Bjørn Lomborg

Bjørn Lomborg

Credentials

Background

Bjørn Lomborg is a political scientist, economist, and the founder and president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center (CCC).2About Bjorn Lomborg,” lomborg.com. Archived August 31, 2016. Archive .is URL: https://archive.is/fObjq Lomborg’s Copenhagen Consensus Center (CCC) was founded in 2006 in Denmark and registered as a non-profit organization in the United States in 2008.3Board & Directors,” Copenhagen Consensus Center. August 31, 2016. Archive .is URL: https://archive.is/YIGod The Center has attracted more than $4 million in funding since 2008. A DeSmog investigation found that the CCC received at least $200,000 in 2013 from “vulture capitalist” Paul Singer’s charitable foundation.4Graham Readfearn. “Exclusive: Bjorn Lomborg Think Tank Funder Revealed As Billionaire Republican ‘Vulture Capitalist’ Paul Singer,” DeSmog, February 9, 2015.

According to his website, Lomborg.com, Bjorn Lomborg is also a visiting professor at the Copenhagen Business School. He received his Ph. D. in Political Science at the University of Copenhagen in 1994.5About Bjorn Lomborg,” lomborg.com. Archived August 31, 2016. Archive .is URL: https://archive.is/fObjq

Lomborg is listed as a ”Speaker” by The Sweeney Agency, which works to make “the speaking business more client focused,” by booking speakers for clients “based solely on [their] needs.” The Sweeney Agency describes Lomborg as an “Author and Speaker on the Environment and Climate Change,” noting that one of the topics Lomborg speaks about is “The Truth About Global Warming”:6Speakers,” The Sweeney Agency. Archived January 15, 2015. Archive .is URL: https://archive.is/FrvIM

“This thought-provoking talk is based on Dr. Lomborg’s bestselling book and film, Cool It. Here, Lomborg will demonstrate how we’re often told very one-sided and exaggerated claims about the environment and climate change, leading to unwarranted panic, instead of rationally assessing where and how we can do the most good. He argues that to tackle global warming we need smarter solutions focused on getting long-term solutions like cost-competitive renewables and that many of the impacts of global warming would be better addressed through adaptation.”

Lomborg is best known as the author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and Cool It, two books that downplay the risks of global warming. Lomborg does not have a background in climate science and has published no peer-reviewed articles in journals devoted to climate change research. He has, however, authored policy studies arguing against climate change prevention measures. He wrote a similar article in the peer-reviewed journal Technological Forecasting and Social Change where he claimed, “Climate policies also have costs that often vastly outweigh their climate benefits.”

TFSC describes itself as a “major forum for those wishing to deal directly with the methodology and practice of technological forecasting and future studies as planning tools as they interrelate social, environmental and technological factors.”7Technological Forecasting and Social Change,” Elsevier. Archived November 16, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/x6zTZ

Lomborg’s Errors

Lomborg’s errors in his discussion of climate change have been documented by many sources including a 2010 book published by Yale University Press titled The Lomborg Deception: Setting the Record Straight About Global Warming.

Lomborg-errors.dk is a website focused on documenting his errors, although it does not appear to have been recently updated. It also maintains a timeline documenting the events leading to Lomborg’s fame, and how he is regarded among his fellow Danes.8The Lomborg Story,” Lomborg-errors.dk, August 14, 2012. Archived August 31, 2016.

Stance on Climate Change

In a 2010 report in The Guardian, Lomborg acknowledged that global warming is “a challenge that humanity must confront.” Lomborg goes as far as calling for a carbon tax and a $100 billion investment in clean technologies.9Juliette Jowit. “Bjørn Lomborg: $100bn a year needed to fight climate change,” The Guardian, August 30, 2010. Archive .is URL: https://archive.is/Jc6F

However, in his new book Smart Solutions to Climate Change, Lomborg argues that it would be too expensive to implement any major carbon reduction policy, and that “drastic carbon cuts would be the poorest way to respond to global warming.”10Howard Friel. “Bjørn Lomborg’s missing questions,” The Guardian, August 30, 2010. Archive .is URL: https://archive.is/9S62m

As Desmog reports, Lomborg appears to be directly contradicting himself.11James Hoggan. “Bjorn Lomborg’s Climate Confusionist Spin Is Never Ending,” Desmog, September 17, 2010.

On December 6, 2013 (three days after Lomborg wrote an op-ed for The New York Times Opinion page), The Guardian released an article entitled, “Is Bjorn Lomborg right to say fossil fuels are what poor countries need?12Graham Readfearn. ”Is Bjorn Lomborg right to say fossil fuels are what poor countries need?“ The Guardian, December 6, 2013. Archive .is URL: https://archive.is/AdjoQ where Lomborg’s latest solution to climate change is again to give the globe more access to cheap fossil fuels. This has developed into a term which was coined “energy poverty.”13Bjorn Lomborg. ”The Poor Need Cheap Fossil Fuels,” The New York Times The Opinion Pages, December 3, 2013. Archive .is URL: https://archive.is/WjSOP

Green Energy

Lomborg has described solar panels as inefficient and states this is “why you have to subsidize them.”14RN DRIVE 02.12.2013, ABC.net.au, December 2, 2013.

In what appears contradictory, Lomborg then advocates for investments in green energy technologies, “…At the same time, wealthy Western nations must step up investments into research and development in green energy technologies to ensure that cleaner energy eventually becomes so cheap that everyone will want it.”15Graham Readfearn. ”Is Bjorn Lomborg right to say fossil fuels are what poor countries need?“ The Guardian, December 6, 2013. Archive .is URL: https://archive.is/AdjoQ 16Bjorn Lomborg. ”The Poor Need Cheap Fossil Fuels,” The New York Times The Opinion Pages, December 3, 2013. Archive .is URL: https://archive.is/WjSOP

Geo-Engineering

Lomborg has promoted the controversial idea of geo-engineering to address climate change.17Mitchell Anderson. “Lomborg’s Robot Navy,” DeSmog, August 10, 2009. In one instance, Lomborg envisioned a fleet of 1900 robotic ships that will patrol the ocean while releasing spouts of ocean water to reflect the sun’s rays in an attempt to reduce global warming.18Lomborg says armada could halt global warming,” The Copenhagen Post Online, August 7, 2009. Archived August 11, 2010. Archive .is URL: https://archive.is/azYZu

Geoengineering research proponent Ken Caldeira has said “the vision of Lomborg’s Climate Consensus is ‘a dystopic world out of a science fiction story … Geoengineering is not an alternative to carbon emissions reductions … If emissions keep going up and up, and you use geoengineering as a way to deal with it, it’s pretty clear the endgame of that process is pretty ugly’.”19Joe Romm. “Lomborg flip-flop: ‘Climate change is undoubtedly one of the chief concerns facing the world today’,” Climate Progress, August 31, 2010. Archive .is URL: https://archive.is/vhRc6

Key Quotes

October 9, 2018

In an article at the Wall Street Journal, Lomborg criticized the recent United Nations report on climate change:20Bjorn Lomborg. “U.N. Ignores Economics Of Climate,” Wall Street Journal, October 9, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/QTQhN               

“The new report has no comparison of the costs and benefits of climate targets. Mr. Nordhaus’s most recent estimate, published in August, is that the ‘optimal’ outcome with a moderate carbon tax is a rise of about 6.3 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century. Reducing temperature rises by more would result in higher costs than benefits, potentially causing the world a $50 trillion loss.”

December 7, 2017

Lomborg has consistently criticized the Paris climate Treaty. For example, he wrote at the Herald Sun:21Bjorn Lomborg: Climate change action has to be democratic,” Herald Sun, December 7, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/SUG6r

“By the United Nations’ own estimates, all of the promised cuts up to 2030 will reduce emissions by less than 1 per cent of what would be needed to keep temperature rises under 2C. Paris will deliver far less than politicians promise and cost more than most people are willing to pay.”

June 2016

“[J]ust like every other issue, there’s both positives and negatives to global warming. Overall, and in the long run, the negatives will outweigh the positives, but there is a lot of positives to global warming right now.”22Opinion: Climate change is bad, but it comes with benefits too,” CBC Radio, June 19, 2016. Archived September 5, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/A5hpn

April 6, 2016

Bjorn Lomborg wrote an article in The Wall Street Journal titled “An Overheated Climate Alarm” which claims that cold temperatures are more deadly than heat, following the publication of the US Global Change Research Program’s (US GCRP) overview of the impact of climate change on public health:23Bjorn Lomborg. “An Overheated Climate Alarm,” The Wall Street Journal. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog. Archive .is URL: Archive .is URL: https://archive.is/YoA3H

“Climate change is a genuine problem that will eventually be a net detriment to society. Gradually rising temperatures across decades will increase the number of hot days and heat waves. If humans make no attempts whatsoever to adapt—a curious assumption that the report inexplicably relies on almost throughout—the total number of heat-related deaths will rise. But correspondingly, climate change will also reduce the number of cold days and cold spells. That will cut the total number of cold-related deaths.”

“In pushing too hard for the case that global warming is universally bad for everything, the administration’s report undermines the reasonable case for climate action. Focusing on only the bad side of the ledger destroys academic and political credibility.”

January 2, 2015

Lomborg was quoted in a piece titled, “Climate change real, deadly says David Attenborough,” in which Lomborg says that “the UN should focus on more cost-effective environmental policies,” and increase their global target for limiting warming from 2C to 3C:24Climate change real, deadly says David Attenborough,” The Australian (sub. required), January 2, 2015. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

“Pursuing this 2C target is very costly and not guaranteed to be successful. Much better, then, to target a maximum of, say, 3C rise, which will cost about $40 trillion but avoid most damages.

“If we insist on 2C, we will pay an extra $60,000 billion, but only prevent a stream of $100 billion damages that begins in 70 to 80 years. Moreover, all of these estimates assume cost-effective climate policies, whereas in real life they have often become many times more expensive.”

April 29, 2014

In an opinion piece written by Lomborg in The Australian entitled, “Renewables pave path to poverty,” Lomborg encourages everyone engaged in the debate [of Australia’s Renewable Energy Target (RET)] to “recognise:”25Bjorn Lomborg. ”Renewables pave path to poverty,” The Australian, April 29, 2014. Archived May 8, 2014. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

“The Australian government recently released an issues paper for the review of the renewable energy target. What everyone engaged in this debate should recognise is that policies such as the carbon tax and the RET have contributed to household electricity costs rising 110 per cent in the past five years, hitting the poor the hardest.”

Further on, he states:

“In 1971, 40 per cent of China’s energy came from renewables. Since then it has lifted 680 million people out of poverty using coal. Today, China gets a trifling 0.23 per cent of its energy from wind and solar. Africa gets 50 per cent of its energy today from ­renewables — and remains poor. New analysis from the Centre for Global Development shows that, investing in renewables, we can pull one person out of poverty for about $US500. But, using gas electrification, we could quadruple that. By ­focusing on our climate concerns, we deliberately choose to leave more than three out of four people in darkness and poverty. Addressing global warming requires long-term innovation that makes green energy affordable. Until then, wasting enormous sums of money at the expense of the world’s poor is no solution at all.”

