Sunday, 28 August 2011

Bjorn Lomborg: the skeptical environmentalist

I MET HIM IN PERSON WHEN I WAS A POSTGRAD STUDENT at the University of Queensland (UQ), Brisbane (Australia). He gave a free public lecture on 01 October 2003 at the UQ Centre, and who wrote a book-selling book, The Skeptical Environmentalist - Measuring the Real State of the World. The book became controversial among the communities of scientists and environmentalists arguing that the "book's litany of errors and misinterpretations can be explained by the fact that the author has no qualifications in any area related to it." Some groups also cricitised Cambridge University Press for publishing and promoting the book which is an "error-filled, poorly referenced and non-reviewed work."

I purchased the book at A$50.95 and Bjorn got it signed after his lecture at UQ. Surprisingly, almost one-third of the book content is pages of Notes and Bibliography, and still it is referred as "poorly-referenced" work.

I do share with Bjorn's ideas on the real state of our environment. He states that: "the key idea is what we ought not to let the environmental organizations, business lobbyists or the media be alone in presenting truths and priorities. Rather, we should strive for a careful democratic check on the environmental debate, by knowing the real state of the world - having knowledge of the most important facts and connections in the essential areas of our world."

Global warming is one of the hottest issues of the present time and Bjorn clearly explained three important lessons that everyone should know about it: (a) First, we have to realize what we are arguing about - do we want to handle global warming in the most efficient way or do we want to use global warming as a stepping stone to other political projects; (b) Second, we should not spend vast amounts of money to cut a tiny slice of the global temperature increase when this constitutes a poor use of resources and when we could probably use these funds far more effectively in the developing world; and (c) Third, we should realize that the cost of global warming will be substantial...since cutting back CO2 emissions quickly becomes very constly, and easily counterproductive, we should focus more of our effort at finding ways of easing the emission of greenhouse gases over the long run. AMEN TO THAT!!!

Only at the middle of this year that I bought another book authored by him entitled, COOL IT at discounted price of 200 pesos (hardbound, less than 5 US dollars) only. Again, one-third of the book contains notes and reference list! Bjorn supported my understanding about Global Warming, or now it is popularly coined as "Climate Change" because the earth is totally cooling at the moment! The book argues that: "(a) global warming is real and man-made; (b) statements about the strong, ominous and immediate consequences of global warming are often wildly exaggerated; and (c) many other issues are much more important than global warming."

FINALLY, I do share Bjorn's sentiments that his books can help us to better understand the various environmental issues that our Mother Earth is facing... be smarter about solutions to solve them, and also to regain our perspective on the most effective and efficient ways to make Mother Earth a better place that all of us desire to achieve!

Note: Cool It is now a motion the trailer below!

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