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Decades of climate-change exaggeration in the West have produced frightened children, febrile headlines, and unrealistic political promises

Decades of climate-change exaggeration in the West have produced frightened children, febrile headlines, and unrealistic political promises

Across the rich world, school students have walked out of classrooms and taken to the streets to call for action against climate change. They are inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg, who blasts the media and political leaders for ignoring global warming and wants us to “panic.” A global day of action is planned for March 15.

Although the students’ passion is admirable, their focus is misguided. This is largely the fault of adults, who must take responsibility for frightening children unnecessarily about climate change. It is little wonder that kids are scared when grown-ups paint such a horrific picture of global warming.

For starters, leading politicians and much of the media have prioritised climate change over other issues facing the planet. Last September, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres described climate change as a “direct existential threat” that may become a “runaway” problem. Just last month, The New York Times ran a front-page commentary on the issue with the headline “Time to Panic.” And some prominent politicians, as well as many activists, have taken the latest reportfrom the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to suggest the world will come to an end in just 12 years.

This normalization of extreme language reflects decades of climate-change alarmism. The most famous clip from Al Gore’s 2006 film An Inconvenient Truth showed how a 20-foot rise in sea level would flood Florida, New York, the Netherlands, Bangladesh, and Shanghai – omitting the fact that this was seven times worse than the worst-case scenario.

A separate report that year described how such alarmism “might even become secretly thrilling – effectively a form of ‘climate porn.’” And in 2007, The Washington Post reported that “for many children and young adults, global warming is the atomic bomb of today.”

When the language stops being scary, it gets ramped up again. British environmental campaigner George Monbiot, for example, has suggested that the term “climate change” is no longer adequate and should be replaced by “catastrophic climate breakdown.”

Educational materials often don’t help, either. One officially endorsed geography textbook in the United Kingdom suggests that global warming will be worse than famine, plague, or nuclear war, while Education Scotland has recommended The Day After Tomorrow as suitable for climate-change education. This is the film, remember, in which climate change leads to a global freeze and a 50-foot wall of water flooding New York, man-eating wolves escape from the zoo, and – spoiler alert – Queen Elizabeth II’s frozen helicopter falls from the sky.

Reality would sell far fewer newspapers. Yes, global warming is a problem, but it is nowhere near a catastrophe. The IPCC estimates that the total impact of global warming by the 2070s will be equivalent to an average loss of income of 0.2-2% – similar to one recession over the next half-century. The panel also says that climate change will have a “small” economic impact compared to changes in population, age, income, technology, relative prices, lifestyle, regulation, and governance.

And while media showcase the terrifying impacts of every hurricane, the IPCC finds that “globally, there is low confidence in attribution of changes in [hurricanes] to human influence.” What’s more, the number of hurricanes that make landfall in the United States has decreased, as has the number of strong hurricanes. Adjusted for population and wealth, hurricane costs show “no trend,” according to a new study published in Nature.

Another Nature study shows that although climate change will increase hurricane damage, greater wealth will make us even more resilient. Today, hurricanes cost the world 0.04% of GDP, but in 2100, even with global warming, they will cost half as much, or 0.02% of GDP. And, contrary to breathless media reports, the relative global cost of all extreme weather since 1990 has been declining, not increasing.

Perhaps even more astoundingly, the number of people dying each year from weather-related catastrophes has plummeted 95% over the past century, from almost a half-million to under 20,000 today – while the world’s population has quadrupled.

Meanwhile, decades of fearmongering have gotten us almost nowhere. What they have done is prompt grand political gestures, such as the unrealistic cuts in carbon dioxide emissions that almost every country has promised under the 2015 Paris climate agreement. In total, these cuts will cost $1-2 trillion per year. But the sum total of all these promises is less than 1% of what is needed, and recent analysis shows that very few countries are actually meeting their commitments.

In this regard, the young protesters have a point: the world is failing to solve climate change. But the policy being pushed – even bigger promises of faster carbon cuts – will also fail, because green energy still isn’t ready. Solar and wind currently provide less than 1% of the world’s energy, and already require subsidies of $129 billion per year. The world must invest more in green-energy research and development eventually to bring the prices of renewables below those of fossil fuels, so that everyone will switch.

And although media reports describe the youth climate protests as “global,” they have taken place almost exclusively in wealthy countries that have overcome more pressing issues of survival. A truly global poll shows that climate change is people’s lowest priority, far behind health, education, and jobs.