February 2014

“A new paper by Todd Moss and Ben Leo from the nonprofit think tank, Center for Global Development, puts it very clearly. If Obama spends the next $10 billion on gas electrification, he can help lift 90 million people out of poverty. If he only uses renewables, the same $10 billion can help just 20 million-27 million people. Using renewables, we will deliberately choose to leave more than 60 million people in darkness and poverty…Our development aid should be used to help 60 million more people out of poverty, not as a tool to make us feel virtuous about facile, green choices.”26Lomborg: Obama energy policy hurts African poor,” USA Today,February 8, 2014. Archived April September 1, 2016. Archive .is URL: https://archive.is/vKPyb

December 2013

In an op-ed in The New York Times, Lomborg writes:

“There’s no question that burning fossil fuels is leading to a warmer climate and that addressing this problem is important. But doing so is a question of timing and priority. For many parts of the world, fossil fuels are still vital and will be for the next few decades, because they are the only means to lift people out of the smoke and darkness of energy poverty.”27Bjorn Lomborg. ”The Poor Need Cheap Fossil Fuels,” The New York Times The Opinion Pages, December 3, 2013. Archive .is URL: https://archive.is/WjSOP

November 12, 2013

Lomborg hosts a TED Blog video titled, “What do global problems cost us?” as a follow up to his previous TED Talk in 2005:

9:30-10:20 “If you look at the time period from 1900 to 2050, surprisingly, for a lot of people, the net impact of most global warming was actually positive. That’s because CO2 is actually fertilizer, that means it increases our agricultural production. Of course, in the long run increasing temperatures is also going to reduce agricultural production. We will also see more people die from heat, but many more people will avoid to die from cold, again with moderate global warming. We are also seeing the lower costs of heating outweigh the extra costs of cooling. So, actually, if you look at what the cost is [of global warming] it turns out to be a slight negative around 1900 at about 0.5% and across the most of the century, mostly a negative.”28Bjorn Lomborg. “What do global problems cost us?TED Blog Videos, November 12, 2013.

March 2007

“We have to ask ourselves: what do we want to do first? Do we want to focus on cutting CO2, at fairly high costs and doing fairly little good a hundred years from now? Or would we rather want to fix some of the many obvious problems in the world, where we could do a lot more good and do it now?”29“Perspective on Climate Change” (PDF), Testimony prepared by Bjorn Lomborg for the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality joint hearing with the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment of the Committee on Science and Technology on Wednesday March 21, 2007. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog.

Key Actions

November 26, 2021

Lomborg wrote an article at The Australian following the UN Climate Conference in Glasgow (COP26) claiming, “It is easy and popular for politicians to talk up the dangers of climate change and promise safety with grandiose policies for 2030 or 2050. It is much less popular when it is time to ask voters to pay for these draconian climate policies.” 30Bjorn Lomborg. “World will go green only when the price is right,” The Australian, November 26, 2021. Archived November 27, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/gBctB

Reporting from The Guardian found that a key claim Lomborg made in the column, which also appeared in The Herald in Scotland and the Economic Times in India, had appeared in a Nature Climate Change study whose authors had been asking Lomborg to stop making the claim since early November.31Graham Readfearn. “Climate cost study authors accuse Bjørn Lomborg of misinterpreting results,” The Guardian, December 2, 2021. Archived December 17, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/k7VNR

“Lomborg wrote in the Australian that a study’“in the renowned journal’ Nature, ‘shows that reducing emissions 95% by 2050 – almost Biden’s promise of net zero – would cost 11.9% of gross domestic product, or more than $US11,000 ($15,300) for each American citizen every year’,” Graham Readfearn reported.

“That seems like an eye-watering figure, or in Lomborg’s words ‘spectacularly costly’.

“The cited figure does appear in a supplementary section of the paper. But the authors of the study (which actually appeared in Nature Climate Change, not Nature) have told Temperature Check they have been asking Lomborg since early November to stop making that claim.

“Prof David Victor, of University of California San Diego, said Lomborg’s summary ‘took the results out of context and used them for a purpose that we explicitly said they were not to be used, and which he was reminded of when he asked for the underlying data’.

“Dr Wei Peng, of Penn State university and lead author of the study, said she and her colleagues were ‘frustrated with Lomborg’s misinterpretation of our study’.

“In late October Peng emailed Lomborg saying the modelling results for emissions cuts at 95% “was not well calibrated, and the cost number is likely to be off”.

“I hope people won’t take the high mitigation cost out of context,” she told Lomborg.

“Victor said Lomborg’s use of the figure was ‘obscenely reckless’ in the context of ‘serious scientific analysis’ and wrote to him in early November.”

November 2, 2021

In an interview with Marc A. Thiessen, a columnist at The Washington Post and American Enterprise Institute senior fellow, Lomborg argued “Climate change is a problem, but not the end of the world.”32Marc A. Thiessen. “Opinion: Climate change is not an ‘existential threat’,” The Washington Post, November 2, 2021. Archived November 5, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/ggBto

“Fundamentally, we’ve got to stop the alarmists,” Lomborg told Thiessen, claiming that while a recent poll found young Americans “humanity is doomed” actually things are a lot better than you think.”

Thiessen concluded, based on Lomborg’s suggestions, “The way to address climate change is to unleash the free market to increase prosperity and innovation. But climate alarmists are using false claims of doom to scare people into adopting policies that will have the opposite effect — destroying economic growth and increasing global poverty.”

September 30, 2021

Writing at the Wall Street Journal, Lomborg provided what the editor described as “some important background so readers can have a better understanding of the true effects of climate change and the real costs of climate policy” prior to the global climate conference in Glasgow coming up in November 2021.33Want to Lock Down for the Climate?Wall Street Journal, September 30, 2021. Archived October 15, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/b3XRu

“Even if all electricity turned green, most of the world would still run on fossil fuels,” Lomborg wrote. “Though renewables are often touted as the cheapest energy source, it’s only true when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing. If it’s a still night you need backup power, typically from fossil fuels—which makes electricity costlier because you need to pay for both the solar panel and the gas turbine.”

He concluded:”In 2021 emissions would have to drop by more than double the [Covid-]lockdown-induced decline. By the end of 2030, they’d have to have fallen by 11 times what they did in 2020. Not exactly realistic.”

August 5, 2021

Lomborg wrote an article at the Wall Street Journal titled “Climate Change Doesn’t Cause All Disasters,” where he suggested, “climate change annually causes almost 120,000 additional heat deaths but avoids nearly 300,000 cold deaths.”34Climate Change Doesn’t Cause All Disasters,Wall Street Journal, August 5, 2021. Archive URL: https://archive.ph/6rK9E

“Every death is a tragedy, yet current warming is avoiding many more tragedies,” Lomborg claimed in the article.

May 22, 2021

Lomborg wrote an article for The Australian claiming climate activists were undemocratic and climate policies “enormously expensive”. Arguing that no popular mandate existed for such policies, Lomborg wrote: “climate campaigners have increasingly pursued a new strategy by forcing climate policy through courts,” adding: “Unfortunately, such cases undermine democracy, harm the poor and sidetrack us from smarter ways to fix the climate.”35Bjorn Lomborg. “Green activists are courting a humanitarian catastrophe,” The Australian, May 22, 2021. Archived May 24, 2021. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/vMKud

Disputing the effectiveness of decarbonisation policies, Lomborg argued that they would fail because “strong climate policy is enormously expensive and delivers minuscule climate benefits.” Elsewhere in the article, he suggested that: “Ramping up climate policies in court will mean even more people left in poverty because of slower economic growth.” 

April 26, 2021

Lomborg wrote an article for The Australian arguing that G7 countries’ strategies for decarbonising their economies by 2050 were expensive and inadvisable. He wrote: “As climate policies reduce growth further, this will threaten long-term social coherence as people realise their children won’t be better off and pensions wither.”36Bjorn Lomborg. “Don’t make the poor pay for climate change,” The Australian, April 24, 2021. Archived April 26, 2021. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/QMXxl

Lomborg argued that carbon tariffs represented an attempt to shift the burden of decarbonisation onto poorer countries by preventing them from developing, and would “lead to profound resentment towards a rich world that claims to implement climate policies to help, but really shifts the costs onto the world’s poor.” He added: “It could lead to a tariff war and the developing world shaping their separate free trading regime.”

April 25, 2021

Lomborg was interviewed on Sky News Australia, discussing a climate summit at the White House which comprised 40 world leaders and was led by Presidential Envoy John Kerry. Stating that the US plan, which would involve cutting carbon emissions by at least 50% of their 2005 levels by 2030, would do “virtually nothing” for climate mitigation, Lomborg argued that “Biden is setting himself up to do something that is very hard,that is phenomenally costly, and that will probably not happen, and even if it did, would not actually cut carbon emissions enough to make a difference to temperatures by the end of the century.”37Leaders ‘went out of their way to scare us’ at climate change summit,” Sky News Australia, April 25, 2021. Archived April 26, 2021. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/EWvMJ

April 24, 2021

Lomborg wrote an article for The Australian arguing that G7 countries’ strategies for decarbonising their economies by 2050 were expensive and inadvisable. He wrote: “As climate policies reduce growth further, this will threaten long-term social coherence as people realise their children won’t be better off and pensions wither.”38Bjorn Lomborg. “Don’t make the poor pay for climate change,” The Australian, April 24, 2021. Archived April 26, 2021. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/QMXxl

Lomborg argued that carbon tariffs represented an attempt to shift the burden of decarbonisation onto poorer countries by preventing them from developing, and would “lead to profound resentment towards a rich world that claims to implement climate policies to help, but really shifts the costs onto the world’s poor.” He added: “It could lead to a tariff war and the developing world shaping their separate free trading regime.”

April 22, 2021

Lomborg wrote an article for The Financial Post arguing that concern over climate change was “vastly exaggerated.” He added: “This pervasive climate alarmism is the culmination of persistent eco-anxiety over the past few decades.”39Bjorn Lomborg. “Bjorn Lomborg: This Earth Day let’s replace alarmism with smarter policy,” The Financial Post, April 22, 2021. Archived April 26, 2021. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/Y86ty

Elsewhere in the article, Lomborg disputed the causal link between climate change and incidents of extreme weather, writing: “Such irresponsible exaggerations are destroying our ability to make sensible decisions for the future. The evidence actually shows that climate-related disasters are killing far fewer people than ever before.”

April 20, 2021

Lomborg was interviewed on Fox News, discussing proposals by progressive US Democrats including Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Senator Edward Markey to reintroduce the Green New Deal, a spending plan intended to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.40Democrats to reintroduce Green New Deal: ‘We need a smarter approach,’Yahoo News, April 20, 2021. Archived April 20, 2021. Archive.ph URL: https://archive.ph/EceAF

Lomborg described the Green New Deal as “throwing lots of money at it (climate change) and not actually achieving very much.” He argued that genuine climate mitigation would cost “trillions of dollars per year,” stating “of course, people are not actually going to live up to that, they’re not going to vote for those types of guys, and of course, it won’t solve the problem.”

