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Lomborg and the Africans

Bjorn Lomborg argues that we should focus our spending on immediate problems, such as ensuring Africans have access to clean water. For this he is vilified, attacked and has his livelihood threatened.

His critics wish to see money spent on climate change mitigation measures instead.

A tragedy for the Africans.

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Reader Comments (59)

He is attacked because what he is proposimg is not in line with the mission, which is to destroy capitalism and install global government. How does helping Aficans to become healthier and richer help that ??

Apr 24, 2015 at 11:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterImranCan

I cannot help feeling there are elements of closet racism in the ether, disguised as concern for the Africans' welbeing, but wanting them to remain down at heel. Most disturbing! However, Lomborg is right on this issue!

Apr 24, 2015 at 11:11 AM | Unregistered CommenterAlan the Brit

Alan the Brit

My ex went to a Green global gathering in Germany. Even she was shocked at the contempt for human beings on show from these self appointed Übermensch .

The reason African farmers flee to the EU is that the EU starves them out by dumping cheap produce.

Apr 24, 2015 at 11:56 AM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

I agree that poverty is more important than all the AGW scamming but the fact remains that it is Africa which needs to fix Africas problems, not us.

Apr 24, 2015 at 12:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterKeith L

Keith L

We govern Africa, not the Africans. Our appointees that is.

Apr 24, 2015 at 12:05 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

The persecution of Lomborg the heretic by global warmers after his publication of The Skeptical Environmentalist may ultimately prove to be one of their biggest mistakes. It certainly drew my attention to have a closer look and discover just what was lurking in the woodpile. I hadn't even heard of the hockey stick at that time.

Apr 24, 2015 at 12:15 PM | Unregistered Commentermichael hart

Africa celebrates "Earth Day" every day by turning off their electricity. Whoops, sorry. They have no electricity. Maybe the UN can arrange to send all the enviro folks to central Africa, put them on treadmills that drive generators and the not only would the Third World be saved but the West's obesity problem would be solved.

Apr 24, 2015 at 12:16 PM | Unregistered Commentercedarhill

Alan the Brit.

It is environmental neo-colonialism.


Apr 24, 2015 at 12:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterPointman

@ Pointman

Environmental neo-colonialism is a very good description of Green policies for the Third World. I hope that phrase will be picked up and used by climate realists and sceptics including commentators and journalists like Mark Steyn, Christopher Booker, Delingpole etc.

Apr 24, 2015 at 12:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterRoy

The Greenpeace argument is that pottable water encourages more children.

I agree with Lomborg, criminal immorality. Another crime by the environment botherers.

Apr 24, 2015 at 12:41 PM | Unregistered CommenterJohn Marshall

Lomberg is attacked by climate scientists and greenluvvies for suggesting that the answer to everything, does not necessarily involve enriching the lifestyles of climate scientists, Green Luvvies and their vanity projects.

If only the climate was as reliably predictable, as those being paid, reliably to predict it.

Apr 24, 2015 at 12:48 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

For some reason, the Green/Left has decided to make Lomborg (and his new $4m centre at UWA) the focal point of a massive full-court press.

They want him out and silenced forever, even though he believes that man-made global warming is a serious problem.

The Green/Left is beginning to consume itself, in ever-tightening spirals. Stalin's Russia went through the same process, eliminating ever-closer allies for ever-smaller differences. So did the French Revolution.

Pol Pot's Angkar ('the Organisation') is the classic example. After the last round of purges, virtually the only Brother left was Brother Number One.

I wonder who Climate Hero Number One will turn out to be.