In the Western world, decades of climate-change exaggeration have produced frightened children, febrile headlines, and grand political promises that aren’t being delivered. We need a calmer approach that addresses climate change without scaring us needlessly and that pays heed to the many other challenges facing the planet.

Bjørn Lomborg, a visiting professor at the Copenhagen Business School, is Director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center. His books include The Skeptical Environmentalist, Cool It, How to Spend $75 Billion to Make the World a Better Place, The Nobel Laureates’ Guide to the Smartest Targets for the World, and, most recently, Prioritizing Development. Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2019, and published here with permission.

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Congrats on a bit of sanity, David.

Politicians love climate change, it allows them to scare the populace and this enables them to gain power as "only politicians can solve this". What does a senior politician do after the people of his country sack him? He, or she, gets a well paid, tax free job at the UN or EU or IMF.

@Roger , I agree with Lomborg , climate change ( no longer referred to as Global Warming by the pundits ) is a problem but with careful planning and mitigation of its causes , we can reverse the trends .

I have 2 issues of concern

1) We are consuming our planet to death
2) Damage to our environment through development is of real concern , such as de-forestation for cropping and urban development in parts of Asia , as well as river pollution in Asia and Africa which is very destructive to natures balance and will take years to recover ( if ever )

Hi Boatman
Great that you acknowledge (and I agree) that climate change is a problem without seemingly being an alarmist. A changing climate has always been the norm and people are just another - although a fairly significant - factor causing the current change.
However, I disagree with you that we can reverse the trends.
Environmental concerns are largely the preserve of those of wealthy elite nations such as New Zealand. Unfortunately in many less developed nations - especially the most populous countries such as China, Indonesia, and India - environmental concerns, especially for the need for more sustainable practices, are of little concern to many.
As an example, you refer to river pollution. You will be aware that to the Hindus, the Ganges is considered to be an extremely important God. Yet, it is heavily polluted currently having over 100 million litres of untreated sewage and nearly 2 billion litres of toxic industrial and other waste poured into it daily basis. Despite government initiatives over the past 40 years, these have failed to the extent that the level of pollution (e.g. coliform bacteria levels) are now up to 3,000 times safe drinking levels. The issue remains as there is a high level of disregard - including corruption by officials - even though the river being held in the highest esteem.
In practice, I see many of the population of these populous developing countries not buying into the need to address climate change.

No politicians do not. CC forces them out of the "grow for ever so we can keep our promises" mentality. What they are then faced with is the Emperor and his new clothes problem, ie say anything too early and get labeled a crackpot by the CC denying right of the political spectrum. However we are seeing now that more and more of the "cheering crowd" is observing the changing planet around them and starting to take the danger to themselves as serious.

"What does a senior politician do after the people of his country sack him?"

Have looked at what say Jenny Shipley does now (as an example)? she has lots of directorships as a payback.

Sanity? Have you followed some of the sources in this article? For example, one source takes you through to the twitter account of Roger Pielke who is well known for climate misinformation.

Would have thought we have a working demonstration of lack of Political will on this globally. The reverse of what you propose!

After the seeing the recommendations of CGT from this govt, I look forward to the recommendations of transitioning NZ to a Zero Carbon country by 2050.

Cannot wait to see how these bunch clowns propose to drag NZ to a developing country.

Cannot wait to see how these bunch clowns propose to drag NZ to a developing country.

NZ is far more developed than communist china ever will be. You are from the third world hsingmowang - never forget that.

Oil is gone from the world's economy by 2050 and probably more like 2030 so there will be no more "developing" anywhere.

I remember the predictions from the 1970 era about when we would run out. Fortunately for society, they were seriously incorrect.

I'm all for a change to a sustainable lifestyle and reducing the impact of humans on this fragile planet. The big crisis is the ever increasing number of people on this planet. This rock isn't large enough for the amount of population growth, regardless of whether the population miraculously changes to a sustainable lifestyle. At least China attempted something positive with their one child decree... it seems that all other countries would rather continue with their growth regardless of costs approach, and pretty much ignore the issues with increasing population. In my ideal world, families with more than two children would attract a large luxury tax. This would do a bit more for the future than any electric car...

You've been shifting the goal posts for years, good luck on being right one day.

