A view of the 21st Century: Bjorn Lomborg's "Cool It"

On October 22, 2007, Newsweek columnist George Will wrote his column entitled "An Inconvenient Price." He was dissecting a new book by economist Bjorn Lomborg entitled "Cool It - The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming. Based on that column, I got the book and have spent the intervening months reading it. Mr. Lomborg is a very lucid economist but I don't find his writing all that easy to follow. I need to visualize informaation and the are no graphs or tables in the book. In other words, this is a serious read. That's OK. The main point so far is that cooling global warming is an objective among several other worthy objectives. Lomborg says we shouldn't sacrifice the world economy for global warming without considering the negative impacts (aka suffering) it will create. His case is compelling but I am not fully convinced. He does point out how alarmists have been exploiting recent weather changes. Higher world temperature are likely to be caused by warmer night and winters rather than higher summer peak temperatures. I will have to keep reading.

Lomborg writes like he has been out to the year 2100 and returned to tell us what is out there. I would prefer he just go out to 2020. There are just many too societal interactions and too much time between now and then - 93 years. Would anyone trust predictions from 1907 about how life would be in the year 2000? I wouldn't bank on it.

I am more concerned about the next 12 years because that is when you and I, dear ABG reader, will have our biggest influence on the present and future. Will we be driving fuel cell vehicles or hybrids or walking in 2020? Judging from how many 1995 vehicles are still on the roads of the US (probably more than all our Toyota Priuses) there are still going to be millions of 2008 models looking for a fill up. If you remember 1995, you can probably think as far out as 2020. Beyond that, things get pretty cloudy for me.

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