March 15, 2021

Lomborg wrote an article for Fox News which claimed that the severity of climate change was “typically vastly exaggerated,” adding: “the resulting alarmism is exploited to justify the wasteful spending of trillions”.41Bjorn Lomborg. “Bjorn Lomborg: Climate change and cancel culture – here’s how left uses fear to push costly, radical policies,” Fox News, March 15, 2021. Archived March 15, 2021. Archive.vn URL: https://archive.ph/fspLj

Arguing that climate change mitigation measures were expensive and authoritarian, Lomborg stated: “The easiest way to get societies to authorize the spending of tens of trillions we don’t have is to scare us.” He added: “The academic and activist faction that sets the threatening tone in the climate conversation want dissent eliminated, leaving themselves the only ones authorized to tell you how scared you should be.”

March 8, 2021

Lomborg wrote an article for The Australian which criticised pledges made by several developed nations including the United States to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. He described these policies as “fantastically expensive” and “an unsustainable and ineffective Western world approach,” stating: “If all the rich countries in the world were to cut their carbon emissions to zero tomorrow and for the rest of the century, the lack of energy would devastate societies.”42Bjorn Lomborg. “Let’s put our energy into innovation to help fix the planet,” The Australian, March 6, 2021. Archived March 8, 2021. Archive.vn URL: https://archive.vn/wsxlT

Lomborg also disputed the efficiency of renewable energy, stating: “Solar panels in some places make cheaper electricity at noon, but at night the cost is infinite. That is why across Europe, the higher the share of wind and solar, the higher the household cost of electricity.”

February 26, 2021

Lomborg was interviewed on Fox Business discussing US President Joe Biden’s climate change plans, which included the creation of a carbon-free power sector by 2035. Lomborg stated that Biden’s plans “are not sustainable because people are not willing to pay that amount of money.” Lomborg also criticised the Paris Climate Agreement, which the US had recently rejoined under Biden, stating: “Paris by itself will actually be fairly costly…and will have virtually no impact even in eighty years’ time.”43Joseph Vazquez. “WATCH: Hoover Visiting Fellow Bjorn Lomborg Slaps Down Leftist Climate Alarmism on Kudlow,” NewsBusters, February 26, 2021. Archived March 2, 2021. Archive.vn URL: https://archive.vn/3lhj5

February 16, 2021

Lomborg was interviewed on Fox News discussing power outages that had occurred in Texas following an ice storm. He stated that the event “does tell us the very hard point that we’re going to have to face if we want to switch over to 100% renewable, that’s going to be wind and solar,” adding: “when the sun is not shining or the wind is not blowing, you’re up the creek.” Lomborg also stated that the implementation of predominantly renewable energy would lead to “rolling blackouts,” and “worse outcomes for higher costs.”44Texas winter storm freezes wind turbines, causes blackouts,” Fox News, February 16, 2021. Archived.mp4 on file at DeSmog.

According to a fact check from Reuters: “The use of wind turbines in Texas does not appear to be the primary cause of statewide power outages amid historic cold weather. The state’s woes mainly stem from issues surrounding its independent power grid.”45Fact check: The causes for Texas’ blackout go well beyond wind turbines,” Reuters, February 19, 2021. Archived March 3, 2021. Archive.vn URL: https://archive.vn/qKzjR

February 9, 2021

Lomborg wrote an article for The New York Post criticising US President Joe Biden’s climate change spending plans, which he characterised as “an unsustainable and ineffective First World approach”. He wrote: “Growth-killing ‘fixes’ would delight a few job-secure academics, but they would lead to tragic outcomes of stagnation, strife and discord for ordinary people.”46Bjorn Lomborg. “Biden’s climate ‘fix’ is fantastically expensive and perfectly useless,” The New York Post, February 9, 2021. Archived February 15, 2021. Archive.vn URL: https://archive.vn/SF27G

Disputing the effectiveness of policies aimed at decarbonisation, Lomborg stated: “The last 30 years of climate policy have delivered high costs and rising emissions. The only reliable ways to cut emissions have been recessions and the COVID-19 lockdowns, both of which are unpalatable.”

February 5, 2021

In an interview on Fox News, Lomborg criticised US Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry for taking a private jet to Iceland. He stated: “nobody wants to give up their car or their ability to heat or cool their home, or fly. Most people actually like these things, and that’s why lots of people make these promises, but the actual impact is going to be a lot less because when you realise it, you actually don’t want to give up your car or when you have a private jet, your private jet.”47Nikolas Lanum. “John Kerry’s private jet use shows how hard it is to actually cut emissions: Climate author,” Fox News, February 5, 2021. Archived February 8, 2021. Archive.vn URL: https://archive.vn/45OWd

When asked about the economic viability of renewable energy, Lomborg responded: “There are certainly a lot of concerns around electric cars, and they only cut a little bit of emissions right now, because as you say, we get a lot of our power from coal,” adding: “most of the choices that we can make actually have very small impacts.”

Lomborg disputed the impact of taking personal measures to counteract climate change, stating: “If everyone in the world who used to fly stopped flying for the rest of the century, the impact would be miniscule.”

February 2, 2021

Lomborg was interviewed on Sky News Australia criticising US President Joe Biden’s climate plan, stating that it would do “virtually nothing” to combat climate change. He added: “fundamentally, climate is a problem, but the way we are trying to tackle it right now is typically incredibly expensive and will do very little to actually fix the problem.”48Joe Biden’s climate plan will do ‘virtually nothing’: Bjorn Lomborg,” Sky News Australia, February 2, 2021. Archived February 8, 2021. Archive.vn URL: https://archive.vn/MdzGS

Lomborg also disputed that climate change had caused more extreme weather, stating: “most of us heard that 2020 was a record-breaking hurricane year, but actually if you look at the amount of damage from hurricanes around the world, there was no such thing,” adding: “actually, 2020 was one of the weakest hurricane years in satellite history.”

Disputing the cost implications of decarbonising economies by 2050, Lomborg stated: “If you actually want to fix climate change, you’re not going to do this by these incredibly expensive policies because you’re going to run out of money and willingness to pay.”

December 14, 2020

An article in The New York Post49Rich Lowry. “Joe Biden’s climate agenda is all about creating a crisis — not actually fixing one,” The New York Post, December 21, 2020. Archived December 22, 2020. Archive.vn URL :https://archive.vn/nqRPw discussing President -elect Joe Biden’s approach to climate change cited a piece written by Lomborg entitled: “How Climate Change Alarmists are actually Endangering the Planet,” which described warnings about sea levels rising as “spectacularly misleading.”50Bjorn Lomborg. “How climate change alarmists are actually endangering the planet,” The New York Post, July 11, 2020. Archived December 22, 2020. Archive.vn URL: https://archive.vn/EbjML

November 26, 2020

In an article for The Financial Post, Lomborg disputed the effectiveness of electric cars in reducing emissions. Commenting on proposals to incentivise electric car usage by world leaders including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who proposed a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, Lomborg stated: “Electric car subsidies are something wealthy countries can afford to give to rich elites to show virtue.” He added: “Electric cars are certainly fun, but almost everywhere cost more across their lifetime than their gasoline counterparts.”51Bjorn Lomborg. “The electric car won’t get us very far,” The Financial Post, November 26, 2020. Archived November 30, 2020. Archive.vn URL: https://archive.vn/a1NBe

November 2, 2020

In an article for Euractiv, Lomborg criticised the EU’s decarbonisation plans, describing them as “a costly way of achieving almost nothing”. Lomborg argued that “this does not mean that the EU should do nothing. It should do something smarter. The fundamental problem with climate policy is that switching to zero-carbon now is expensive. That means rich, well-meaning Europeans can afford a bit, but globally little will happen”. Lomborg also stated that, “climate change is a real and man-made problem that should be tackled sensibly. Yet, the impacts are often dramatically exaggerated.”52Bjorn Lomborg. “EU must get smarter to lead on climate change”, Euractiv, November 2, 2020. Archived November 3, 2020. Archive.vn URL: https://archive.vn/t0h6E

September 8, 2020

Lomborg appeared in a podcast for The Spectator alongside self-described climate “lukewarmer” Matt Ridley and Kate Andrews of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), discussing whether tackling climate change ought to be considered a top priority.53Kate Andrews, Matt Ridley, Bjorn Lomborg. “A question of priorities: should tackling climate change trump all else?,” The Spectator, September 8, 2020. Archived.mp3 on file at DeSmog.

Lomborg disputed that counteracting climate change was a priority for the world’s poorest nations, stating: “If you actually want to help the world’s poor, they have many other much, much more important issues they want us to fix first, and fortunately, we can also fix them much cheaper and much more effectively.” He also stated that the Paris Agreement would achieve “almost nothing in 100 years,” and that “we probably won’t be able to measure the difference even if we continue to stick to the Paris agreements throughout the 21st century.”

August 25, 2020

Lomborg featured alongside Matt Ridley in a six-part podcast series about climate change presented by economics correspondent for the Spectator and former Associate Director of the Institute of Economic Affairs, Kate Andrews.

In the first episode of the series, Lomborg claimed that climate change was “a problem” but “not the end of the world” and criticised statements from the U.N Secretary General, Antonio Guterres and Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden, suggesting that climate change posed an existential threat to humanity. Lomborg said that to present climate change in this way was “alarmism” and “wrong.”54Don’t Panic! How to talk about climate change – episode 1,” The Spectator, August 25, 2020.

July 2020

Lomborg published an article in Technological Forecasting and Social Change titled “Welfare in the 21st century: Increasing development, reducing inequality, the impact of climate change, and the cost of climate policies.”55Bjorn Lomborg. “Welfare in the 21st century: Increasing development, reducing inequality, the impact of climate change, and the cost of climate policies,” Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Volume 156 (July 2020) 119981, ISSN 0040-1625. Archived November 5, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/8RQ0Y

He wrote in conclusion:

“As municipalities, counties, and even countries declare a “climate emergency,” it is apparent that global warming is often being presented as an existential challenge requiring urgent and strong climate policies to avoid devastation.

“This article has shown that these claims are misleading and often incorrectly describe the issue and its future. While climate change is real, human caused, and will have a mostly negative impact, it is important to remember that climate policies will likewise have a mostly negative impact. Thus, we must account for the effects of both to find the policies that will achieve the highest welfare gains.”

Daily Kos discussed the article in an issue of its “ClimateDenierRoundup”:56Bjorn Lomborg Argues Genocidal Levels Of Warming Is The Optimal Climate Policy,” Daily Kos, April 30, 2020. Archived November 5, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/znBai

“By focusing solely on GDP as the only measure of humanity’s wellbeing, Lomborg disregards the reality of what 3.75C of warming would mean. Regardless of whether he thinks it’s “realistic,” it’s only “optimal” when money matters more than human life,” Daily Kos wrote.  “Warming of 3.75C would be genocidal: it would not only lead to millions of deaths across the planet, but would also directly cause the destruction of many island nations and their cultures.”

