Tuesday, September 11, 2007


So, Bjorn Lomberg was just on Colbert, talking about how Kyoto is way too pricey, so the money should be spent on Malaria or HIV/AIDS in Africa. The idea is that as an economist, Bjorn recognizes that you need to think about how to spend your money to get the most effectiveness.

Now, I'm not even going to touch this weird assertion that the side-effects from global warming will be somehow mild. To be blunt, he hasn't demonstrated any qualification to make that determination whatsoever. (Quite the opposite.)

No, I'm going to ask why the hell an economist doesn't understand about revealed preferences. If the West were going to drop a bunch of cash to wipe out malaria, IT WOULD HAVE DONE SO BY NOW. Yes, it would be a great idea to wipe out malaria, and it would be money well spent, but is Lomberg actually naive or foolish enough to believe that it's climate change that's stopping this from happening?

And, also, he made a truly bizarre assertion about Kyoto... again, from an economists' POV. He said that it wasn't worth spending money on reaching Kyoto targets, because it would be far better to invest in carbon sinks and renewable energy and whatnot. What on earth does he thing Kyoto is FOR? The whole point of Kyoto is to give countries a real, understandable, and attainable target for reducing emissions, so that they can budget their funds properly to reach that target. Does an economist somehow think this is a bad thing?

Well, no, clearly not. Nope, this is just Lomberg shifting the goalposts: from denialism (which isn't in fashion these days) he's shifting to the point of view that there are soooo many other things that are soooo much worse, so clearly nobody should pay attention to global warming.

At least he's changed that much, I suppose. Still no reason to pay attention to him, but at least he's changed that much.

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