Apr 24, 2015 at 2:43 PM | Unregistered CommenterRick Bradford

And yet Gavin (et al) takes offence at the implication that climate policies are killing Africans...go figure

Apr 24, 2015 at 2:57 PM | Unregistered CommenterCraig Loehle

Bjorn Lomborg suffers from a disbelief that humanity can walk and chew gum at the same time. Stephen Gardiner (with a small assist from Eli, tore Lomborg's nonsense apart years ago

To Gardiner, this is already swallowing a large bunny foot without sauce, because while climate change threaten everyone, not just the the poor, but, of course, as Richard Tol says, climate change threatens the poor the most. Others can take it in the nose maybe but if you care about the poor you will take care of the threat of climate change.

Lomborg argues that the right answer is to help the current poor now, since they are poorer than their descendants will be, because they are more easily (cheaply) helped and because in helping them one is also helping their descendants

But wait, there are, as they say, issues

The first is the threat of a false dichotomy. Arguments from opportunity cost crucially rely on the idea that if a given project is chosen, then that choice forecloses some other option. But this is not the case in Lomborg's version. Helping the poor and mitigating climate change are not obviously mutually exclusive. . .

Second it is not clear even that the two projects are independent of each other, in the sense that they are fully separable opportunities rather than necessarily linked and perhaps mutually supporting policies. . . .

Third, it is not clear that the opportunity that Lomborg wants to emphasize is really available.

After all, the poor have always been with us, and there is no evidence that rich countries will step in to eliminate poverty (or, as Gardiner points out to mitigate climate change). Fourth to Gardiner, this looks a lot like the first step in a "bait and switch" strategy.

Apr 24, 2015 at 4:16 PM | Unregistered CommenterEli Rabett

Eli Rabett

Myxomatosis on both your houses.

Lomberg, like the GWPF crew is just another right wing nut who tacitly supports fraud denial. The fraud that there is evidence of human beings changing the climate to a noticeable degree. Bre'r Eli once haunted Roger Pielke Jr's esteemed blog, so he know it's all a pack of lies.

This could happen to you.

Apr 24, 2015 at 4:43 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

The poor will be worst affected by fraud denial because they will be deprived of basic necessities. Anyone who supports that is evil.

Apr 24, 2015 at 4:45 PM | Unregistered Commenteresmiff

It's always nice to see real colours being unfurled.


Apr 24, 2015 at 5:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterPointman

Apr 24, 2015 at 2:57 PM | Craig Loehle

And yet Gavin (et al) takes offence at the implication that climate policies are killing Africans...go figure

No. He takes offence at people taking about it.
Of course he knows he's campaigning for deaths. He's not an idiot.

As Eli Rabbett obliquely points out at Apr 24, 2015 at 4:16 PM, charities used to help the third world but now they campaign on climate change instead.
Christian Aid are a prime example. No more teaching men to fish - it's all take a train and abstain.

Not everyone would ever help the third world but the important thing is that those who used to are persuaded not to.

Overpopulation, don't you know.

Apr 24, 2015 at 8:29 PM | Registered CommenterM Courtney

Eli Rabett, there is no evidence that wealthy climate alarmists want any money wasted on the poor, if it could be better spent enriching themselves.

All the money wasted, and nothing has changed, apart from the number of parasites and saprophytes, with swollen bellies, admiring the next feast.

Do enjoy your stuffed false dichotomies, best served with greens, and a guilt free dressing.

Apr 24, 2015 at 8:38 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Eli Rabbett 4:16

Is this your latest "Lie, smear and run" strategy?

Obviously if your science fails to deliver, you can't stand.

Apr 25, 2015 at 12:00 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Ah yes, to continue what Stephen Gardiner said

“even hard nosed benefit cost analysts” agree that the claim that future people could be compensated by an alternative policy loses relevance if we know that the compensation will not actually be paid.

Strangely, the first move of Lomborg's new benefactors was to cut foreign aid by 11 billion Au$

Try not to be so obvious

Apr 25, 2015 at 1:55 AM | Unregistered CommenterEli Rabett

Trickle down economics has never worked in one country let alone across countries and continents so the fact that we have idiots like Lomborg bleating like this is rather galling. And he knows it but whatever keeps those dollars coming for the "Danish Denyer" fits huh....