Roger Pielke Jr., who Lomborg also cites multiple times in the paper, promoted the article on Twitter in April 2020. 

July 2020

Lomborg published a book titled False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet. It was promoted by the Institute for Energy Research and the Hoover Institution among other groups.57Joseph E. Stiglitz. “Are We Overreacting on Climate Change?The New York Times, July 16, 2020. Archived July 31, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/IgUoF

The thesis of the book, reported in a review at the New York Times, was that “Activists have been sounding a false alarm about the dangers of climate change. If we listen to them, Lomborg says, we will waste trillions of dollars, achieve little and the poor will suffer the most.”58Joseph E. Stiglitz. “Are We Overreacting on Climate Change?The New York Times, July 16, 2020. Archived July 31, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/IgUoF

Joseph E. Stiglitz of The New York Times notes that, “Somehow, missing in his list of good policy measures are easy things like good regulations — preventing coal-burning electric generators, for example.” Stiglitz adds that Lomborg, “exhibits a naïve belief that markets work well — ignoring a half-century of research into market failures that says otherwise — so well, in fact, that there is no reason for government to intervene other than by setting the right price of carbon.”

“A second mistake — which biases the results in the same way — is Nordhaus’s and Lomborg’s underestimation of the damage associated with climate change.” Examples of that damage include ocean acidification and sea level rise. “Climate change also includes more extreme weather events — more intense hurricanes, more droughts, more floods, with all the devastation to life, livelihood and property that accompanies them.”

A third mistake identified in the article is “not taking due account of risk.”

“As the atmospheric concentration of carbon increases, we are entering uncharted territory. Not since the dawn of humanity has there been anything like this. The models use the ‘best estimate’ of impacts, but as we learn more about climate change these best estimates keep getting revised, and, typically, in only one direction — more damage and sooner than had been expected.”

Stiglitz concluded:

“This book proves the aphorism that a little knowledge is dangerous. It’s nominally about air pollution. It’s really about mind pollution.”

IER disagreed with Lomborg’s case of a tax on carbon, suggesting “a no-carbon-tax policy is better than the ‘optimal’ carbon tax.”59David Kreutzer. “Book Review: False Alarm by Bjørn Lomborg,” Institute for Energy Research, July 7, 2020. Archived July 31, 2020. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/Xd1k1

Lomborg was also interviewed at the Hoover Institution, where he is a visiting fellow, on July 24 to discuss the book.60Bjorn Lomborg Declares ‘False Alarm’ on Climate Hysteria,” Hoover Institution, July 28, 2020. Archived .mp3 on file at DeSmog.

January 16, 2020

Lomborg posted a graph on his Facebook page claiming that “Over the past hundred years, annual climate-related deaths have declined by 96%”. He said that although the data “does *not* mean that there is no global warming or that possibly a climate signal could eventually lead to further deaths”, it showed that “our increased wealth and adaptive capacity has vastly outdone any negative impact from climate when it comes to human climate vulnerability.”61Facebook post by @bjornlomborg, January 16, 2020,” Facebook. Archived .png on file at DeSmog.

September 2019

Lomborg debated Dutch investor Mark van Baal on the dangers and solutions to climate change at an event hosted by EV Equity.62Allister Thomas. “Activist investor and ‘skeptical environmentalist’ face off on climate change,” Energy Voice, October 10, 2019. Archived October Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/dgDfd

While he admitted climate change was real, Lomborg also claimed it was an exaggerated threat that does not pose an existential crisis for humanity, and dismissed concerns (found in a recent YouGov poll) about humanity’s potential for extinction as “just silly.”

He equated the impacts of climate change, given increased wealth in the world, as not much worse than a recession:

It’s the equivalent to about one recession over the next 50 years,” he said. “That’s a problem, but it’s certainly not the end of the world.”

If you want to help people,” he said, “you have to ask yourself do we want to help future generations by cutting carbon emissions and hence having them experience less climate change or do we want them to be more resilient against climate change by making sure they get out of poverty and get richer?”

In response, van Baal, said:

I think the only way to do so is to make sure the oil and gas industry changes its course, stops investing in exploring for even more oil and gas and start exploring new business models. It’s simple as that.”

September 2019

The Australian reported Lomborg was among those named in a statement by academic website The Conversation, which said it would ban comments from climate change deniers.63Graham Lloyd. “No place in debate for climate contrarians,” The Australian, September 21, 2019. Archive URL: https://archive.vn/qIzvs The list was drawn from research published in the journal Nature, tracking the academic publications of climate change deniers and expert scientists across research in digital and print media on climate change. Those on the list included Richard Lindzen, Jennifer Marohasy, Judith CurryRichard Tol, Bjorn Lomborg, Ian Plimer, and Maurice Newman.64Petersen, A.M., Vincent, E.M. & Westerling, A.L. Discrepancy in scientific authority and media visibility of climate change scientists and contrarians. Nat Commun 10, 3502 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-09959-4

Alex Petersen, lead author of the study, said: “It’s time to stop giving these people (contrarians) visibility, which can be easily spun into false authority. … By tracking the digital traces of specific individuals in vast troves of publicly available media data, we developed methods to hold people and media outlets accountable for their roles in the climate change denialism movement, which has given rise to climate change misinformation at scale.”

Curry said the paper “does substantial harm to climate science … There are a spectrum of perspectives, especially at the knowledge frontiers. Trying to silence or delegitimise any of these voices is very bad for science.”

The Conversation‘s editor and executive director Misha Ketchell commented: “We moderate anything that is a deliberate misinformation and distortion of facts or attempts to misrepresent arguments or community members. We know climate sceptics are very good at derailing constructive conversations, so we’ll remove comments that attempt to hijack threads or to push an agenda or argument irrelevant to the discussion.”

June 12, 2019

Lomborg was quoted in a BBC article reporting the news that the UK was set to adopt a target of “net zero” emissions by 2050. Lomborg supported a warning from the Chancellor Philip Hammond the week before that the policy could cost £1 trillion, saying:65Roger Harrabin. “Climate change: UK government to commit to 2050 target,” BBC News, June 12, 2019. Archived June 12, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/Y2qwS

“Mr Hammond is right to highlight the cost – and in fact, he is likely to be underestimating the real price tag.”

June 10, 2019

Lomborg wrote an article for The Telegraph entitled “Theresa May is about to spend £1 trillion on a pointless policy. This climate madness has to end.”66Bjorn Lomborg. “Theresa May is about to spend £1 trillion on a pointless policy. This climate madness has to end,” The Telegraph, June 10, 2019. Archived June 19, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/0BKhF Lomborg was quoted in a Telegraph editorial three days later which called a “net zero” target for the UK the “wrong approach to climate change.”67Theresa May’s net-zero target is the wrong approach to climate change,” The Telegraph, June 13, 2019. Archived June 19, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/fc0rn Lomborg’s article was criticized by Bob Ward, Policy and Communications Director at the London School of Economics’ Grantham Institute, in a blog entitled ”UK newspaper ‘The Daily Telegraph’ duped by Bjorn Lomborg’s climate propaganda.” Ward wrote that Lomborg’s article was “characteristically filled with false claims, yet was obviously not fact-checked by the newspaper.”68Bob Ward. “UK newspaper ‘The Daily Telegraph’ duped by Bjorn Lomborg’s climate propaganda,” LSE, June 17, 2019. Archived June 19, 2019. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/i4VpN

December 6, 2018

Lomborg issued a critical assessment of the COP-24 climate summit by claiming that the IPCC’s stated goal of limiting global temperature increase to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius is “infeasible and unrealistic.” He also stated that abiding by the Paris agreement to meet this goal would negatively affect global GDP growth to the tune of up to $2 trillion annually after 2030 while having a negligible impact on temperature reduction.69Bjorn Lomborg. “Another climate summit means more expensive, ineffective promises,” CapX.com, December 6, 2018. Archived December 12, 2018. Archive.is URL: http://archive.is/gdfMD

Lomborg also criticized news reporting of the U.S. Climate Assessment, released by the Trump administration the day after Thanksgiving, as portraying a bleaker picture than the report actually revealed. The true cost to the global economy, from Lomborg’s perspective, would come not from extreme weather events and increased mortality rates, but from the imposition of “immature energy sources” to replace fossil fuels.

Minimizing the effect that rising global temperatures will have on mortality rates, Lomborg said:

It is true more people die when it is unusually hot, but lives are not shorter in hotter places. (Otherwise, everyone would move from Texas to Alaska). Studies of migrants show people adapt quickly, within weeks. They also take actions like getting an air conditioner or adapting their houses that reduce their risk of overheating.”

October 9, 2018

Lomborg, writing at The Wall Street Journal, criticized the recent United Nations report on climate change:70Bjorn Lomborg. “U.N. Ignores Economics Of Climate,” Wall Street Journal, October 9, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/QTQhN

Limiting temperatures to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit above preindustrial levels, as the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change urges, is economically and practically impossible,” Lomborg claimed, citing economist William Nordhaus as evidence.

Lomborg is one of several individuals and groups—including the industry-backed Institute for Energy Research (IER)—that selectively cited Nordhaus’s work as evidence that the IPCC’s targets are unrealistic.71Robert P. Murphy. “The IPCC Should Heed the Work of Nobel Laureate William Nordhaus,” Institute for Energy Research, October 9, 2018. Archived October 23, 2018. Archive.fo URL: https://archive.fo/DOtdZ

The IER article, giving a hat tip to David Henderson, pointed to research done by Nordhaus in 2007. However, in a more recent discussion paper from 2016, using an updated 2016 DICE model, Nordhaus “confirms past estimates of likely rapid climate change over the next century if there are not major climate-change policies.”72“PROJECTIONS AND UNCERTAINTIES ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE IN AN ERA OF MINIMAL CLIMATE POLICIES” (PDF), Cowles Foundation, December 2016. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

In his 2016 paper’s introduction, Nordhaus wrote:

[W]e must take stock of what we know now as well as the implications of our actions. And the bottom line here is that this most recent taking stock has more bad news than good news, and that the need for policies to slow climate change are more and not less pressing.”

The August 2018 revision of Nordhaus’s paper that Lomborg appears to be citing includes the identical paragraph as above. In his paper, Nordhaus also notes that uncertainties surrounding the damages of climate change make it more important to act sooner and with stronger policies:73“Projections and Uncertainties about Climate Change in an Era of Minimal Climate Policies” (PDF), American Economic Journal Vol. 10 No. 3 (August 2018).

The ranges of uncertainty for future emissions, concentrations, temperature, and damages are extremely large. However, this does not reduce the urgency of taking strong climate change policies today. When taking uncertainties into account, the desirable strength of policy (as measured by the social cost of carbon or the optimal carbon tax) would increase, not decrease,” Nordhaus wrote.

July 14, 2018

Lomborg published an article in The Australian criticising the Paris Agreement on climate change. In the article, he argues that:

“The Paris treaty, fully implemented, would achieve one hundredth of the reduction to 2C (a level at which there are still significant impacts), and hence achieve benefits worth perhaps only one tenth of 1 per cent of global GDP 100 years from now”.

