Top Climate Skeptic Reverses Course, Now Urges Bold Action
Bjørn Lomborg may not be a household name around here, but that's through no fault of his. In November 2001, this Danish environmental author and economics professor was selected "Global Leader for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. Lomborg was selected as one of TIME magazine's 100 most influential people of 2004. In June 2002, Business Week named Lomborg one of the "50 Stars of Europe" in the Agenda Setters category. The magazine noted, "No matter what they think of his views, nobody denies that Bjørn Lomborg has shaken the environmental movement to its core."
Controversy may as well have been his middle name, especially after his book The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World came out in 2001. The book was critical of the Worldwatch Institute's State of the World report "for using short-term trends to predict disastrous consequences, in cases where long-term trends would not support the same conclusions."
He was particularly outspoken on the subject of global warming whose importance he felt was being overstated. In the book's introduction he writes, "Global warming, though its size and future projections are rather unrealistically pessimistic, is almost certainly taking place, but the typical cure of early and radical fossil fuel cutbacks is way worse than the original affliction, and moreover its total impact will not pose a devastating problem for our future."
However, Lomborg has a new book entitled Smart Solutions to Climate Change: Comparing Costs and Benefits in which he proposes an aggressive $100 billion annual fund specifically targeting global warming solutions such as the familiar list of renewables including wind, wave, and solar as well as nuclear power and a number of more controversial geo-engineering approaches like cloud whitening, which, it has been suggested, might reflect a larger portion of the sun’s heat back into space than ordinary clouds.