Lomborg has been rubbished for years. I liberally copy and paste from various sources...

" The late Dr. Stephen Schneider, professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and Senior Fellow at the Institute for International Studies at Stanford University, criticised Lomborg for inaccurately portraying the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and misrepresenting the Kyoto Protocol. (Schneider is also editor of Climate Change and lead author of several of the IPCC chapters and the IPCC guidance paper on uncertainties).

The IPCC produced a range of six equally ranked paths of climate change spanning an increase in carbon dioxide concentrations from doubling in 2100 to well beyond a tripling in the 22nd century. "Lomborg, however, dismisses all but the lowest of the scenarios," he wrote.

Dr. Schneider also writes "most scientists I know working on these problems are outraged by Lomborg's work and consider it to be faulty and misrepresentative of their published views. In addition to referencing a biased sample of literature that wasn't nearly broad enough, Lomborg used quotes out of context and proved numerous times that he did not fully understand the science behind climate change" "


" Dr Peter Raven, President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2002 said of Lomborg: "...he's not an environmental scientist and he doesn't understand the fields that he's talking about so in that case, if you have a point to make and you want to get to that point, which is: everything's fine, everybody's wrong, there is no environmental problem, you just keep making that point. It's like a school exercise or a debating society, which really doesn't take into account the facts".

"Raven said that the success of Lomborg's book 'demonstrates the vulnerability of the scientific process -- which is deliberative and hypothesis driven -- to outright misrepresentation and distortion.'" "


well just look up the Sci Amer rubbishing of his book and comments from the Danish Committee for Scientific Dishonesty or Howard Friel....

The guy is a convenient idiot but I guess being paid nearly a million US by interested backers (Koch brothers, that hedge fund guy etc) helps soothe the pain of knowing that

Apr 25, 2015 at 10:27 AM | Unregistered CommenterOnbyaccident

2 New stories on the issue : Andrew Bolt's article Lomborg’s critics shame themselves contains links to
Roger Pielke Jr (warning its the Guardian) 2 days ago

Apr 25, 2015 at 10:47 AM | Registered Commenterstewgreen

The reason Lomborg is unpopular, as I explained to Golf Charlie elsewhere yesterday, is that The Skeptical Environmentalist punched a big hole in the enviro-activists' pessimism.
I had been dealing with these woemeisters for the best part of 30 years before Ms Rowling told me what they really were — dementors. They suck all happiness and hope out of being a human being. Everything they touch shrivels up and dies. They see nothing in the future but despair. Limits To Growth is one long complaint that humanity is doomed unless it adopts the path of despair and pessimism. Every human achievement, every scientific or technological advance, everything that makes modern life worth living (as well as one or two that don't) are merely steps on an ever-steeper slippery slope that will lead to the destruction of the planet.
The only possible route to salvation is to forego all the pleasures of the modern world and hand your lives (oh, and your money of course) over to them to run for you because they are in their own eyes the Elect and we peasants are as nothing without their malevolent paternalism.
They make the Wee Frees look like unrepentant hedonists.
And then along comes Lomborg, who claims that the world is not yet quite going to hell in the environmentalists' handcart, that peak this, that and the next thing are largely a figment of the overheated imagination of the Malthusian tendency whose ability to look beyond their own limited view of the world has always been non-existent and that while "Global warming is real – it is man-made and it is an important problem", it is not, at least on the evidence available at the time and even less so now, "the end of the world." And that really hurts the Climateers, doesn't it? Especially in the pocket and in the ego (I/m never sure which of those two is the bigger.)
Let me, for your delectation, repeat the bones of a post I made on 'Unthreaded' the other day.
The question: "What is the biggest threat facing the world today?" was posed to war studies experts and they came up with the following:
• Russian and Chinese expansionism v Western disarmament
• Russia's revisionism
• China’s rise and power shifting in the Indo-Pacific
• Unfinished business in the Taiwan Strait
• Unbridled nuclear proliferation
• Political transition in the Middle East
• The rise of nationalism and other politics of identity
• Russian infiltration in Western politics
• Corruption
Perhaps on the purely environmental front you could throw in a possible asteroid strike and the Yellowstone volcano.
Any or all of which could have a major impact on human civilisation within a very short period. Unlike climate change which may (but probably won't) have a minor impact which may (but probably won't) be detrimental to humanity unless we are stupid or arrogant enough to pretend there is something we can do to prevent it.
Lomborg has never claimed to be perfect and no doubt his work contains errors but in the field of statistics, where I suggest his expertise outshines considerably that of his critics, those "errors" are largely a matter of different interpretations of the same data and to be discussed and debated rationally.
But then the enviro-fanatics have never, ever, in all the years I have been dealing with them done discussion or debate, and certainly not rationality.

