Friday, October 16, 2020

Quote of the day 16th October 2020

 "A partisan gap in attitudes has been fostered by both sides. Today, people who identify as Democrats and Republicans are further apart on how much priority should be accorded to climate change than on any other single issue."

"While Democrats have passed what will end up being incredibly expensive promises President Donald trump, with Republican support, has done the opposite: he wants to do nothing at all. Neither approach is right.

"The partisan divide in America is also reflected globally."

(Bjorn Lomborg, author of "The Sceptical Environmentalist.")

For the avoidance of doubt, I don't go all the way with Lomborg's arguments and policy proposals. I do think we need to set targets to reduce our output of carbon and of greenhouse gases. 

But I think Lomborg is right both to criticise both climate change deniers who present the entire issue of climate change as a myth and the alarmism of those who seek to foster climate panic by spreading exaggerated and easily debunked claims. As Bob Ward, one of Lombard's critics, accepted in a generally hostile review in the Guardian, Bjorn Lombard makes, quote, 

"some legitimate criticisms of “alarmism” by environmentalists. One of the most difficult problems in making the case for action on climate crisis is that the elevated levels of greenhouse gases we create over the next few decades will have consequences not fully realised until the next century and beyond. Some campaigners deal with this communications challenge by wrongly warning of imminent catastrophe."

On the on the other side of the equation, Lomborg makes some interesting and important points about the need to invest far more in making populations, particularly in poor countries, more resilient to our changing climate, and that the world should be spending far more on green innovation to develop technologies to help us to tackle climate breakdown.

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