221 years since the publication of his book warning of overpopulation , Thomas Malthus still has his loyal followers .... preaching our doom ... regardless of 221 years of being totally wrong ....

... you gotta admire their unwavering persistence .... and their stylish selection of tin-foil hats ...

I would hazard a guess that other species being pushed aside by us might argue with you there.

Where did you see the Government recommendations of CGT? They haven't published any yet. The Tax Working Group is not the Government.

He's completely ignorant about how a modern western government works, or how things are rightly criticised when there's a free press.

He also might be from the part of China that Japan never colonised, so he may have difficulty queueing, using toilets etc.

He certainly talks a lot of crap on here.

Maybe you miss the point. We need to prepare for the next version of world war - which is wiping out huge populations - climate criminality will inevitably be justification for extermination (to save us, the good guys, the "low" carbon lot). But wait, gee, oh yeh, wow, there's real science somewhere beneath all this shield bashing (yours included) - oh yeh - gee, mass extinction event yeh wow, gee how inconvenient for your lot if our lot decides you are a threat to our survival. Your gone mate. The only issues is, when it's a million years hence, will your genes be floating around still? Huh? Or will yours have dominated sufficient to wipe themselves out too? Tell me you know the answer to that mr i know everything.

Keep dreaming mate!


Brilliant brilliant brilliant article ! To me it is the replacement of Religion for putting fear into the masses sadly ! And I love the fact of not being a Global Warming believer automatically makes me a denier just like Religion did !

One is based on science. One is based on belief. Trying to conflate the two makes you look idiotic.

You win.


This is an excellent article highlighting the extremism of MSM reporting on climate change. Just last week I ran across a breathless MSM article showing how climate change could affect the shorelines in the next century, with photoshopped iconic famous coastal city landmarks completely inundated. Well, the reality is that one has to assume that the most pessimistic estimates for sea level rise are too low by over an order of magnitude to arrive at the values used for the article. Of course, if one points out this inaccuracy, one gets called a "denier". What happened to scientific competency? From what I've seen, in recent years most MSM are nearly illiterate in terms of knowledge of science, and how science works.

Yes, sea level is, and has been, rising in tropical and temperate latitudes. For amusement purposes, one should look at how sea level has been changing in polar latitudes due to the residual effects of the already melted glaciers from the last ice age. Also, understand that some places that are residing (such as New Orleans) are sinking due to factors completely unrelated to climate change, despite being directly caused by human intervention.


YK - There are some interesting places I've visited in Northern Finland that are still rising about 1.5 mil per year after having been compressed 100m from a kilometer of ice sitting on them in the past.

Yeah and this measles thing is also scaremongering. The article will go down well with the denialists, I guess there is a need to keep them coming back to

Not sure how it will go down well with denialists, since it doesn't deny climate change.
It certainly argues against the common perception of the extent of climate change - is that what you mean by denial?

Denialists call this guy a charlatan on a regular basis.


Did you even read the article?

This article has nothing in common with climate change denial. What it does, is to suggest that one should report on the reality of climate change instead of reporting wildly exaggerated claims that are not based on anything resembling science. We've already gone past the due date for some of Al Gore's exaggerated extrapolations from a couple decades ago. Those alarmist predictions have been replaced by newer and better alarmist predictions... I'll believe the scientists long before I'll believe politicians and non-fact based MSM reporting.

The bigger worry is the chicken little syndrome, where the reality continues to well undershoot the worst case scenarios. And, the worst case scenario is just that, worst case. There are some issues with assuming the worst case as the baseline case, which is what has been happening all over the world with the politicization of AGW. I'm pretty sure that farmers should be planting their crops assuming the baseline case instead of assuming a 100 year flood for every season. Yes, the farmer should have a contingency plan for the 100 year flood. But the farmer should not assume the worst case as baseline. And MSM reports almost solely the worst case scenario, and even makes wild extrapolations beyond the worst case... hence it is nice to see some sanity here instead of the usual chicken little alarmist articles.

The author isnt a CC scientist so is in no position to say anything bar his personal opinion.

" I'll believe the scientists long before......." actually I dont think you ever will.

Lucky he used references then.

Yeah right, click on the references. You'll be taking through to Roger Pielke who is well know for deliberate climate misinformation. NZders are so gullible!!!!!!!

Yeah right, click on the references. You'll be taking through to Roger Pielke who is well know for deliberate climate misinformation. NZders are so gullible!!!!!!!


