realitycheck(dot)ie

Irish doctor with too many thoughts, too little time and a blog that's supposed to check in on reality.

Friday, June 17, 2005

The Truth about the Environment

To do justice to Lomberg's arguments check out this article of his from the Economist and the Copenhagen Consensus, a group he's involved with which asks experts to make a world priority list. Note that the environment is at the bottom of the list. Gavin's new enterprise Irish Corruption fits in nicely as number 9 on the priorities list. (I think they mean corruption globally, but corruption fighting, like charity, begins at home)

5 Comments:

Anonymous EWI said...

Auds, do I take it from the title of your post that you think that Lomborg's opinions are the "Truth" you allude to?

If so, will you allow that he is a very controversial figure? And moreover, that he has made himself a lucrative career by going against the majority of sober scientific thought on the condition of the environment?

June 17, 2005 1:34 a.m.  
Blogger Auds said...

The title of the post is actually the title of his economist article which is interesting - he has got the goods to back up what he's talking about.
Yes, he is controversial - people who express differing opinions to the accepted conventions will be controversial.
As for the majority of sober scientific though....not all scientists believe that the world is about to come to an end, etc. A friend of mine, a geologist, read this book and agreed with most of it - so did most of her colleages in her university dept - they agree with the broad strokes of his arguments and they like hard evidence for things.
Lomberg believes in environmental pollution and that we should do something about it - his main disagreements are with what we are currently thinking and doing about it now.

June 17, 2005 11:46 a.m.  
Anonymous EWI said...

" these decisions come down to a values choice - people or the environment?"

I think that this is where we diverge, in that for me "common good" trumps "individual freedom to whatever the hell you like, no matter the consequences". Yes, I know that this attitude is more prevalent in Ireland than on the Continent - we only have to look at the rubbish problem in this country to see that. But do we think that this wilfull selfishness is without consequence?

So, do we want to live in a healthy ecosphere? We know a lot more about this kind of thing these days, and I feel safe in saying that the great consensus is that global warming *is* real.

(I have to admit that I haven't read Lomberg's publications, but I have through Crooked Timber: http://crookedtimber.org/2004/05/24/copenhagen-con)

June 19, 2005 7:01 p.m.  
Blogger Auds said...

in that for me "common good" trumps "individual freedom to whatever the hell you like, no matter the consequences"

For me, in terms of the copenhagen consensus, the common good would be better served by funding all the causes at the top of that list as opposed to the end. Unfettered individual freedom has little to do with the prioritisation of actions that are undertaken in the international sphere to combat the problems that humanity face. The reality is that clean water, basic antibiotics and vaccinations are much more effective in serving the common good and humanity than environmental measures like Kyoto.
I do recommend reading his book.

June 19, 2005 8:59 p.m.  
Anonymous EWI said...

If I am to understand this right, Lomborg started off as a global-warming doubter. A bizarre disbelief, but there you go. Perhaps he was just looking to make a name for himself academically.

But his changing of tactics, to now adopt a flanking attack of coming up with his list suggests that his real aim isn't scientific truths but rather to provide ammunition for the polluter lobbyists.

June 24, 2005 12:02 a.m.  

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