Apr 25, 2015 at 11:49 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Eli Rabett and OnbyAccident

Are these your latest "bait and switch" gambits, to divert attention?

No wonder the science had to be settled without a discussion,

I think Abbott has simply chosen to ignore the people who have been unable to back up their theories, with any tangible proof, and is exploring alternative (and cheaper) strategies)

Why is climate science so fearful?

Apr 25, 2015 at 12:14 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Mike Jackson, mine crossed with yours, but it will be deemed a conspiracy, by the experts in conspiracy.

Apr 25, 2015 at 12:21 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

@MJ ask a bunch of war studies experts and you come up with....a bunch of potential war scenarios (most of which relate directly to the threat of the western status quo being usurped....). Ask a bunch of economists and they come up with their own list. Greece. US debt levels. Inequality. Micky J - you're a man with a hammer and all you see is nails.

To get back on track here I'm not denying that some on that list are not a threat. But that's not really the point is it as no "warmist" has ever stated that global warming is the ONLY threat. It is just a bloody big one. The usefulness of idiots like Lomborg is that they distort the facts and selectively use information that (co-incidentally) suits that of their paymasters.

He's been proven at doing this for quite some time. Liars like this one started by denying totally that AGW was happening. Then moved on to saying "ok it is happening but it isn't due to humans". As the evidence mounted and they looked ever foolish it evolved to "ok we are causing it but it'll be fine" and on to the current "ah..ok it may not sort itself out but the market will provide solutions and in any case it won't cost much as this benign scenario shows...". So which one you at Mickey J?

He has no background in science let alone climate science. He is not even an economist FFS (although to be fair that may be a plus ;-)...well it would be if he weren't so corrupt).

Apr 25, 2015 at 1:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterOnbyaccident

Wrong, oby-baby and wrong again.
I quoted some examples of what war studies experts consider to be major threats facing the security of the planet — not just western civilisation (which I happen to consider worth protecting) since nuclear devices are no respector of national boundaries and ambitious maniacs are to be found the world over. Clever of you to spot that, though. You come up with your own list which I will grant might also have some relevance
But to get back on track, oby-baby, "no warmist has ever stated that global warming is the ONLY threat" and taken literally you are probably right but how many have said that it is "the greatest threat to mankind ever!"? And I don't believe it because if it were all these "scientists" and the enviro-activists and the moneygrubbers and all the UN apparatchiks would start behaving as if they meant it and start holding all their annual Conference of Partygoers events by video-conferencing instead of swanning round the world creating "carbon footprints" bigger than their egos.
They don't mean it, oby-baby, because they don't believe it. They bleat about the effect of a minuscule rise in global temperature while conveniently ignoring the fact that all the previous warm periods of the last 3000 years have been warmer; they try to make some horror story out of a 2C temperature rise without even agreeing on 2C compared with what or admitting that the figure was invented to satisfy the politicians.
And the bottom line is that none of them gives a flying f*** about climate, only about themselves and the reason they (and you) send your blood pressure through the roof at the mention of Lomborg is because he is one of the very few prepared to stand up and be counted on the question of just how unimportant and meaningless all your climatic blatherings really are.
What is even worse, oby-baby, is that he agrees with the IPCC (by and large); he believes global warming is happening (by and large), he believes that mankind is at least partly responsible (by and large). It's just that he doesn't think your anti-civilisation, anti-human, self-centred, self-serving nostrums are the cure. And , oh boy, that really hurts, doesn't it.
Especially since, as you say, he's not even an economist or a climate scientist or "one of the gang" so how dare he spoil your fun?
Well, tough!