I take it that your personal opinion is far less believable in that your personal opinion has zero citations. Science builds a consensus via research, building upon past work, and peer review. The appeal to authority argument is not scientific.

Science works via the evaluation of data regardless of the pedigree of the person that generates or collates the data. I've worked with PhDs that were worthless, and self-taught experts that were worth their weight in gold. What matters is the competency, not the number of letters behind ones name.

Good point, and neither are you!


I wonder if people have gotten the wrong end of the stick from this article? This is not a celebration of "climate change" not occurring, or not being anthropogenic.

Reading it, Bjørn Lomborg basically highlights:

1. Anthropogenic climate change is real and a problem.
2. There's no need for and no place for wild exaggeration of the effects.
3. The young protesters have a point: the world is failing to solve climate change.
4. The current policies being pushed are not sufficient on their own to address the problem.

He does not explore whether the cost of subsidising green energy is better or worse than the current subsidisation of non-green fossil fuel based energy.

Warming as a component of climate change is not the only element young people have every right to be pissed off at irresponsible development for, moreover. There is a global pollution pandemic that is affecting the future quality of life for young people, and the Holocene Extinction that will have very adverse effects:

What if it's all a big hoax and we clean up the environment for nothing?

We can't simply foist the cost of every single thing on to future generations.

Hear hear.

It's a piece of propaganda. Clever propaganda, but propaganda nevertheless.

Lomborg is all about placatory 'yes there is a problem, but do nothing now'. It appeals to a certain crowd, those with a need to believe,

"The world must invest more in green-energy research and development eventually to bring the prices of renewables below those of fossil fuels, so that everyone will switch".

Classic example. Hurry up and wait (keep on consuming). The fact that energy underwrites money, thus making a total mockery of 'price' where energy is concerned- is conveniently overlooked.

I'm surprised and disappointed by your response. The article was summed up by Rick's four points and the conclusion ""We need a calmer approach "" is what you need for the message you push about depletion of resources. I'd understood your many comments as implying Climate Change is a part of the serious issue - the way we are destroying our earth. Even old codgers worry about the world our grandchildren will inherit - if I didn't I wouldn't bother reading these articles on a sunny day.

CC's a piece of propaganda. Clever propaganda, but propaganda nevertheless.

CC is all about 'yes there is a problem,y'all are gonna Die unless You do what We say, and Soon (and BTW, Send Munny)'. It appeals to a certain crowd, those with a need to believe......

Seriously? Your "classic example" of "doing nothing now" is a quote of someone advocating "the world must invest more in green-energy research and development" now?

He is literally saying we now need to "invest more in green-energy research and development". This is him advocating doing this now.

(Also underwriting doesn't mean equivalent to.)

We don't need to 'invest in research and development'. We actually need to install ing known technology. We're too late to do anything else.

I'm 15 years down that track. There is no need to wait......

And no, I meant underwriting. No energy, no work. No work, nothing produced. So whatever you wave around (notes or digital representations) is at that point worthless.

These denialists think this ‘climate change thing’ will disappear if they can make silly little points on media. I wish it were so. Time they grew up.

Existing non-carbon tech does not deliver enough to support current populations. There are about 5 billion reasons to wait.

(Seems unlikely that the sun will be going out at anytime soon and the usefulness of money to trade on current versus future shall remain likewise undimmed.)

Wow @saving4ahouse , you have just committed 2 cardinal sins ........... getting personal and assuming xingmowang is a foreigner from a third world country .

It should be quite evident to you from his or her comments which show they have a very sound ability to articulate in English , and I would hazard a guess that this person is either someone who speaks English as first language or grew up here and was educated here .

Sorry I thought was an actual news site and not an arm of the entertainment channel FOX news.

Bjørn Lomborg...........a CC denier.

"Lomborg spent a year as an undergraduate at the University of Georgia, earned an M.A. degree in political science at the University of Aarhus in 1991, and a Ph.D. degree in political science at the University of Copenhagen in 1994. "

So not an actual climate scientist, ergo un-qualified to make such a declaration.

So when you listen to actual qualified and experienced CC scientists they are really worried, if not petrified.

Most scientist in the IPCC aren't climate scientists either.

Most but not absolutely all Climate Change scientists; it tends to be the older ones who are most skeptical - but don't worry they will die out.

Presumably then the quotes in his article that he references from the IPCC are false?
Just trying to bring it back to the actual words in the article.

