Lomborg on Gore

by Don Boudreaux on October 14, 2007

in Environment

Here’s Bjorn Lomborg, writing in yesterday’s Boston Globe, on Al Gore’s Nobel Prize.  Below are the first three paragraphs:

THIS YEAR’S Nobel Peace Prize justly rewards the thousands of
scientists of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change. These scientists are engaged in excellent, painstaking work
that establishes exactly what the world should expect from climate
change.

The other award winner, former US vice president Al Gore, has spent
much more time telling us what to fear. While the IPCC’s estimates and
conclusions are grounded in careful study, Gore doesn’t seem to be
similarly restrained.

Gore told the world in his Academy Award-winning movie to expect
20-foot sea-level rises over this century. He ignores the findings of
his Nobel co-winners, who conclude that sea levels will rise between
only a half-foot and two feet over this century, with their best
expectation being about one foot. That’s similar to what the world
experienced over the past 150 years

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{ 31 comments }

True_Liberal October 14, 2007 at 9:54 am

But at least Al has a carbon-offset sales system…

Lee Kelly October 14, 2007 at 9:54 am

I wonder how many articles about Gore have the word 'inconvenient' or 'convenient' in the title…

Gil October 14, 2007 at 11:01 am

I wonder how many folks such as yourselves reckon they must hand out Nobel Prizes like lollies nowadays?

lowcountryjoe October 14, 2007 at 11:22 am

I wonder how many folks such as yourselves reckon they must hand out Nobel Prizes like lollies nowadays?

Once Iran's current leader gets one, it will pretty much cement my opinion on the matter.

Lee Kelly October 14, 2007 at 11:47 am

I wonder how many folks such as yourselves reckon they must hand out Nobel Prizes like lollies nowadays? – Gil

I would not speak for the anyone else, but I did not indicate anywhere that they "hand out Noble prizes like lollies nowadays". In fact, I reckon Al Gore put a lot of hard work into getting his Nobel Prize, whether I think he deserves it or not.

That said, if Yasser Arafat can win a Nobel Peace prize, then perhaps I am wrong, perhaps Al Gore really does deserve to be in the company of such men, and for that I do not envy him.

tiger October 14, 2007 at 4:47 pm

I agree with Lomborg…except the part about the IPCC doing excellent work. It has been nothing but partisan, agenda driven trash-the worst kind of science. The changes in the climate have never really had an impact on world peace. This award was (since Kissinger got it in 1972 for his part in the Vietnam peace plan-all the while working on an active bombing campaign against targets in Laos and Cambodia) and is a pathetic joke. Shame on the committe for using their clearly antt-capitalist, globalization, American and Bush bias to give Gore this award. Shame!

muirgeo October 14, 2007 at 8:02 pm

"Gore told the world in his Academy Award-winning movie to expect 20-foot sea-level rises over this century."

I love it when people critizise others inaccuracies with an inaccurate statement.

No Gore didn't say that!

Here's a transcript.

Specifically he said IF and didn't say any time frame. And he also mentions that scientist say "It’s considered relatively more stable…"

Randy October 14, 2007 at 8:12 pm

Call me stupid (…wait for it), but what does global warming have to do with a peace prize? Gore's clearly been trying to (psychologically) terrorize the world into believing that the earth has a catastrophic future looming on the horizon. What's so peaceful about that? Then again, as the previous posters have noted, if men who are not so peaceful can receive the award, perhaps Gore's awarding of this prize is not so far fetched. I just hope that the youths of the coming generations don't take him all too seriously. Remember, Gore is a politician, and semi-entertainment figure, not a scientist. Gore has done for science what Ringo Starr did for music: absolutely nothing. Rock on!

Dr. Troy Camplin October 14, 2007 at 9:22 pm

Well, they did give out a Nobel Peace Prize to Yasir Arafat, so why not to Al Gore? If they can give it to a man who never did anything for peace in his life, but only lied about wanting peace, then why not give it to someone who isn't doing anyhting at all for peace?

Randy, Gore's not even a politician anymore — all he is now is a demagogue.

CT October 14, 2007 at 9:23 pm

Muigeo,

You've demonstrated the absurdity of Mr. Gore even bringing up a 20 foot sea level rise. The claim that IF x,y,z happen, then sea levels will SOMEDAY rise 20 feet has no purpose other than to put the scary idea of such a scenario into viewer's heads. Which is Lomborg's whole point: Gore is using emotional appeal, not science, to make his case.

Can anybody supply a plausible correlation between peace and global warming science/propaganda? Or is that not the appropriate question? Does the Nobel Peace Prize have some other, non-intuitive meaning that would make awarding it to Al Gore reasonable?

I suspect that latter…

T L Holaday October 14, 2007 at 9:34 pm

It's sort of refreshing to see Don linking to an argument based on misrepresentation, cherry-picking and the part-whole fallacy instead of the usual Billingsgate and ad-hominem.

CT, climate changes historically have as onc of their consequences mass migrations. The connection between mass migration and threats to peace should be obvious.