Apr 25, 2015 at 2:17 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Onlybyaccident, you have accused Lomburg of being corrupt.

This is a serious charge.

Please provide evidence, or withdraw it.

Otherwise, you will have exposed yourself as yet another Liar for the Cause.

Apr 25, 2015 at 2:47 PM | Registered Commenterjohanna

Johanna: in posts passim, I have comprehensively shown Onbylying as an inveterate liar, hence my adjustment to the moniker. Have you not been paying attention?

Apr 25, 2015 at 4:23 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Head bowed in embarrassment, RR. I need to pay more attention. : (

Still waiting for any substantiation of that very serious accusation, though.

Apr 25, 2015 at 5:28 PM | Registered Commenterjohanna

Ah...the lightweight returns. Go on then RR ... what have I lied about. Here and in the past.

@ johanna...pathetic. "Serious" eh :-) ? Ok - accusation not withdrawn. Now what?

Apr 25, 2015 at 5:47 PM | Unregistered CommenterOnbyaccident

The spittle emitting rage at Lomborg occasionally produces amusing reasoning. 'Debunking' Lomborg at all costs has unintended consequences.

A rabid defender of the religion took great objection to this statement: 'The Germans are spending about $110 billion on subsidies for these solar panels,' said Lomborg. 'The net effect of all those investments will be to postpone global warming by 37 hours by the end of the century.'

He purported to show that Lomborg's figure was out by a factor of ten - totally missing the point. Would postponing global warming by 370 hours rather than 37 make German solar panel subsidies society's number one priority and the wisest investment of German taxpayers' money?

Apr 25, 2015 at 6:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterPolitical Junkie

Political Junkie
The ability to rub two brain cells together has never been a noticeable characteristic of the green dogmatists but they can often be good entertainnent value as your post proves.
They are at their most amusing when desperately trying to defend something of which they have no understanding. I'm pretty sure that even most mainstream climate scientists find them excruciatingly embarrassing. Which only makes the situation more amusing in a way.

Apr 25, 2015 at 6:41 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

One can only conclude that Lomberg is definitely on the right lines, simply by reading this post!

Thanks Onbyaccident, your persuasive reasoning works wonders.

Apr 25, 2015 at 7:29 PM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

Mike J, 6:41: "The ability to rub two brain cells together has never been a noticeable characteristic of the green dogmatists"

Have you any idea what OBA was rubbing his single brain cell against to come up with his recent comments?

Apr 25, 2015 at 8:25 PM | Registered CommenterSalopian

Mike Jackson, I think that rubbing two brain cells together is anathema to Green minds, for fear of the excess heat, produced by the friction, contributing to global warming.

Also, what would they do, if one of them broke? The precautionary principle decrees that the risk, is not worth taking.

Apr 25, 2015 at 8:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterGolf Charlie

oba is clearly a troll.

There is not even the faintest trace of an attempt to substantiate claims like that Lomborg is "corrupt."

Apr 25, 2015 at 8:36 PM | Registered Commenterjohanna

…what have I lied about. [sic] Here and in the past.
Shall we start with your self-applied moniker? You are certainly not worth my efforts in trawling back to find my points. Prove me wrong.

Johanna: just accept that you are set for a very, very long wait, as your hopes for a reply will not be realised.