They have a wide array of articles here. Lomborg is skeptical of the Kyoto Agreement/Paris Accords approach to dealing with climate change. The Paris Accord process has failed by every measure so far, so there might be something to what he says. Lomborg is of course labelled a climate change denier for consistently writing articles that confirm climate change, by the sort of people who never read the articles.

Environment is very important. You cannot ignore the environmental costs in expanding or sustaining human activities. However i find the focus on global warming and carbon foot print, a very bad example to focus on. Not that it is not very important, just that it is not the best place to start with. As the title "global" suggests, this is something that all the world should participate to be successful. This is never going to happen.

Water pollution, air pollution, unsustainable extraction of underground and surface fresh water, impact of farming and agriculture on soil, deforestation, overpopulation, waste and waste management etc, are all as important issues. In most cases, managing these will only require regional (and at times only country-wide) co-operations. Also, people see the impact of these matters on their lives much more directly and are more likely to have the incentive to do something about it. even in the poorest countries of the world. Focus on these matters and you are very likely to achieve meaningful, global environmental gains that will be beneficial for global warming too.

Anyone who says something is 'too costly' has to be discredited. Raworth this morning was quite clear about 'externalities' being the stuff we require to support life. That automatically eliminates anyone accounting in an externalising manner.

I searched the article for the phrase 'too costly' and can't find it. What do you mean. Is 'Raworth' the UK economist who wrote the book about donut economics? Where and what did she say?

She was on Nine to Noon @10'05 thiss morning. 40 minutes or so. No a particularly good interview but she shone regardless - very clear. Here for a Writer's Week I think....

I've been battling with her book for over a year now.

Jim Flynn's book is impressive - he is a believer if not a climate scientist - where he points out the importance of spending money on research. For a small fraction of cost of the promises in the Paris climate change agreement we could be researching nuclear fusion, sun reflecting sails in space orbit, fertilising the sea, solar panels at a 10% of current price, oil from algae, etc but activists seem to prefer the ineffective hair shirt solutions where the poor carry the cost so we get fuel taxes but no free public transport; no plastic bags but non-returnable milk and beer bottles and other simple stupidity that only is permitted by treating any criticism as 'denial'.

"Sun sails in space" "flertilising the sea". Those are not solutions but more of the horror story.
A real solution is to get the population on a glide path to less than a billion or so.
Then we can develop technology to give the species a really good time.

Some scientific facts one need to know before forming an opinion on whether anthropogenic warming exits.

Firstly - the theories developed in the 1800's on " heat trapping gases " were formulated prior to the development of Quantum Mechanics developed post 1900 which addresses the energy of photon's and radiant heat transfer.

Very very few of those advocating for human induce warming have recognised qualifications in thermal physics or quantum mechanics - a pre-requisite to comment on radiant heating of gasses.

The atmosphere cools with altitude - known as the lapse rate - about 6º / 1000 m on average globally.

The second law of thermodynamics plus common sense prevents any increase in temperature from a colder atmosphere to the warmer ground in conflict with all the diagrams showing radiant heating from a warmed atmosphere.

The largest heat transfer mechanism in the atmosphere is convection.

We are leaving an ice age - termed as in an interglacial period - so over long time frames we would expect to see natural warning.

The 1850's were described as a mini-ice age - observed globally - superimposed on the macro record.

It is almost certain that observed warming since then contains an element of natural warming. Yet the IPPC assumes this is all driven solely by increased CO2 levels. A quite absurd assumption given the starting point which just happens to coincide with the start of industrialisation.

The IPPC stated that temperatures today are similar to those observed in the medieval warm period - well documented with settlements in Greenland and Iceland by Norseman diaries.

The IPPC scientific report to the policy makers makes no reference to any fixed temp rise eg 1.5 or 2.0º and cautions on the difficulty of projecting future temperature increases due to the chaotic nature of the problem.

The temperature of any rotating solid body in orbit around the sun is determined solely by the temperature of the sun, the distance to the sun and the albedo or reflectivity of the body.

The temperature of the atmosphere is driven by the well known gas laws that state temperature is a function of pressure. Nothing whatsoever to do with the makeup of the atmosphere.

The temperature on six orbiting bodies has been measured by satellites entering the atmosphere and provided excellent agreement with this theory.

