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 Environment
 
Green Inquisition: Climate scares not conducive to finding solutions
Economic Times, India Monday, July 21, 2008

Bjorn Lomborg
We’re being force-fed vastly over-hyped scare stories. Proclaiming six metres of sea-level rise over this century contradicts thousands of UN scientists, and requires the sea-level rise to accelerate roughly 40-fold from today. Such a blatant attempt to curtail scientific inquiry and stifle free speech seems inexcusable. We have to stop being scared silly, stop pursuing stupid policies, and start investing in smart long-term R&D. Indeed, the real offence is the alarmism that closes minds to the best ways to respond to climate change, writes Bjorn Lomborg in the Economic Times

WHEN it comes to global warming, extreme scare stories abound. Al Gore, for example, famously claimed that a whopping six metres (20 feet) of sea-level rise would flood major cities around the world.
... ... ...

Given all the warnings, here is a slightly inconvenient truth: over the past two years, the global sea level hasn’t increased. It has slightly decreased. Since 1992, satellites orbiting the planet have measured the global sea level every 10 days with an amazing degree of accuracy — 3-4 millimetres (0.2 inches). For two years, sea levels have declined.
... ... ...


Simply put, we’re being force-fed vastly over-hyped scare stories. Proclaiming six metres of sea-level rise over this century contradicts thousands of UN scientists, and requires the sea-level rise to accelerate roughly 40-fold from today. Imagine how climate alarmists would play up the story if we actually saw an increase in the sea-level rise.
Increasingly, alarmists claim that we should not be allowed to hear such facts. In June, Hansen proclaimed that people who spread “disinformation” about global warming — CEOs, politicians, in fact anyone who doesn’t follow Hansen’s narrow definition of the “truth” — should literally be tried for crimes against humanity.

It is depressing to see a scientist — even a highly politicised one — calling for a latter-day Inquisition. Such a blatant attempt to curtail scientific inquiry and stifle free speech seems inexcusable.

But it is perhaps also a symptom of a broader problem. It is hard to keep up the climate panic as reality diverges from the alarmist predictions more than ever before: the global temperature has not risen over the past ten years, it has declined precipitously in the last year and a half, and studies show that it might not rise again before the middle of the next decade. With a global recession looming and high oil and food prices undermining the living standards of the western middle class, it is becoming ever harder to sell the high-cost, inefficient Kyoto-style solution of drastic carbon cuts.

... ... ...

 

Consider one of the most significant steps taken to respond to climate change. Adopted because of the climate panic, bio-fuels were supposed to reduce CO2 emissions. Hansen described them as part of a “brighter future for the planet.” But using bio-fuels to combat climate change must rate as one of the poorest global “solutions” to any great challenge in recent times.

... ... ...

Because of climate panic, our attempts to mitigate climate change have provoked an unmitigated disaster. We will waste hundreds of billions of dollars, worsen global warming, and dramatically increase starvation.

We have to stop being scared silly, stop pursuing stupid policies, and start investing in smart long-term R&D. Accusations of “crimes against humanity” must cease. Indeed, the real offence is the alarmism that closes minds to the best ways to respond to climate change.

This article was published in the Economic Times on Monday, July 21, 2008. Please read the original article here.
Author : Dr Bjorn Lomborg, is Adjunct Professor, at the Copenhagen Consensus Center, Denmark
Tags- Find more articles on - Bjorn Lomborg | climate policy | Climate R&D | Climate scare | scientific consensus | scientific inquisition | sea level rise | Skeptical Environmentalism

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