This transcript was typed from a recording of the program. The ABC cannot guarantee its complete accuracy because of the possibility of mishearing and occasional difficulty in identifying speakers.
Paul Comrie-Thomson: the climate debate in this country seems stuck at the Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire level. can't we do better than this? well consider the following: In the March 2011 edition of Quadrant magazine, we read this:
Paul Comrie-Thomson: Bjorn Lomborg, adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School, and director of the Copenhagen Business Centre. His new documentary is called Cool It, and Michael, it's out in about three weeks. I cannot wait. Bjorn was speaking in Melbourne last Monday at an event presented by the Australian Institute for International Affairs.
Man-made emissions are likely to cause a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide during this century and this increase will continue to have a warming effect on global temperatures. But one of the disappointing distortions of the climate science debate is the claim that sceptics deny this relationship. What sceptics are sceptical about is the strength of these anthropogenic global warming effects.That's from the Quadrant article 'The Intelligent Voter's guide to Global Warming' written by Geoffrey Lehmann, Peter Farrell and Dick Warburton.
But ten years earlier, in The Sceptical Environmentalist, Bjorn Lomborg stated this:
My book accepts the reality of manmade global warming but questions the way in which future scenarios have been arrived at and finds that forecasts of climate change of six degrees by the end of the century are not plausible. I shall argue that the limitations of computer modelling, the unrealist nature of the basic assumptions made about future technological change and political value-judgments have distorted the scenarios being presented to the public.The initial response to Lomborg's dispassionate analysis was ugly. He was trashed by the environmentalist establishment. And over the next ten years it appeared he was labouring in the wilderness. Then, post-Copenhagen Lomborg was finally recognised by many as being the environmentalist that made the most sense.
In a recent address in Melbourne presented by the Australian Institute of International Affairs, Bjorn Lomborg recommended we bring the whole climate debate back to basic principles. Here now are edited highlights of his address.
Bjorn Lomborg: What is it we're actually trying to achieve, because we have a tendency in this climate debate to just jump right ahead and say that it's all about cutting carbon emissions. But let's just remember -- presumably this is about making a better world. And we've got to ask ourselves how do we do that. And I think a large part of what we do in the climate debate is mostly about feeling good rather than actually doing good. It's about something that's fashionable rather than something that actually does good, something that's rational. So I'd like to pause and say, 'What can actually work?'