Methinks October 14, 2007 at 9:48 pm

Randy, Gore's not even a politician anymore — all he is now is a demagogue.

Oh, come now! He's also a pretty good chicken (and Muirgeo) hypnotist – though, he says it himself.

Peace on earth through poultry and poultry like creatures. How can that be wrong?

CT October 14, 2007 at 10:01 pm

T L Holaday,

Duh! Why didn't I think of that! Good work.

Jason October 14, 2007 at 10:35 pm

I believe there's more of a connection between peace and economic policies than between climate and peace.

"The connection between mass migration and threats to peace should be obvious." It isn't obvious to me. What are the instances and their connection to climate change?

Chris O'Leary October 14, 2007 at 10:36 pm

"'Gore told the world in his Academy Award-winning movie to expect 20-foot sea-level rises over this century.'

I love it when people critizise others inaccuracies with an inaccurate statement.

No Gore didn't say that!"

Oh Muirgeo, he most certainly did. If not then, then at other times.

I was listening to NPR's Fresh Air on Friday and they had a rebroadcast of an interview with Al Gore about "An Inconvenient Truth". He twice used the 20 feet sea level rise number. Once to explain what would happen if the Greenland ice cap melted and a second time to explain what would happen if an Antarctic ice shelf collapsed.

muirgeo October 14, 2007 at 11:05 pm

Can anybody supply a plausible correlation between peace and global warming science/propaganda?

Posted by: CT

Well if you look around the world almost every other nation has been brought together by the idea of fighting the climate change threat in a mutually cooperative way. The way through this future with 6+ billion people is gonna be through such cooperation not through individualism. Most of the world gets that and appreciates Al Gore for what he has done to facilitate this cooperation. Likewise, most of the world see's our current leadership as despicable short-sighted anti-science war-mongers with no vision for the future.

So yeah I understand why you all don't get it and why you hate the inconvenience of some one like Al Gore. The fact is you all can't help yourself because the way you think is likely programmed into your
” rel=”nofollow”>genes.a>

muirgeo October 14, 2007 at 11:07 pm
brotio October 14, 2007 at 11:54 pm

Quack, quack, quack…

To anyone thinking of asking Muirgeo questions, don't bother. If they're an inconvenient truth (like the sun is to Algore), he'll just duck it.

Quack, quack, quack…

muirgeo October 15, 2007 at 12:34 am

LOL brotio. Yeah right it's the sun. Of course there's not any evidence to support the claim but saying it makes you feel better about the inconvenient fatcs. The deniers of anthropogenic warming might as well get in line with the creationist because you look that silly. But that's what happens when ideology meets up with inconvenient contradictory facts. It's called cognitive dissonance…and you've got it.

Mark Brady October 15, 2007 at 1:36 am
Jason October 15, 2007 at 2:00 am

The never-ending debate about the causes of climate change / global warming obscures the more important debate about the supposed consequences and solutions.

Al Gore and others demand dramatic reductions in CO2 levels yet they imply that it only takes are a few simple changes. However, no amount of global cooperation is going to achieve 90% reductions in CO2 via CFLs and hybrid cars. Realistically, Gore's demands would require much steeper sacrifices. Is this goal worth the sacrifices? Would these sacrifices be progressive? Could these sacrifices be directed to other causes for even greater progress? Are the solutions like recycling and driving hybrids even environmentally or financially beneficial (Russ does deals with this issue in more than one podcast). These questions don't depend on whether the Sun or Hummers are responsible.

Methunks October 15, 2007 at 7:04 am

Let's be clear Jason – Gore has made it patently clear that he intends to make no personal sacrifices to achieve the goal of lower CO2. His consumption of CO2 outstrips that of the average person by multiples. The "carbon offset" thing is at best a scam and at worst an example of the rich using the powerful to exploit the the poor – or some variation of that. It's a scam because there is no way to ensure the that the person from whom you bought the carbon credits is actually reducing his own emissions. It's exploitation because the people like the moron Gore seeks to use government force to inflict needless costs on those who are less wealthy than they are. Either buy carbon credits or you can't drive your car to work sort of thing. Of course, Gore will always have plenty of dough to buy carbon credits because there are plenty of countries on earth willing to pay him gigantic sums of money to prance around a stage trashing the United States like a fat trained monkey.

He and Jimmy Carter should have been locked up in a mental institution a long time ago.

Chris O'Leary October 15, 2007 at 8:58 am

"Readers may be interested to read how last week a high court judge in England declared that Al Gore's climate film has scientific errors."

Not only does An Inconvenient Truth contain errors, I have documented how it is deceptive and manipulates the truth to try to strengthen its case…

- An Inconvenient Truth – Analysis

Nobel Prize winners should be held to a higher standard.

muirgeo October 15, 2007 at 9:19 am

Krugman has a great Op-ed that explains why you all hate Al Gore so much. I think it's a good read because it's important for one to understand the origin of one's hatred.a>

But in case you haven't the time the reason is basically the same reason creationist hate Darwin…..no different.