Burning coal produces pollution which darkens the atmosphere and will induce atmospheric heating - Anthropogenic yes - CO2 No !

Particulates from pollution settling on ice will induce incremental melting. Elementary physics.

The facts above would support a warming world, mostly natural, exacerbated by pollution.

CO2 enhances plant growth. WA has just had a record wheat harvest. The world is awash with soybeans and the price has fallen. There will be a benefit for food production from higher levels of CO2.

There is no need for alarm - there is nothing we can do except reduce atmospheric - mainly coal fired - pollution.

The world is in great shape !

""The atmosphere cools with temperature"" - can't deny that. Did you mean altitude?

""Very very few of those advocating for human induce warming have recognised qualifications in thermal physics or quantum mechanics - a pre-requisite to comment on radiant heating of gasses.""

If you leave your baby in the car today (sunny in Auckland) with the windows shut and the poor baby dies you will rightly be condemned by a judge and jury with no recognised qualifications in thermal physics or quantum mechanics.

Climate has always changed, history tells us that. There will be more people killed in the future through massive earthquakes and volcanic eruptions and NZ will not be exempt from these natural catastrophes. NZ was built by earth quakes and will continue to rise out of the sea, the Wellington earthquake in the 1860's and the recent Kaikoura earthquake being good examples.

Indeed. Just ask the simple question - why are shorelines where they are? And taking Christchurch as an example, why has the shoreline constantly prograded (marched towards the sea) despite millennia of SLR? Historically, warm periods have been dubbed 'optimums' by historians, because of the flourishing of human creativity observable over those periods. Not so much during the inevitable cooler periods - subsistence and a lack of surplus tends to prevail. Death rates during winters exceed those for summers, regardless of what temperature Summer reaches. Plus, there's a delightful March of the Thermometers downslope, towards the beach, well documented by data-capable folk. Data diddling is, I'm afraid, rife in the CC 'science' community. For our own good, mais naturellement....or their continued grant funding....

Shorelines change. Many factors other than melting icecaps. Even the worst projected sea level rise in NZ (say 10 metres) would leave the country quite habitable; some really hideous buildings in Auckland city would go but if it didn't happen overnight we would survive with just a little inconvenience.
However the rest of the world has some big issues. Take Egypt with 40m living on the nile delta - just the building of the Aswan dam has caused the rapid shinking of that delta. Add 50cm of sea level most of those 40m will need somewhere else to live. Any suggestions?

Go look here ( ) for what Australia looked like 15k years ago. Amazing that Tasmania and PNG were a part of the same landmass just 15k years in the past. Shorelines are not static creatures, and appear to be changing on a relatively small time-scale geologically. My current property is about 16 km inland on the edge of a very flat plain in Hawkes Bay, and has numerous rounded pumice stones below a shallow topsoil. To me, this indicates very strongly that it used to be on the shoreline within the last several thousand years. I know, I've no PhD in geology, but I happened to discuss this with a well known NZ geologist with a PhD. The result is that there has likely been reasonable uplift in the region, as well as ocean transport of significant pumice stones.

I used to go on holiday to Norfolk - medieval town and villages were miles out to sea. You only have to look at maps from 500 years ago.

Isostatic rebound from the last Ice age. Northern UK is rising, middle is shaking (we were on the Peak District canal a few years back and there was a 4.5....), lower England is sinking.

Correct. That plus low lying land that is either sandy or peat. I lived in Inverness - many examples of raised beaches but not on the west coast of Scotland so appears to be rotating.

So your proposed solution to managing SLR is to *hope* that we have tectonic uplift?

Your honour, the prosecution rests.

Prosecution has to make a case that is based on the data at hand.

I never stated my solution was for "hope" instead of addressing the problem.

First, define the problem. Then, define an appropriate solution. The idiotic MSM articles proclaiming a 20+ ft SLR in the next century are saddening. Yes, for many places, they need to plan for a change in sea level, currently averaging something like 1.7 mm per year. This is a bit higher than the average for the past century, matching a similar short term increase in the SLR of around 70-80 years ago. A prudent planner should be addressing something on the order of 140 -200 mm SLR in the next century. If the SLR accelerates, then the planning needs adjusting. Of course, one should look locally. The Alaskan coast (and places such as Norway) need to plan for the realities of isostatic rebound, which has a sea level drop on the order of 6+ mm per year in some locations. Plan for the reality, not some ill-informed politicians blanket edict.

