BOOKS ON GLOBAL WARMING
1. Bjorn Lomborg
The Skeptical Environmentalist's
Guide to Global Warming
York: Knopf: www.aaknopf.com, 2007)
(ISBN: 978-0-307-26692-7; hardcover)
(Library of Congress call number: QC981.8.G56L657 2007)
"Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated."
This is the famous reply Mark Twain sent to the newspaper
that mistaken printed an obituary of him.
This book might be seen as a similar response
to media reports of the immanent end of life on the Earth.
In contrast to others who have written against the
theory of global warming,
Bjorn Lomborg does not claim there is no global warming,
merely that the numbers presented
by many advocates of the theory are greatly exaggerated.
For example, instead the sea level rising 20 feet in
the next 100 years,
it is more likely to be about one foot.
This is the same amount that it rose in a the last 150 years.
And the world did not come to an end.
People who live near sea-level just had to adjust to slightly higher
For every problem that might be caused by a slight
increase in temperature,
Lomborg presents other—usually
For instance, if we want to save the polar bears,
we could just stop shooting
them for sport.
This would save a few dozen each year.
The cost would be nearly nothing to enforce a ban on hunting.
And the effect would be immediate,
rather than all of us turning down our thermostats
for the next 100 years in the hope of changing the Arctic
Similar economic analysis is provided for:
preventing heat deaths,
controlling damage from flooding,
controlling damage from hurricanes,
improving the plight of the poor,
preventing starvation, &
providing more drinking water.
Most proponents of the theory of global warming
warn us about the danger of people dying from heat.
But they fail to note that there will be fewer deaths from cold.
The very fact that this book has been published
shows that rational discussion is at least beginning.
Let's keep close track of the actual amount of
carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
and the actual temperatures.
Then we might be able to name the things we can change
(at a reasonable cost we can all afford).
And we can name the things we cannot
change at a reasonable cost,
which will require some adjustments, not all of which will be negative.
For example, northern climates
will have a slightly longer growing season.
Everyone interested in global warming should read
2-21-2008; Revised 7-16-2008