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How to Tackle Global Warming (and How Not To)


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Bjorn Lomborg on Global Warming

On Tuesday, the 11th of December, 2012, a small group of students, accompanied by Mr. Mark Lovell of the English College in Prague, attended a lecture at the Cevro Institute by Bjorn Lomborg, author of ‘The Skeptical Environmentalist’ and ‘Cool It’. Lomborg combines the studies of environmentalism and economics to find solutions to the problems caused by global warming, while spending our money in the best possible way.
Lomborg opened by stating his opinion that ‘global warming is real and is man-made, but it is not the end of the world’. He feels strongly that the images created by the mass media and films such as Al Gore’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’, only instill panic in the population by presenting global warming as a ‘planetary emergency’, and lead to bad judgement and irrational decisions.
Lomborg then took an unconventional approach to tackling the global warming problem. He criticized the approach of programs such as the Kyoto Protocol and the EU 2020 decision, which aim to significantly cut carbon emissions in the years to come. He claimed that cutting carbon emissions would be costly and ineffective, even if these plans were to go off without a hitch. The Kyoto Protocol would reduce global temperature by only 0.004 degrees centigrade, and cost $180 billion per year, a significant fraction of the total $20 trillion estimated to be spent on global warming throughout the 21st and 22nd centuries. Besides the cost and the relative ineffectiveness of the plan, there is also the problem of how it can be implemented. Lomborg argued that as long as fossil fuels remain by far the cheapest source of energy, simply not enough people will be willing to switch to a more eco-friendly energy source.
Rather than investing billions of dollars into cutting carbon emissions, Lomborg proposes that we invest our money into research- finding new ways to create affordable and environmentally friendly energy. In the meanwhile, he suggests that we should tackle the consequences of global warming, rather than the causes. He brought up examples of how he would tackle four potential problems caused by global warming: deaths from heat, malaria, hurricanes and sea-level rise. It was certainly recognized that he was thinking outside the box when he suggested more air-conditioning as a method of combating deaths through heat, and other such unconventional solutions.
But in addition to suggesting solutions, Lomborg brought to the public’s attention an interesting phenomenon: he demonstrated that environmentalists such as Al Gore used only evidence convenient to them in their struggle with this so-called ‘planetary emergency’. Lomborg quoted evidence that showed that about 2000 more people will die from heat waves in the UK by 2050, however he then went on to explain that what had not been publicized to the same extent was the evidence from the same source that suggested that there will be 20,000 fewer cold deaths in the UK by 2050, and 1.4 million fewer worldwide. Lomborg called for an end to the one-sidedness of the evidence given by global warming activists, and demanded that the public be aware that what they are hearing is not the full truth but only parts of it convenient to those activists.
Lomborg finished with an inspirational slide quoting Al Gore’s statement that tackling global warming is ‘our generational mission’, and by asking the question ‘how do we want to be remembered?’ Do we want to be remembered as people who spent trillions of dollars and ruined the economy coming up with ineffective solutions to global warming, or those who kept calm and made rational decisions about how to effectively ensure the future of out planet?

Author: Emilie Coalson

Category: Education Viewed: 872 times
Username: emilielydi Listing Ref: 586593650
Date of Listing: 09 May 2013, 17:58:17

How to Tackle Global Warming (and How Not To)


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