BTW, if you are the prosecution, is Moe the judge, and Curly the jury? :)

Probably doing quite nicely out of it , between Trump type government bodies, and the oil and energy lobbies.

Typically if you refuse to listen to half the argument, you are missing half the argument.


He is a lobbyist who is opposed to the current climate change approach, which is only inherently a problem if the current approach is working. But since the current climate change approach is a structurally flawed mess that has failed on every level, I like to read alternative suggestions.

You have a point that we should be careful in evaluating his assertions because of who pays him. However he could change his mind and he wouldn't be poor overnight. Meanwhile most of the scientists who support the IPPC (the last I heard as 97%) cannot be too skeptical because they would lose their job and not be able to find another. A little care with both sides is reasonable. But admit it goes both ways.

My own expertise is computer programming - please, please be very very cautious of anything based on computer modelling - the more the variables the lower the reliabilty. Leave out variables and you are not modelling reality.

Quite depressing there is people who cannot accept the opinion of scientists. However, having a financial stake in the status quo probably has a lot to do this . Perhaps some of the posters should watch the flat earth society on Netflix , and see if they feel they are looking in the mirror .

Do scientists all have the same opinion? Are opinions even facts? Do scientists claim to be 100 right? How do you know if someone is a scientist?
Obviously you can only learn the answers to these questions by watching netflix!

Science is quite simple - if you think it's wrong then go ahead and disprove it

No that is called the argument from ignorance, a useful debating tactic, but not science. If science is quite simple, and you don't get it, what does that say about you?

"Science is quite simple" - anyone who says that wrt climate science clearly has no clue ...

Climate science is complex but the scientific process is simple. Conjecture > Model > Test > Repeat until Proven. If you disprove the model then science will move on to a new one.

It is true we won't find out till we find out when the time comes, however, I know I would rather find out later the majority of climate scientists might have been wrong but we did something about it, than we find out the sceptics were wrong and we did nothing because um, capitalism.

We should also invest at least 50% of GDP in defenses against ( possible ) alien invasion ; better safe than sorry , you know.

At least we have a pretty fair idea one of those two things is a real threat

I understand why there are comments about financial funding behind Lomborg but why is nobody either devout believer or strong denier debating this:
""... the unrealistic cuts in carbon dioxide emissions that almost every country has promised under the 2015 Paris climate agreement. In total, these cuts will cost $1-2 trillion per year. But the sum total of all these promises is less than 1% of what is needed, and recent analysis shows that very few countries are actually meeting their commitments. ""
Will anyone comment on the failure to meet commitments? Admit this agreement will not solve the problem?

The nub of it is that CC is the result of burning FF. And FF are the compact energy we have built our societies and expectations on.

That we are at global-forcing levels of activity, ecologically, has already been proven (the ozone hole for one). So it shouldn't surprise that we are forcing CC.

The problem is that our system is dependent on 'growth' and we are running into diminishing returns and diminishing quality, exacerbated by entropy. These non-CC issues mean we are out of time for 'research' (Heinberg calls it 'waiting for the magic elixir') so we have to go with 'proven now'.

And because lesser EROEI energy-sources will underwrite less, we have to kiss 'economic growth' goodbye as a goal. That is why the Paris Accord is being defaulted-on - nobody can abandon the fatal goal.

I once subscribed to your ideals PDK but the evidence is, that you are wrong, for reasons you don't understand. We are what nature made us to be, and we are flourishing!

We are flourishing in some quarters - an increasing cohort seem to want to be elsewhere......

And we are flourishing on the back of draw-down - exponentially increasing. So it can't last, and the crash time has to be getting closer with exponential rapidity.

And nature is full of species which overshoot their habitat - just this time it was possible to anticipate and avert. But we didn't get smart enough in time.....

In the main I agree with you. Trouble lies ahead. There are far too many 'cry wolf' media releases - but there really are wolves out there.

all of which is true .. but entirely meaningless without reference to a timeline.
The world will end ; this does not imply that it will end tomorrow or the day after or in the next 1K years.

I pray this has nothing to do with Climate Change debate!

Climate change 0.2% of GDP v the 90% of GDP that relies on FF, simple math and that is 'assuming' we could do anything at all to save that precious 0.2% of GDP. Build a bridge and get over it, life's too short to panic about crap you can't solve.
These social freaks aren't even practicing what they believe, like pedophile priests they preach sanctimony while practicing sodomy with their lavish lifestyles. For what? Likes on FB, twitter or Drive home in your car, enjoy ALL the benefits of the modern lifestyle and stfu.