Lomborg’s figures are based on a single study by Professor Richard Tol, an academic formally associated with the UK‘s premier climate science denial campaign group, the Global Warming Policy Foundation — as pointed out in a blog post by Bob Ward of the London School of Economics’ Grantham Institute. Ward points out many other errors in Lomborg’s analysis including that the Paris Agreement is not legally binding (it is), that the target to keep warming to 1.5 degrees is out of reach (many academics have concluded the target is still possible), and that coal will be cheaper than renewable energy in 2040 (in contrast with generally conservative International Energy Agency projections).

January 4, 2018

Climate-Change Policies Can Be Punishing for the Poor,” an article by Lomborg in The Wall Street Journal,  suggests that climate policies “bear an unfair burden” on “the rich world’s energy poor.” Lomborg claims the often-repeated talking point that “Policies aimed at addressing climate change can easily end up punishing the poor,” pointing a finger at Germany and citing a study by the fossil-fuel-funded Institute for Energy Research (IER), claiming that renewable energy targets and emissions caps have resulted in “energy poverty.”74Bjorn Lomborg. “Climate-Change Policies Can Be Punishing for the Poor,” The Wall Street Journal, January 4, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/qeWpD

September 7, 2017

“Talking about climate is confusing, causally incorrect and diverts important resources away from more effective interventions,” Lomborg wrote in an article titled “The Climate-Change Distraction” at The Wall Street Journal.75Bjorn Lomborg. “The Climate-Change Distraction,” The Wall Street Journal, September 7, 2017.

According to Lomborg, “Climate change has been blamed for a dizzying array of absurd woes from the dwindling number of customers at Bulgarian brothels to the death of the Loch Ness monster” as well as  “the recent assertion by Unicef’s Bangladesh head of mission that climate change leads to an increase in child marriages.”

“Focusing on what we could achieve in the future through global-warming policies takes our attention away from what we could accomplish today,” Lomborg wrote, using the spread of malaria-carrying mosquitoes as an example.

July 25, 2017

Lomborg is a conributor to the Institute for Public Affairs (IPA) book “Climate Change: The Facts 2017.”76Donate to Climate Change: The Facts 2017,” Institute of Public Affairs. Archived October 31, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/KpLZh Prior versions of the book featured contributions from a range of prominent climate change deniers, and describes mainstream climate change research as “pseudo-science.”77Climate Change: The facts 2014,” Catallaxyfiles.com. Archived October 31, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/Trs4Y

According to the IPA‘s media release, “Climate Change: The Facts 2017 contains 22 essays by internationally-renowned experts and commentators, including Dr Bjorn Lomborg, Dr Matt Ridley, Professor Peter Ridd, Dr Willie Soon, Dr Ian Plimer, Dr Roy Spencer, and literary giant Clive James. The volume is edited by Dr Jennifer Marohasy, Senior Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs. Fourteen of the contributors currently hold or have held positions at a university or a scientific research organisation.”78“NEW BOOK – CLIMATE CHANGE: THE FACTS 2017” (PDF), Institute of Public Affairs, July 25, 2017.

Contributors include:

May 20, 2017

Lomborg’s Australian Consensus Center concluded that investment in keeping global temperature rises below 2C would return less than $1 for every $1 spent. It rated climate change prevention measures “poor” compared with other possible investments.79Climate Change,” Copenhagen Consensus Centre. Archived May 23, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/gOmt8

Under the heading “poor targets,” The Copenhagen Consensus Center’s report reads:80“Climate Change Targets Benefits and Costs for the Post-2015 Development Agenda” (PDF), Copenhagen Consensus Centre. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

“Global annual carbon emission reduction targets for example, 2°C reduction below preindustrial level are extremely costly compared to benefits due to a lack of low-carbon energy sources. Returns less than one dollar for every dollar spent.”

In May, 2017, The Guardian reported that experts had rejected Lomborg’s claims, noting that the 2014 paper that Lomborg had based his claim on had underestimated the potential harm of CO2 exceeding 450 parts per million, and also has not taken into account recent advances in renewable energy technology.81Paul Karp. “Experts reject Bjørn Lomborg’s view on 2C warming target,The Guardian, May 20, 2017. Archived May 23, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/m5Ktx

The 2014 paper’s author, Isabel Galiana, herself said that the “the paper does not explicitly undertake a benefit/cost analysis of keeping climate change to two degrees,” and also noted that if certain “tipping points” were passed, then climate-change induced damage could also increase.

Peter Howard, a Climate economist and economics director at New York University’s Institute for Policy Integrity said that the assessment paper gave “insufficient reasons for abandoning a 2°C limit.”

January 18, 2017

Writing at Project Syndicate, Bjorn Lomborg argues that geoengineering is a viable solution to combatting climate change.82Bjorn Lomborg. “Geoengineering Climate Change,” Project Syndicate, January 18, 2017. Archived January 19, 2017. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/dSEnF

“Geoengineering means deliberately manipulating the Earth’s climate. It seems like something from science fiction. But it makes sense to think of it as a prudent and affordable insurance policy,” Lomborg writes.

According to Lomborg, renewable energy is too expensive, and this is the reason that “Climate summit after climate summit has failed to affect global temperatures.”

“Solar and wind power are still too expensive and inefficient to replace our reliance on fossil fuels. The prevailing approach, embodied by the Paris climate agreement, requires governments to try to force immature, uncompetitive green technologies on the world. That’s hugely expensive and inefficient,” he writes.

January 16, 2017

Bjorn Lomborg published a video at PragerU titled “The Paris Agreement Won’t Change the Climate.83The Paris Agreement Won’t Change the Climate,” PragerU, January 16, 2016. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog. View the complete transcript (PDF), or see the video below.84Bjorn Lomborg. “The Paris Climate Agreement Won’s Change the Climate,” (PDF), PragerU. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

According to Lomborg, “the [Paris] agreement will cost a fortune, but do little to reduce global warming.” He later describes the Paris agreement as “the wrong solution to a real problem,” suggesting that instead of reducing greenhouse gas emissions we should look at research and development in energy technology.

Lomborg then lists hydraulic fracturing (Fracking) as more beneficial than climate policy, without mentioning any of the potential environmental impacts of the process:85Bjorn Lomborg. “The Paris Climate Agreement Won’s Change the Climate,” (PDF), PragerU. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

“The U.S. already shows the way. With its pursuit of fracking, making it safer and more efficient every year, America has drastically reduced the cost of natural gas. This momentous switch from coal to lower-CO2 gas as a source of energy has done far more to drive down carbon dioxide emissions than any recent government climate policy,” he writes.

October 13, 2016

Bjorn Lomborg write on Op-Ed in The Wall Street Journal titled “About Those Non-Disappearing Pacific Islands86Bjorn Lomborg. “About Those Non-Disappearing Pacific Islands,” The Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2016. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. citing a September 2015 study and claiming that the Marshall Islands have been gaining land area.87Multi-decadal shoreline changes in response to sea level rise in the Marshall Islands,” Anthropocene, Volume 11 (September 2015), Pages 14–24. Abstract retrieved from ScienceDirect. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/z2jlp

While Lomborg says “this doesn’t mean that global warming isn’t real, or that world leaders and scientists shouldn’t tackle the adverse effects of climate change,” he accuses journalists of “hype and exaggeration.”88Bjorn Lomborg. “About Those Non-Disappearing Pacific Islands,” The Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2016. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

In September 2016, The Guardian reported first-hand accounts of Marshall Islands residents who had been directly affected by sea level changes. They noted that about a fifth of the population had left the islands between 1999 and 2011.89Lives in the balance: climate change and the Marshall Islands,” The Guardian, September 15, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/bSybd

According to Lomborg, “doom-mongering” from issues like the Marshall Islands “makes us panic and seize upon the wrong responses to global warming.” He argues the Paris climate agreement “will slow the world’s economic growth to force a shift to inefficient green energy sources” and will “achieve almost nothing.”90Bjorn Lomborg. “About Those Non-Disappearing Pacific Islands,” The Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2016. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

September 16, 2016

Bjorn Lomborg writes in The Telegraph that “one of the key benefits of the vote to leave the European Union is that Britain will not longer have to cooperate with overzealous regulations on shale gas extraction, or fracking, which has the potential to transform the energy market.” Lomborg adds that “We need to ditch our unrealistic expectations for renewables” because “A much better course is now possible: to focus on cheaper gas through fracking.”91Bjorn Lomborg. “Britain is now free to frack and slash energy bills,” The Telegraph, September 16, 2016. Archived September 19, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/pgejL

June 19, 2016

Bjorn Lomborg appeared on CBC radio, where he discussed why he believes there are “a lot of positives to global warming,” although the long-term negatives would outweigh those positives. Audio below.92Opinion: Climate change is bad, but it comes with benefits too,” CBC Radio, June 19, 2016. Archived September 5, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/A5hpn

“[H]alf the world’s area has greened because of global warming. So we’re basically seeing a gigantic greening […]” Lomborg says.

He also argues that global warming will reduce temperature-related deaths:

“Another issue: most people die from cold deaths, not heat deaths. And so when temperatures increase, we’re going to see about 400,000 more heat deaths because of global warming by mid-century, you hear a lot about those, but you’re probably going to see 1.8 million fewer cold deaths.”

According to Lomborg, implementing policies to combat climate change right now “end up doing a lot less good than we could do if we were a lot more rational about it.” He cites the Paris Agreement as an example of doing “Basically nothing, for a lot of money.”

April 6, 2016

Bjorn Lomborg wrote an article in The Wall Street Journal titled “An Overheated Climate Alarm” which claims that cold temperatures are more deadly than heat, following the publication of the US Global Change Research Program’s (US GCRP) overview of the impact of climate change on public health.93Bjorn Lomborg. “An Overheated Climate Alarm,” The Wall Street Journal. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog. Archive .is URL: Archive .is URL: https://archive.is/YoA3H

Lomborg claims the report, “hypes the bad and skips over the good.” He writes, “It also ignores inconvenient evidence—like the fact that cold kills many more people than heat.”94Bjorn Lomborg. “An Overheated Climate Alarm,” The Wall Street Journal. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog. Archive .is URL: Archive .is URL: https://archive.is/YoA3H

Daily Kos‘s ClimateDenier Roundup suggested that Lomborg was “deliberately being deceptive about the report’s representation of the cold deaths.”95Bjorn Lomborg’s Deception About ‘Climate and Health Assessment’ in Wall Street Journal,” Desmog, April 8, 2016. Originally posted at Daily Kos.

