Skeptical Environmentalist)

I have read it, and I agree.

31 thoughts on “Lomborg & foreign aid

  1. “The climate is, for all intents and purposes, a closed system. Yes, inputs arrive from the sun, but outputs into space are measured in the nano-percents.”

    So the sun is outside the system, so the system isn’t closed. Especially since the sun is the largest determining factor. Plus, other outside factors can have an influence (e.g. meteors, radiation).

    “My knowledge that it is likely to be stinking hot in three months time is not naive projection…”

    That’s right. It’s not naive as is stupid. It’s naive as in doesn’t require any expertise.

    “By your reasoning it seems that we should wait until global warming is a proven danger, by that time it will be too late I’m afraid. ”

    Can’t the same be said for my alien example? This assumes that it is a danger just waiting to be proven. Not convincing.

    “To say thet chaotic sytems are not predictable is plain weird.”

    No it’s not, it’s just plain true. Especially with regards to current science and long-term climate change.

    Your arguments are all based on ideology, not reason. I suspect the real reason a lot of people are for Kyoto is just because business is opposed to it.

  2. So, PK:

    1. What about the GCM that can hindcast and your insistence that climate cannot be predicted?

    2. Where do the outputs go from the sun’s inputs, which are remarkably constant at the surface in short temporal scales, and vary predictably in longer temporal scales? [that is, the inputs are stable] My point being, you haven’t proven chaos – and for all intents and purposes, since the outputs stay in the system, within the parameters we set above the system is closed.


  3. PK:

    Sigh…This is Dano’s editor here. I won’t have him writing during classes. The planet is a closed system, but the argument is still the same – the outputs to space {again, a clarification} in excess of inputs are tiny and climate is not chaotic.

    D (e)

  4. Re John’s update. I think the point that some posts were making is that he is not responsible for the Danish government’s foreign aid policy and, for all we know, may not agree with it. So calling him a hypocrite for not doing something for which he is not responsible is a bit strong.

  5. Getting a bit upset are we PK.

    I take it you don’t insure your house because the danger of fire to your particular house is not proven.

  6. Let’s spell it out for those who miss the point.
    Peter Garrett thinks we should spend more on foreign aid. But he would not be a fraud just because he accepted an appointment heading up an Australian Environment Institute under a government that cut foreign aid; if people had to agree with every policy of the government before accepting a position at its hands there’d be no-one to take the jobs but political hacks.

    John, you’re much more persuasive when you avoid the ad hominem attacks – leave them to those incapable of better.

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