False Alarm: Bjorn Lomborg’s $69,000 Reveal Book

Buy this book, read it and pass it on to your friends (and enemies, too, if you think they will listen to you).  Bjorn Lomborg’s False Alarm is not perfect, but it is great.  If for nothing else (and there are lots of other good reasons to read the book) the price of the book is worth it for this one number: $69,000.

That is how much better off will be the average person in 2100 under a fossil-fuel developed world than under a sustainably developed world.  Lomborg did not make that number up.  He got it from a 2017 report by the IPCC.  That’s right.  A UN climate panel report shows that per capita GDP will be $69,000 higher if we follow a fossil-fuel-development path than with a ‘sustainable-development’ path.  Again, the average person will be $69,000 better off with fossil-fuels even after subtracting damages from global warming.

Natural Gas Now .org

He gives the example of a journalist’s story on damages from flooding caused by rising sea-levels.  The number that got traction was 350 million people would be subject to flooding by 2100.  The journalist got great coverage with that number.  However, the study on which he based his article noted large exposure to flooding would only occur without any adaptation.  The scientists said that adaptation was very likely and would lead to fewer people being subject to flooding in 2100 than are subject to it now.  So, the likely future from the study was that fewer people would be subject to flooding at the end of the century, but the story spread by the media was the opposite. And so it goes. 

The polar bear population was supposedly a canary in the climate coal mine until the data showed that polar-bear populations are much healthier today than they were fifty years ago.  It turns out that hunting was a much greater threat to bears than shifting ice patterns.  So, it is not a story anybody is covering anymore.