In response to Lomborg’s article, SkepticalScience published an open letter to the Wall Street Journal 96Open letter to the Wall Street Journal editor: a scientists’ response to Lomborg’s misleading op-ed,” SkepticalScience, April 14, 2016. Archived September 1, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/6999w summarizing an in-depth analysis of Lomborg’s op-ed that concluded “his account of the available evidence is misleading your readers.”97Analysis of Bjorn Lomborg’s ‘An Overheated Climate Alarm’,Climate Feedback. Archived September 1, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/Vn9Xx

“While the US GCRP report is based on thousands of scientific publications, Lomborg cherry-picked only a few to support his case that 1) ‘cold kills many more people than heat’ and 2) ‘climate change will reduce the number of cold days’ and ‘that will cut the total number of cold-related deaths.’” the open letter reads.98Open letter to the Wall Street Journal editor: a scientists’ response to Lomborg’s misleading op-ed,” SkepticalScience, April 14, 2016. Archived September 1, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/6999w

February 8, 2016

Bjorn Lomborg is featured in a PragerU Video titled “Are Electric Cars Really Green?99Are Electric Cars Really Green?PragerU, February 8, 2016. Archived May 31, 2016.

Video and transcript below. 

Transcript

Do electric cars really help the environment? President Obama thinks so. So does Leonardo DiCaprio. And many others.

The argument goes like this:

Regular cars run on gasoline, a fossil fuel that pumps CO2 straight out of the tailpipe and into the atmosphere. Electric cars run on electricity. They don’t burn any gasoline at all. No gas; no CO2. In fact, electric cars are often advertised as creating “zero emissions.” But do they really? Let’s take a closer look.

First, there’s the energy needed to produce the car. More than a third of the lifetime carbon-dioxide emissions from an electric car comes from the energy used make the car itself, especially the battery. The mining of lithium, for instance, is not a green activity. When an electric car rolls off the production line, it’s already been responsible for more than 25,000 pounds of carbon-dioxide emission. The amount for making a conventional car: just 16,000 pounds.

But that’s not the end of the CO2 emissions. Because while it’s true that electric cars don’t run on gasoline, they do run on electricity, which, in the U.S. is often produced by another fossil fuel – coal. As green venture capitalist Vinod Khosla likes to point out, “Electric cars are coal-powered cars.”

The most popular electric car, the Nissan Leaf, over a 90,000-mile lifetime will emit 31 metric tons of CO2, based on emissions from its production, its electricity consumption at average U.S. fuel mix and its ultimate scrapping.

A comparable Mercedes CDI A160 over a similar lifetime will emit just 3 tons more across its production, diesel consumption and ultimate scrapping. The results are similar for a top-line Tesla, the king of electric cars. It emits about 44 tons, which is only 5 tons less than a similar Audi A7 Quattro.

So throughout the full life of an electric car, it will emit just three to five tons less CO2.  In Europe, on its European Trading System, it currently costs $7 to cut one ton of CO2. So the entire climate benefit of an electric car is about $35. Yet the U.S. federal government essentially provides electric car buyers with a subsidy of up to $7,500.

Paying $7,500 for something you could get for $35 is a very poor deal.  And that doesn’t include the billions more in federal and state grants, loans and tax write-offs that go directly to battery and electric-car makers

The other main benefit from electric cars is supposed to be lower pollution. But remember Vinod Khosla’s observation “Electric cars are coal-powered cars.”

Yes, it might be powered by coal, proponents will say, but unlike the regular car, coal plant emissions are far away from the city centers where most people live and where damage from air pollution is greatest. However, new research in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that while gasoline cars pollute closer to home, coal-fired power actually pollutes more – a lot more.

How much more?

Well, the researchers estimate that if the U.S. has 10% more gasoline cars in 2020, 870 more people will die each year from the additional air pollution. If the U.S. has 10% more electric vehicles powered on the average U.S. electricity mix, 1,617 more people will die every year from the extra pollution. Twice as many.

But of course electricity from renewables like solar and wind creates energy for electric cars without CO2. Won’t the perceived rapid ramp-up of these renewables make future electric cars much cleaner? Unfortunately, this is mostly wishful thinking. Today, the U.S. gets 14% of its electric power from renewables. In 25 years, Obama’s U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that number will have gone up just 3 percentage points to 17%. Meanwhile, those fossil fuels that generate 65% of U.S. electricity today will still generate about 64% of it in 2040.

While electric-car owners may cruise around feeling virtuous, the reality is that the electric car cuts almost no CO2, costs taxpayers a fortune, and, surprisingly, generates more air pollution than traditional gasoline cars.

I’m Bjørn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center.

According to their website, PragerU’s mission is to “spread what we call ‘Americanism’ through the power of the Internet. Our five-minute videos are conservative sound bites that clarify profoundly significant and uniquely American concepts for more than 100 million people each year.” They focus on “Judeo-Christian” values including “freedom of speech, a free press, free markets and a strong military to protect and project those values.”100What We Do,” PragerU.com. Archived May 31, 2016.

According to Conservative Transparency, PragerU has received $215,000 from the conservative Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation.101Prager U,” Conservative Transparency. Search Performed May 31, 2016.

December 2015

In a new paper, Lomborg argued that pledges made ahead of the United Nations climate change summit in Paris would only reduce global warming by  0.17°C by 2100.102Press Release. “Paris climate promises will reduce temperatures by just 0.05°C in 2100,” Bjorn Lomborg (undated). Archived February 24, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/16Y0I

“Paris is being sold as the summit where we can help ‘heal the planet’ and ‘save the world’. It is no such thing. If all nations keep all their promises, temperatures will be cut by just 0.05°C (0.09°F). Even if every government on the planet not only keeps every Paris promise, reduces all emissions by 2030, and shifts no emissions to other countries, but also keeps these emission reductions throughout the rest of the century, temperatures will be reduced by just 0.17°C (0.3°F) by the year 2100,” Lomborg commented in a press release.103Press Release. “Paris climate promises will reduce temperatures by just 0.05°C in 2100,” Bjorn Lomborg (undated). Archived February 24, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/16Y0I

Bob Ward of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment published early criticism of Lomborg’s work.104(Press Release). “New paper by Bjorn Lomborg suffers from fundamental methodological flaw,” Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment. December 2, 2015. Archived February 24, 2018. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/n0Sfh According to Ward’s full commentary, accepted for publication in the same journal as Lomborg’s paper, “Projections of global mean surface temperature for the period up to 2100 are based on cumulative annual global emissions of greenhouse gases up to the end of the century. While Lomborg (2015) purports to analyse the temperature changes associated with policies affecting emissions up to 2030, the author fails to acknowledge that the temperature projections to 2100 are determined primarily by assumptions that are made about cumulative annual global emissions over the 70-year period after 2030, rather than cumulative annual emissions during the period up to 2030.”105Robert E.T. Ward. “Comment on ‘Impact of Current Climate Proposals’ by Bjorn Lomborg” (PDF), Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy Working Paper No. 244. Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment Working Paper No. 218 (December 2015).

December 2015

Bjorn Lomborg has been writing a daily blog during the Paris climate change conference (COP21) where he has been consistently criticizing wind and solar energy.106Giles Parkinson. “IEA says Lomborg claims on wind and solar energy are ‘rubbish’,“ RenewEconomy, December 2, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/O7iCU

In a column for The Australian, Lomborg wrote:107Giles Parkinson. “IEA says Lomborg claims on wind and solar energy are ‘rubbish’,“ RenewEconomy, December 2, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/O7iCU 108Bjorn Lomborg. “Paris climate summit: Bjorn Lomborg daily blog,“ The Australian, November 30, 2015. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

“The reality is that even after two decades of climate talks, we get a meagre 0.5% of our total global energy consumption from solar and wind energy, according to the leading authority, the International Energy Agency (IEA). And 25 years from now, even with a very optimistic scenario, envisioning everyone doing all that they promise in Paris, the IEA expects that we will get just 2.4 per cent from solar and wind.” 

RenewEconomy earlier countered this claim, citing the International Energy Agency (the same source that Lomborg refers to). According to RenewEconomy, the IEA‘s reports show that “wind and solar will overtake coal as the biggest source of electricity by around 2030, and by 2040 will provide more than 8,200 terrawatt hours of electricity a year – twice as much as coal.”109Giles Parkinson. “Bjorn Lomborg, it’s time to check your numbers on wind and solar,” RenewEconomy, November 11, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/2YCQh

Paulo Frankl, the IEA‘s own head of renewable energy, also took issue with Lomborg’s statement:

“That is absolute rubbish,” Frankl told RenewEconomy at a side-event at the Paris climate talks.

Frankl point to graphs from the recent World Energy Outlook, the ones that show that the IEA, itself criticized for a conservative outlook on wind and solar, expected that wind and solar will provide 27 per cent of global electricity demand by 2040 in its most optimistic scenario.

November 30, 2015

Bjorn Lomborg is featured in a PragerU video titled “Is Climate Change Our Biggest Problem?” Video and transcript below.110Is Climate Change Our Biggest Problem?PragerU, November 30, 2015. Archived May 31, 2016.

Transcript:

One of the most persistent claims in the climate debate is that global warming leads to more extreme weather. This is a common concern expressed by those who fear a dangerously warming planet. President Barack Obama did so eloquently in his 2013 State of the Union Address when he talked about “the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.” Many others have offered similar sentiments.

Global warming is a problem that needs to be addressed, but exaggeration doesn’t help. It often distracts us from simple, cheaper and smarter solutions. To find those solutions, let’s address the three horsemen of the climate apocalypse to which President Obama referred.  

Historical analysis of wildfires around the world shows that since 1950 their numbers have decreased globally by 15%. Estimates published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows  that even with global warming, the level of wildfires will continue to decline until midcentury and won’t resume on the level of 1950 – the worst for fire – before the end of the century.

Claiming that droughts are a consequence of global warming is also wrong. The world has not seen a general increase in drought. A study published in Nature in March 2014 shows globally that there has been little change in drought over the past 60 years.

The U.N. Climate Panel in 2012 concluded: “Some regions of the world have experienced more intense and longer droughts, in particular in southern Europe and West Africa, but in some regions droughts have become less frequent, less intense, or shorter, for example, in central North America and northwestern Australia.”

And finally, the third horseman: hurricanes. Global hurricane activity today, measured by total energy, hasn’t been lower since the 1970s.

While it is likely that we will see somewhat stronger (but fewer) storms as climate change continues, damages will be lower because we’ll be better adapted. A March 2012 Nature study shows that the global damage cost from hurricanes will be 0.02% of gross domestic product by 2100 – down 50% from today’s 0.04%.

Let me make this clear: this does not mean that climate change isn’t an issue. It means that exaggerating the threat concentrates resources in the wrong areas.

Consider hurricanes (though similar points hold for wildfire and drought). If the aim is to reduce storm damage, then first focus on resilience – better building codes and better enforcement of those codes. Ending subsidies for hurricane insurance to discourage building in vulnerable zones would also help, as would investing in better infrastructure (from stronger levees to higher-capacity sewers).

These solutions are quick and comparatively cheap. Most important, they would diminish future hurricane damage, whether climate-induced or not. Had New York and New Jersey focused resources on building sea walls and adding storm doors to the subway system and making simple fixes like porous pavements, Hurricane Sandy would have caused much less damage.