Apr 25, 2015 at 11:43 PM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Hmm, so folk, no objections at the Hill for the Aussies cutting 11BAus$ from foreign assistance to give Bjorn 4 Mil?

Apr 27, 2015 at 2:05 AM | Unregistered CommenterEli Rabett

Hmm 11 billion ,cut to give 4 million somewhere else? It suggests to me the two are totally unrelated. If the Aussy foreign budget is anything like ours, then a lot of it is frittered on silly projects and advice from Lomborg could actually improve how the remaining money is spent. Once common sense resumes the budget may rise accordingly.

Apr 27, 2015 at 7:47 AM | Unregistered CommenterTinyCO2

Those with only rabbit-sized brains don't understand that politicians have to make things called "choices" and that sometimes those choices involve making other things called "decisions".
Also that in the real world not everyone thinks like rabbits do so sometimes these decisions and choices will result in politicians doing things that rabbits don't like. This does not mean that these are wrong things or bad things just that they are different things from what rabbits like.
Personally I think that flinging $A11bn down the foreign aid drain is a wrong thing and that spending $A4m trying to find the best way to adapt to global warming (if any such adaptation is necessary) is a better use of taxpayers' money.
But it's not about money, Eli, is it? It's that you're pissed off because Lomborg has exposed your greedy little scam and, and as I said to oby-baby, that really hurts.

Apr 27, 2015 at 8:43 AM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Our foreign aid budget was mostly being wasted, and thanks to the previous government's extravagance, we have gone from having a balanced budget to being in substantial debt in less than a decade.

Bunnies from countries that owe trillions of dollars to China should not give gratuitous advice on fiscal management.

Apr 27, 2015 at 3:39 PM | Registered Commenterjohanna

Bunnies from countries that owe trillions of dollars to China should not give gratuitous advice on fiscal management.
Well said!

Apr 27, 2015 at 4:14 PM | Registered CommenterMike Jackson

Sooo porridge spitters...I wait a few days and see what comes out from under the stone. Mickey J blatherings and a load of ad hominem junk. Bloody hell..if this is the best you can do....:-)

Jokes about rabbits. Deluded UKIP like meanderings into comments about debt and foreign aid. You people are no better off the climate topic. Same pattern of half understood comments with no backup.

@ johanna - go on then. Humour me. "UK deficit in run up and post credit crisis." Discuss and enlighten us :-DD.

Also re Lomborg. Google and Wiki him. Read previous comments from respectable scientists. The guy is a fraud and corrupt. As I stated before. Now what?

Apr 27, 2015 at 7:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterOnbyaccident

It is amusing to plant the seeds of cognitive dissonance. Good sport, although a bit messy to clean up.

Apr 27, 2015 at 9:27 PM | Unregistered CommenterEli Rabett

I love the way that Halpern appeals to the authority of a philosopher so influential that he does not appear on a Google search. This is not so surprising since his arguments appear to be incoherent and the product of a man gripped in some kind of panic attack. No doubt the envirothugs have been on to him.

Apr 28, 2015 at 12:16 AM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

Johanna: notice that the petty liar returns, with not a twinge of conscience at ignoring your valid request, but filled with his usual unmitigated ire. Do not engage with the sad person, or his equally-sad, supporting rabid Carpenter’s Groove.

Apr 28, 2015 at 12:31 AM | Registered CommenterRadical Rodent

Those who worship at the feet of mighty Mann, the Supreme Creator of the Holy Hockey Stick, are duty bound to attack anyone, by any means, who questions his Authority, so they may continue to share in his wondrous bounty

It is a religious faith thing, apparently. Impossible to replicate with scientific methods, and defies forensic analysis.

Apr 28, 2015 at 1:17 AM | Unregistered Commentergolf charlie

So how much of that 4 million is going to go to building power plants in Africa:)

Apr 28, 2015 at 5:34 AM | Unregistered CommenterEli Rabett

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