Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Margaret Wente is still acting like an idiot

When you're a Big Opinion Journalist, you should probably not be writing things like "And finally - listen up, folks - global warming is not an imminent planetary emergency" without a really, really good reason to do so.

Bjorn Lomborg is not that reason. A little basic research would show why; something Wente hinted at when she said "Mr. Lomborg drives a lot of environmentalists crazy"... though if she had done any more research than an interview with the guy, she might have found out it's because he's demonstrated that not only is he's a pretty lousy climate scientist for an economist (his last book got carved up by the real experts as cover-to-cover nonsense), he's a lousy economist too.

Why? Well, any economist who pretends that there's a lump of charitable money that must be divided up between causes is one who should turn in his calculator. People don't work that way, and a smart social scientist--even an economist--would know that. People get turned onto a cause, and donate to it. If a well-known cause exists (like AIDS in Africa, Lomborg's current excuse for ignoring global warming) and they aren't donating to it already, they probably aren't going to , and certainly not by being told that global warming is not a big deal.

But, of course, he knows that. And Wente does too. But she wants to be contrarian and therefore "interesting", which is why she didn't even bother trying to research anything other than what Lomborg is telling her. As if denialism were some sort of new or interesting position to take on this issue.

What's next? A flat earth?

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