In the long run, the world needs to cut carbon dioxide because it causes global warming. But if the main effort to cut emissions is through subsidies for chic renewables like wind and solar power, virtually no good will be achieved – at very high cost.

The cost of climate policies just for the European Union – intended to reduce emissions by 2020 to 20% below 1990 levels – are estimated at about $250 billion annually, or about $20 trillion over the century.  And the benefits, when estimated using a standard climate model, will reduce temperatures only by an immeasurable one-tenth of a degree Fahrenheit by the end of the century.

Even in 2040, under its most optimistic scenario, the International Energy Agency estimates that just 2.2% of the world’s energy will come from wind and solar. As is the case today, almost 80% will still come from fossil fuels. As long as green energy is more expensive than fossil fuels, growing consumer markets like those in China and India will continue mostly to be powered by them.

Solar, wind, and other renewables are still inefficient because they require subsidies of more than $120 billion a year. And even in 2040, they won’t be efficient. The International Energy Agency estimates they will still require more than $200 billion dollars annually.

Instead of pouring money into subsidies for existing, inefficient wind and solar energy, we’d be far better off supporting research and development of green energy technologies to make them cheaper, faster.

When innovation eventually makes green energy as cheap or cheaper than fossil fuel energy, everyone will use it, including China and India. Until then, let’s cool the fear mongering and make practical decisions that will help people now.  

I’m Bjorn Lomborg, President of the Copenhagen Consensus Center.

July–October, 2015

Bjorn Lomborg courted federal funding, to the tune of $4.4 million, to establish a “Australian Consensus Center” (australiaconsensus.com). The contract would require Bjorn Lomborg to conduct seminars across the country titled “The Australian Rational Conversation.”111Lenore Taylor. “Bjørn Lomborg university funding tied to ‘rational conversation’ lectures,” The Guardian, June 25, 2015. Archived July 22, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/gPW3E

The University of Western Australia’s (UWA) Business School initially picked up the project, but backed out112Bjorn Lomborg. “The Honor of Being Mugged by Climate Censors,” The Wall Street Journal, May 13, 2015. Archived .pdf on file at Desmog. shortly after Guardian Australia revealed the federal grant in April.113Lenore Taylor. “Abbott government gives $4m to help climate contrarian set up Australian centre,” The Guardian, April 16, 2015. Archived June 7, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/FqCsj

The Guardian reported that after UWA pulled out of the deal, the Department of Education encouraged universities to speak directly with Lomborg:

They “had some informal approaches from universities who might be interested and suggested to them and Dr Lomborg they might want to talk.”114Lenore Taylor. “Universities told to speak to Bjørn Lomborg if they want $4m in funding,” The Guardian. June 3, 2015. Archived July 22, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/SfhEZ

As of October, 2015 the federal government had withdrawn funding offered to Bjørn Lomborg for the creation of the Australia Consensus centre in any university.115Graham Readfearn. “Australian Government Withdraws $4 Million Grant For Climate Contrarian Bjorn Lomborg’s Consensus Project,” DeSmog, October 23, 2015. 116Shalailah Medhora and Daniel Hurst. “Government withdraws funding offer for Bjørn Lomborg centre“ The Guardian, October 20, 2015. Archived October 24, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/JB9Ly

The Guardian reported in December, 2016, referring to new documents that had come to light, that the Australian government had signed an agreement to make a $640,000 grant to Lomborg’s Copenhagen Consensus Center nine months after plans to establish the Center had been abandoned. $482,000 of the funding was set aside for professional fees including research, “outreach,” and forums, according to a breakdown of the costs.117Paul Karp. “Federal grant to Bjørn Lomborg centre made in Turnbull era, documents show,” The Guardian, December 22, 2016. Archived December 27, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/ctdXT

February 1, 2015

Bjorn Lomborg writes an opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal titled, “The Alarming Thing About Climate Alarmism.” Lomborg writes the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (UNIPCC) most recent report “found that in the previous 15 years temperatures had risen 0.09 degrees Fahrenheit,” and that “the average of all models expected 0.8 degrees [Fahrenheit]. So we’re seeing about 90% less temperature rise than expected.” 118Bjorn Lomborg. ”The Alarming Thing About Climate Alarmism,” The Wall Street Journal, February 1, 2015. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/pR3nb

Later on in the opinion piece, Lomborg states that climate “alarmism has encouraged the pursuit of a one-sided climate policy of trying to cut carbon emissions by subsidizing wind farms and solar panels,” referring to renewable energy policies and technology as “expensive, feel-good measures that will have an imperceptible climate impact.” 

ClimateFeedback.org, a website for “Scientific feedback for Climate Change information online,” had seven climate scientists evaluate Lomborg’s piece in The Wall Street Journal for “overall scientific credibility” and estimated it to be “’very low’ to ‘low’.”119Analysis of Bjorn Lomborg’s ‘An Overheated Climate Alarm’,Climate Feedback. Archived September 1, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/Vn9Xx

ClimateFeedback.org explains the negative evaluation: “The main reason for this negative evaluation is that the author [Bjorn Lomborg] practices cherry-picking: he [Lomborg] is selecting limited evidence to support his thesis that ‘much of the data about climate change are…encouraging’. The evidence provided is insufficient: several examples are either inaccurate or only speak about one aspect of the problem, ignoring much of the published literature on the subject.”

October 3, 2014

Bjorn Lomborg publishes an article in TIME‘s “Ideas” section titled, “How Indoor Stoves Can Help Solve Global Poverty.” Lomborg writes that “rich countries are already finding the move away from coal and oil to be a difficult one, and there are no easy answers for developing economies,” leading Lomborg to ask “today’s crucial question,” which is, “what should the world prioritize?”120Bjorn Lomborg. “How Indoor Stoves Can Help Solve Global Poverty,” TIME, October 3, 2014. Archived October 7, 2014. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/56BSm 

Lomborg contends there are some “targets we should be wary of,” like the doubling of the World’s renewable energy output, which he describes as “intermittent and unpredictable,” and its cost, “likely to be higher than the benefits.”

July 29, 2014

Bjorn Lomborg testified in front of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment & Public Works, Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety in a hearing titled, “Examining the Threats Posed by Climate Change: The Effects of Unchecked Climate Change on Communities and the Economy.”121“Examining the Threats Posted by Climate Change: The Effects of Unchecked Climate Change on Communities and the Economy” (PDF), The Senate EWP Committee, Subcommittee on Clean air and Nuclear Safety. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

April 16, 2014

Lomborg was quoted in an a web-piece entitled, “Earth Daze,” written by news correspondent John Stossel in Real Clear Politics, “The amazing number that most people haven’t heard is, if you take all the solar panels and all the wind turbines in the world, they have (eliminated) less CO2 than what U.S. fracking (cracking rocks below ground to extract oil and natural gas) managed to do.”122John Stossel. “Earth Daze,” Real Clear Politics, April 16, 2014. Archived September 1, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/WqOYe

Stossel writes that even if America reaches Obama’s “absurd” pledge to put 1,000,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2015, the impacts of climate change would only be delayed by “one hour,” according to Lomborg, and the mitigation measure was merely a “symbolic act.”

February 8, 2014

Lomborg published an article in USA Today’s Columnists’ Opinions section entitled, “Lomborg: Obama energy policy hurts African poor,” where he suggests that investing in renewable energy, instead of gas, would let “millions of poor go unserved,” again referencing the recurring theme of “energy poverty.”123Lomborg: Obama energy policy hurts African poor,” USA Today,February 8, 2014. Archived April September 1, 2016. Archive .is URL: https://archive.is/vKPyb

December 3, 2013

Lomborg publishes an op-ed in The New York Times titled, “The Poor Need Cheap Fossil Fuels,” where he advocates maintaining the status quo of “reliable, low-cost fossil fuels, at least until we can make a global transition to a greener energy future.”124Bjorn Lomborg. ”The Poor Need Cheap Fossil Fuels,” The New York Times The Opinion Pages, December 3, 2013. Archive .is URL: https://archive.is/WjSOP

October 20, 2013

Just a few weeks following the partnership announcement between Slate and the American Prosperity Consensus Project, Lomborg releases a piece on Slate entitled, “Of Course the World Is Better Now Than It Was in 1900.”125Bjorn Lomborg. “Of Course the World Is Better Now Than It Was in 1900,” Slate, October 20, 2013. Archived September 1, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/9fuaU

Within it, he describes a “scorecard spanning 150 years,” developed by him and “21 of the world’s top economists,” to see, through standard “economic valuations,” if the world was “doing better or worse.” In the closing statement of the piece, Lomborg writes, “realists should now embrace the view that the world is doing much better … We should guide our future attention not on the basis of the scariest stories or loudest pressure groups, but on objective assessments of where we can do the most good.”126Bjorn Lomborg. “Of Course the World Is Better Now Than It Was in 1900,” Slate, October 20, 2013. Archived September 1, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/9fuaU 127Clean Slate? Asking Bjorn Lomborg to Help Figure Out ‘The Most Pressing Issue Facing’ America is Like…,” ThinkProgress, October 7, 2013. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/69gS3 128How Much Have Global Problems Cost the World? A Scorecard from 1900 to 2050,” Cambridge University Press. Published October, 2013. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/ySOAg

October 7, 2013

Lomborg is quoted in a ThinkProgress article explaining “why the Copenhagen Consensus Center is launching the American Prosperity Consensus project in partnership with Slate”:129Clean Slate? Asking Bjorn Lomborg to Help Figure Out ‘The Most Pressing Issue Facing’ America is Like…,” ThinkProgress, October 7, 2013. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/69gS3

“In 2040, the United States will differ greatly from the country we know today. Demographics trends will continue to reshape it, making it an older, more ethnically diverse nation. It will also become a denser, more urban population, which will affect the way we eat, work, shop, and relax. The policies the U.S. pursues at home will also affect the role that the nation plays in the world as a dynamic society and economy. These internal and external pressures create the need for robust policy solutions that address the country’s most vexing challenges and transcend today’s hyperpartisan, short-term decision making … The American Prosperity Consensus is designed as a competition of sorts. After we determine the most pressing issues according to reader input, we will ask economists and academics to propose policy solutions that best address these challenges while enabling America’s prosperity to continue and expand. With your help and with the guidance of Nobel laureates, we will create a list of top proposals. A final ranking will emerge from ongoing online debates and from the American Prosperity Summit, to be held in May 2014.”

Environmental communications and public health expert Robert J. Brulle, from Drexel University, told ThinkProgress that it appeared Slate has decided to no longer engage in “serious journalism,” as seen in the “gimmick” with Bjorn Lomborg.

April 2013

Lomborg appeared on an episode of John Stossel’s “Green Tyranny” where he criticized subsidies for renewable energy:130John Stossel – Green Tyranny: In The Name of Protecting The Earth 4/04/13,” YouTube video uploaded by user “selfownership1,” April 27, 2013. Archived .mp4 on file at DeSmog.

“Global warming is real and it is something we need to fix, but we should fix it smartly and not in a very, very costly way as we are doing right now,” Lomborg said in the interview.

