Bjorn Lomborg

Get the facts straight

12 Dec2015

Arnold Schwarzenegger Is Wrong On Climate Change

Published by Forbes

Many delegates here at the Paris climate conference must have leapt with joy when actor and former Californian governor Arnold Schwarzenegger published a Facebook post this week that went viral, titled “I don’t give a **** if we agree about climate change.” The politicians and bureaucrats meeting here – now in extra time – must speak in measured language, seldom saying what they really think. Former politicians, on the other hand, get a lot more leeway...

11 Dec2015

1.5 Degrees Target: Symbolism Over Substance

Published by Forbes

Outside the Paris climate conference center, organizers have erected a ‘Wind Tree’ (Arbre a Vent) which produces electricity using the power of the breeze. In doing so, they have summed up exactly what is wrong with the conference. The tree will only produce 3,500 kWh per year and it costs about €25,000. So, at a production price of about 7 cents per kWh , it will take 89 years to make up just the capital cost. Or put differently, the cost is 300% more expensive than even traditional wind power, which still struggles without subsidies...

10 Dec2015

Is Climate Change To Blame For ISIS?

Published by Forbes

In the build-up to Paris, activists and celebrities have been banging the drum for action. Part of this has involved talking up the effects of global warming. US presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' warns that “climate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism,” while Prince Charles believes that “one of the major reasons for this horror in Syria” is global warming’s effects...

9 Dec2015

What Does The Paris Climate Treaty Look Like From Ghana?

Published by Forbes

The suburb of Alajo is about as far from the posh hotels of Paris as you could get. But the bureaucrats and politicians here in France are negotiating a climate treaty to ‘help the world’s poorest’ including billions of dollars of guarantees of "climate aid" to developing nations. I’ve argued in this blog that this kind of aid isn’t what’s wanted. I’ve pointed to a massive global survey of 8 million people showing that people in the world’s poorest countries rank climate policy last after other policy priorities...

8 Dec2015

Two Incompatible Thoughts On Climate Policy

Published by Forbes

Here in Paris, there are many well-meaning people who believe that we need strong carbon cuts and green energy production subsidies now and for many years to come, to get the world to move towards tackling climate change. But at the same time, these same people argue that solar and wind is already competitive, or that this moment is just around the corner. Those two arguments are incompatible and many people who seem to be making both points are simply wrong on one or the other.

7 Dec2015

What's The Price Tag Of Paris' Climate Summit? Don't Ask The Politicians

Published by Forbes

When you go shopping – whether at the corner store, or at the ritzy Galeries Lafayette or Printemps here in Paris – you expect to know what you’re spending and what you’re getting. Strangely, when it comes to global climate treaties, our politicians like to commit to hugely expensive policies without even acknowledging that they come with a price tag...

7 Dec2015

Climate aid is a poor response to global challenges

Published by The Age

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's diversion of $1 billion of development funds to climate aid might please climate activists at the Paris summit, but it's one of the least effective ways of helping the world's poor. What would help is support for an end to the $680 billion wasted on annual fossil fuel subsidies that not only increase CO₂ but suck dry the public purse in many developing countries, keeping funds from areas that need it. In diverting money to climate aid, Turnbull joins US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping, who will each invest $4.15 billion ($...

4 Dec2015

What Will All The Hot Air In Paris Actually Do?

Published by Forbes

Negotiators and activists are getting increasingly serious about the prospects of finalizing a carbon-cutting deal here in Paris. No doubt if they are successful we will see much back-slapping and exhortations of "success" in 7 days. But the bonhomie will hide a rather inconvenient truth: even if it’s successful, any deal negotiated in Paris is going to do very little to rein in temperature rises. In a recent peer-reviewed research paper, I looked at all the carbon-cutting promises countries committed to ahead of Paris (their so-called “Intended Nationally Determined...

3 Dec2015

Europe's Biggest Protest--But Not The World's Top Priority

Published by Forbes

There is not one single climate activist in sight here at the climate summit venue in Le Bourget on the outskirts of Paris. Understandably, the area is effectively sealed off so there’s not much of an audience. While many planned marches have been cancelled for security reasons, there are still many protestors in the media and elsewhere, who are passionately pushing those inside the climate talks to push for a more drastic treaty...

3 Dec2015

Mark Zuckerberg's billion-dollar chance to change the world

Published by Telegraph

The decision by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan to use 99% of their Facebook shares to fund charitable initiatives over their lives is an overwhelming statement of generosity. The massive challenge for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will be how to achieve the most good with this money. Individual philanthropists play a vital role in development, not least because – unlike political initiatives or groups dependent on fundraising – billionaires can afford to ignore lobby groups and popular attention...