Methinks October 15, 2007 at 9:32 am

yeah, gee thanks. However, unlike you, we don't lack the intelligence required to form our own opinions. You go ahead and have yours fed to you by power hungry demagogues like Gore and Krugman. It's all you can really hope for.

Chris O'Leary October 15, 2007 at 9:34 am

Actually, the thing that drives me crazy about Al Gore (and John Edwards) is the hypocrisy.

Neither one of them practices what they preach.

Al Gore goes on and on about global warming yet lives in a gigantic mansion. John Edwards goes on and on about poverty yet lives in a gigantic mansion.

Methinks October 15, 2007 at 10:18 am

It's worse than that, Chris.

about half of Edwards' money is in Frotress. Fortress is organized as an offshore hedge fund to minimize their investors' tax burden. I don't have a problem with that. However, part of Edwards' platform is closing the "loopholes" like offshoring, which he is "vehemently against" – for anyone else. For him, it's totally Kosher.

He built a giant complex (it's way beyond a mere mansion) in Chapel Hill. Ever since he's moved in he and the sainted Elizabeth have been picking fights with their neighbour and slagging him off in the press. Their neighbour happens to be from that "other" America Edwards claims to champion. Seems that when the Edwards found out the unfortunate neighbour was not only poor but Republican, the neighbour's yard has not been up to snuff and he became the target of their harassment.

That's to say nothing of the fact that, while he screeches about the rich not paying their "fair share", he himself created an S-corp to shield 90% of his own income from taxes.

I don't even care that he's a hypocrite. What I care about is that he is fully willing to use the full force of government to inflict his hypocritical agenda on people lacking the power to fight it while he makes exceptions for himself.

If that's not straight from Animal Farm, I don't know what is. Some pigs are just more equal than others.

Dr. Troy Camplin October 15, 2007 at 1:03 pm

The Krugman piece is nonsense. And badly argued. I discuss it in depth on my own blog. http://www.zatav.blogspot.com

vidyohs October 15, 2007 at 5:44 pm

"CT, climate changes historically have as onc of their consequences mass migrations. The connection between mass migration and threats to peace should be obvious.

Posted by: T L Holaday | Oct 14, 2007 9:34:00 PM"

Short of a true Ice Age with advancing glaciers, what mass migrations would you cite, T.L.?

Animals have one resort to extremes, and that is to flee it. Mankind on the other hand long ago reasoned out methods of surviving extremes, as witness the Eskimos in one extreme and the Tauregs in another.

Let's look at recent recorded history.

The Earth experienced warming to a greater degree than is now happening during the 8th, 9th, and 10th centuries, Iceland was a thriving wooded paradise where crops grew like crazy. Large costal sections of the Island of Greenland were under cultivation and animal husbandry. There was no mass migration to the north.

Then in the 11th century the Earth began to cool into a mini-Ice Age and Iceland became a difficult place to live, Greenland virtually impossible. Across Europe summers were exceptionally short, food shortages occurred, and yet there were no mass migrations.

In the new world, none of the anthropological or archelogical records show mass migrations in the indian populations.

Then the Earth warmed up again and though it was hot and dry enough to close down the Anazasi and others ability to grow crops, there was still no historic evidence of mass migration. Then in the late 1800s the Earth went into a brief cooling stage and America even experienced a "year without summer", and still no mass migrations.

I suggest to you sir, that as I said before, sans actual glaciers advancing to force people to migrate, mere cold hasn't done it, nor has heat.

Gore and the entire envirowhacko movement are frauds. All of what I just said happened because of natural cycles, including sun activity, and not because of mankind.

lowcountryjoe October 16, 2007 at 7:08 am

My brother-in-law sent me an e-mail with a curious link to a Snopes article.

Perhaps muirgeo or Gil should check it out and offer their comments.

Which home belongs to the environmentalist?

MarioG October 16, 2007 at 10:01 am

Bjorn Lomborg says of the IPCC, "These scientists are engaged in excellent, painstaking work that establishes exactly what the world should expect from climate change." He can't be serious.
>
Here is a report that makes my point:
http://www.dailytech.com/Survey+Less+Than+Half+of+all+Published+Scientists+Endorse+Global+Warming+Theory/article8641.htm
>
An excerpt from this article:
>
"Schulte's survey contradicts the United Nation IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report (2007), which gave a figure of "90% likely" man was having an impact on world temperatures. But does the IPCC represent a consensus view of world scientists? Despite media claims of "thousands of scientists" involved in the report, the actual text is written by a much smaller number of "lead authors." The introductory "Summary for Policymakers" — the only portion usually quoted in the media — is written not by scientists at all, but by politicians, and approved, word-by-word, by political representatives from member nations. By IPCC policy, the individual report chapters — the only text actually written by scientists — are edited to "ensure compliance" with the summary, which is typically published months before the actual report itself." [end of excerpt]
>
Would any credible scientific organization allow its conclusions to be written by politicians BEFORE the scientists have completed their research?
>

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