“When you say, you know, we’re creating green jobs. Sure. If you give lots and lots of subsidies, you’re inevitably going to get jobs. But where are you going to pay it from?”

November 12, 2010

Lomborg appeared in the documentary film Cool It which focused on his views regarding climate policy where he suggests “that there’s a well-financed effort underfoot to spin the failure of climate action into a new political strategy for high-tech mega-investments.” Lomborg said that “independent investors” financed the film.131Robert Collier. “Bjorn Lomborg film offers new convenient truth,” San Francisco Chronicle, November 7, 2010. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/H7YS

September 9, 2009

Lomborg publishes a blog post in Reuters UK‘s Analysis and Opinion section entitled, “We Need a Fresh Approach On Climate Change.”132Bjorn Lomborg. ”We Need a Fresh Approach on Climate Change,” Reuters UK Analysis and Opinion, September 9, 2009. Archived September 1, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/ah9bB

In the opinion piece, Lomborg links back to the Copenhagen Consensus Center’s research results, which were conducted by an “Expert Panel of five world-class economists – including three recipients of the Nobel Prize;” their duty: “to form conclusions about which solution to climate change is the most promising.” The panel concluded, “the most effective use of resources would be to invest immediately in researching marine cloud whitening technology,” a form of geoengineering.133Bjorn Lomborg. ”We Need a Fresh Approach on Climate Change,” Reuters UK Analysis and Opinion, September 9, 2009. Archived September 1, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/ah9bB

August 7, 2009

The Copenhagen Consensus Center launched its new project on global warming: Copenhagen Consensus on Climate.134Copenhagen Consensus on Climate” YouTube Video, Copenhagen Consensus, August 7, 2009.

June 18, 2009

Lomborg is listed as a guest speaker on a panel at the fifth International Congress on Mining, Oil and Energy where he was to speak on a panel with the title “Global Crisis and Sustainable Solutions: The Truth About Global Warming.135“V INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS ON MINING, OIL AND ENERGY Cartagena de Indias, Hilton Hotel Convention Center” (PDF – programme), Cinmipetrol, May 12, 2009. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

April 2008

David Sassoon wrote a series of postings at Solve Climate on Lomborg’s media tours to the US. They are available here:

2007

In 2007 Lomborg published his second major book skeptical about climate change titled Cool It. His book tour in Canada was sponsored by the Fraser Institute, an organization which has received $120,000 from ExxonMobil since 1998.140Mitchell Anderson. “Bjorn Lomborg and the Anti-Climate Crowd,” DeSmog, April 10, 2008. 141ExxonSecrets Factsheet: Fraser Institute. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/OUpGs

Alanna Mitchell, the Science Reporter for the Globe and Mail wrote a review:

“It would be possible to go point by point through the many similar flaws in each of Lomborg’s arguments, but frankly, the book is too pitiful to merit it. It’s not that his analysis is controversial – that would be fun – but that it is deeply dissatisfying, ignorant and shallow. I remember wondering, after I interviewed Lomborg, whether he was intellectually dishonest or just not very bright. Cool It has convinced me that it doesn’t matter. Lomborg has now proved beyond a doubt that he is incapable of contributing anything of merit to scientific discourse.”142Allanna Mitchell. “The Pollyanna of global warming,Globe and Mail, September 29, 2007. Archived March 7, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/l3f67

Dr. Frank Ackerman of Tufts University wrote a detailed and critical analysis for the peer-reviewed journal Climatic Change, outlining the many errors and biases in Lomborg’s book:

“The book is riddled with small inaccuracies, and because it displays a pervasive bias in its coverage and evaluations of climate issues. To begin with, Lomborg has a weak grasp of some of the essential details and commits elementary mistakes, with little or no citation of sources that would explain his results.”143Frank Ackerman. “Hot, It’s Not: Reflections on Cool It!, by Bjorn Lomborg” (PDF), Tufts University. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

November 2004

Lomborg was a speaker at an environmental giving “pre-conference” organised by the conservative funding organization, the Philanthropy Roundtable. In the speech (audio here), Lomborg told the audience the only environmental investment that made economic sense was in measures to combat particulate air pollution.144What Unites Us: The Principles of American Philanthropy,” The Philanthropy Roundtable. Archived April 6, 2005. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/MJfxa

He promoted the findings of his Copenhagen Consensus project, which earlier that year had ranked projects on climate change as the lowest on a list of 17 potential issues to spend money on.

2004

Lomborg hosted the Copenhagen Consensus conference, partially funded by the Danish government. Eight economists selected by Lomborg were asked to prioritize ten global problems based on a hypothetical budget of $50 billion and a timeline of five years. Based on those constraints, the panel concluded that climate change was the least cost-effective area to invest public money.

The conference was hosted through the Danish Environmental Assessment Institute, of which Lomborg was the director. When the conference was announced, five of the seven board members resigned en masse in a dispute over the event.

Ackerman also provides a detailed rebuttal to the methodology of this conference in his peer-reviewed paper.145Frank Ackerman. “Hot, It’s Not: Reflections on Cool It!, by Bjorn Lomborg” (PDF), Tufts University. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

Professor John Quiggin is a Senior Research Fellow of the Australian Research Council, based at the Australian National University and Queensland University of Technology. He wrote a series of articles critical of the process, participants and perceived bias of the conference.146John Quiggin. “Copenhagen: conned again,” Crooked Timber, December 13, 2004. Archived August 30, 2008. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/9MoB8 147Copenhagen review,” John Quiggin, January 21, 2005. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/f2mGi

He concludes that “the Copenhagen Consensus project was created as a political stunt. It was designed, in every detail, to produce a predetermined outcome. Having got the desired outcome, the organizer has shown little or no interest in pursuing any of the other issues raised by the project.”

Jeffery Sachs was also critical of the Copenhagen Consensus conference in his analysis (PDF) for the prestigious journal Nature.148Jeffrey D. Sachs. “Seeking a global Solution” (PDF), Nature, Vol. 430 (August 12, 2004). Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

Tom Burke also wrote a scathing review of the Copenhagen Consensus, titled “This is neither scepticism nor science – just nonsense” in The Guardian.149Tom Burke. “This is neither scepticism nor science – just nonsense,” The Guardian, October 23, 2004. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/58EF

2001

In 2001, Lomborg published his first major book, The Skeptical Environmentalist. In response, The Danish Ecological Council published an 225-page book titled Skeptical Questions and Sustainable Answers which documents the many errors and omissions in Lomborg’s work

The Danish Committee for Scientific Dishonesty also received numerous complaints regarding the accuracy of Lomborg’s first book. After investigating, they concluded:

“The publication is deemed clearly contrary to the standards of good scientific practice…there has been such perversion of the scientific message in the form of systematically biased representation that the objective criteria for upholding scientific dishonesty … have been met.”150Rendtorff, Jacob Dahl (2003). Videnskabsetik (1. udgave. ed.). Frederiksberg: Samfundslitteratur. ISBN 87-7867-182-5.

Lomborg later had this overturned after appealing to the Danish Government, who was sympathetic to his message, ordered the body to review this decision.151THE DECISION OF THE DANISH MINISTRY OF RESEARCH ON DEC. 17TH, 2003, concerning A COMPLAINT LODGED BY BJØRN LOMBORG ON FEBRUARY 13TH, 2003,” Republished by lomborg-errors.dk. Archived May 5, 2009. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/m6Ooh

Scientific American later published their own 10-page article, written by four leading experts, that was critical of The Skeptical Environmentalist and which described Lomborg’s work as “deeply flawed.”152Skepticism toward The Skeptical Environmentalist,” Scientific American, April 15, 2002. Archived September 1, 2016. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/BZUlS

They further described Lomborg’s text as having “misrepresented the actual positions of environmentalists and scientists” with an analysis that was “marred by invalidating errors that include a narrow, biased reading of the literature, an inadequate understanding of the science, and quotations taken out of context.”

John P. Holdren, one of the Scientific American authors noted: “It is instructive that [Lomborg] apparently did not feel he could manage an adequate response by himself (In this, at least, he was correct. But he could not manage it with help, either).”153Misleading Math about the Earth,” Scientific American (sub. required), January 2002.

For his part, Lomborg sent a plea to his supporters asking for help in forming a rebuttal. It read:

“Naturally, I plan to write a rebuttal to be put on my web-site. However, I would also love your input to the issues — maybe you can contest some of the arguments in the Scientific American, alone or together with other academics. Perhaps you have good ideas to counter a specific argument. Perhaps you know of someone else that might be ideal to talk to or get to write a counter-piece.”154Misleading Math about the Earth,” Scientific American (sub. required), January 2002.

The Union of Concerned Scientists also authored a highly critical analysis of Lomborg’s first book. They state:155The Skeptical Environmentalist,” Union of Concerned Scientists. Archived December 24, 2010. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/dpeXd

“Lomborg’s book is seriously flawed and fails to meet basic standards of credible scientific analysis. The authors note how Lomborg consistently misuses, misrepresents or misinterprets data to greatly underestimate rates of species extinction, ignore evidence that billions of people lack access to clean water and sanitation, and minimize the extent and impacts of global warming due to the burning of fossil fuels and other human-caused emissions of heat-trapping gases. Time and again, these experts find that Lomborg’s assertions and analyses are marred by flawed logic, inappropriate use of statistics and hidden value judgments. He uncritically and selectively cites literature—often not peer-reviewed— that supports his assertions, while ignoring or misinterpreting scientific evidence that does not. His consistently flawed use of scientific data is, in Peter Gleick’s words ‘unexpected and disturbing in a statistician.’”

Grist magazine also asked eight leading experts to critique the book based on their particular areas of knowledge. Their critical analysis, titled “A Skeptical Look at the Skeptical Environmentalist,” thoroughly discredits many of Lomborg’s claims.156Something Is Rotten in the State of Denmark: A skeptical look at The Skeptical Environmentalist,” Grist Magazine, December 12, 2001. Archived December 25, 2001. Archive.is URL: https://archive.is/OOzyy

Dr. Peter Gleick, a renowned American scientist, wrote another critical review of Lomborg’s Skeptical Environmentalist book in the magazine Environment. Dr. Gleick’s review, “Is the Skeptic All Wet?” catalogued numerous errors in Lomborg’s methods, data and assumptions, particularly focused on water issues.157Is the Skeptic All Wet? The Skeptical Environmentalist,” Environment Vol. 44, No. 6 (July/Aug 2002). Archived at Desmog.

Affiliations

Social Media

Publications

Apart from the Skeptical Environmentalist and Cool It, Lomborg was also the editor of a 2010 book titled Smart Solutions to Climate Change: Comparing Costs and Benefits.166Howard Friel. “Bjørn Lomborg’s missing questions,” The Guardian, August 30, 2010. Archive .is URL: https://archive.is/9S62m

According to a search of Google Scholar, Lomborg has primarily published articles in the area of policy and economics in relation to climate change. Many of his publications are through his Copenhagen Consensus Center via Project Syndicate, and articles at the Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times.

Sample Journal Publications

Other Resources

Resources

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