At least a real and honest perspective of many alive today. "Enjoy today and stuff the next generations!"

You are quite likely producing far more CO2 than I am, and yet you are the one who wants 'everyone else' to do what you are unwilling and unable to do. I guess I could paraphrase that as "do as I say, not as I do"

I guess it's safe to say you completely made that up and are projecting onto someone you don't know. On the other hand, I simply acknowledged the reality of what you said.

The quality of info from Lomborg is very low. Here is a link to quality info from the Aust govt site:
Here is the rational wiki view of Lomborg:

He is to the debate what Dr. Oz is to medicine, a rodeo clown who frames his information to give audiences what they want (a quick- fix miracle cure) and cries censorship when confronted by actual scientists.

The rationalwiki has a repulsive style but maybe has some good links - I couldn't be bothered. The Aust govt website does seem to be good. So I chased down the best figures for recent sea level rise and two different links pointed to just over 3mm/year worldwide (plenty of local variation even around the stable continent of Australia). But 3mm extrapolated means < 0.5m by 2070 which is no cause for panic
I have my doubts and expect it to accelerate and have deliberately avoided low lying properties (5m above sea level) ever since my ex-wife bought in 1991. However the onus is me to argue that case - it certainly seems from the Aussie govt scientists that we need not be too worried.

Here;s a rational wiki quote relating to BL's quality:

In 2003, the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty (DCSD) issued a report in reaction to numerous complaints about The Skeptical Environmentalist. It ruled:

“”Objectively speaking, the publication of the work under consideration is deemed to fall within the concept of scientific dishonesty. In view of the subjective requirements made in terms of intent or gross negligence, however, Lomborg's publication cannot fall within the bounds of this characterization. Conversely, the publication is deemed clearly contrary to the standards of good scientific practice.

And the following line:

The Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (of which DCSD is a part) issued a statement repudiating the DCSD ruling due to procedural errors, largely over the definition of "scientific dishonesty"

An inconvenient truth, that...

Panic is never useful, however take a look around NZ at low lying areas. I visited rabbit Island last year, half the road has been chewed away in one part, the SI westcoast has numerous issues. The rate at the mo is 3.4mm/year forecast to increase. (NASA). The engineering community and Insurers are very concerned.

Those areas have been shifting and eroding long before global warming was even a thing. People are so ignorant of basic facts like that, it is frightening. Also it is 3.4mm per decade, which is on trend, starting hundreds of years ago. So go ahead and panic, but good luck trying to do anything about it.

Year not decade. From the aussie govt website

""After allowing for land motion at the tide gauges, our revised estimate of global mean sea-level rise for the satellite era (since 1993) is about 2.6±0.4 to 2.9±0.4 mm per year (the exact value depends on how we estimate land motion) – slightly less than the previous estimate of 3.2±0.4 mm per year.

Third, our revised record indicates that the rate of rise has increased over the last 2 decades (independent of how we estimate the vertical land motion), consistent with other observations of the increased contributions of water and ice from Greenland and West Antarctica. The acceleration is also consistent with recent projections, and larger than the twentieth-century acceleration. ""

"The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." H. L. Mencken

If you look at tide gauges around the world in places that aren't subject to tectonic lift or drop (which can now be measured accurately by GPS), sea levels are only rising at about 1-2mm/year, basically constant since 19th century (inconveniently before CO2 started to rise) with no significant acceleration. There is no apocalypse coming and NZ is likely to actually benefit from warming through improved agricultural output.

Got a referance?? Would that be from...Watts Up With That? (or WUWT) is a blog promoting climate change denial that was created by Anthony Watts in 2006.

Here's a presentation on the matter, concludes about 1mm/yr:
A 'techtonically inert" tide gauge in Denmark reading 1mm/yr
Prince Rupert Canada: 0.07mm/yr subsidence, 1.17mm/yr sea level rise so also 1.1mm/yr sea level rise:
New Lynn reference gauge in England, GPS confirms measures 1.8mm/yr long term GPS 0.7mm year subsidence, so 1.1mm/year net sea level rise:

Another blog post on UK sea level and land subsidence, confirms ~1.2mm/year sea level rise and shows subsidence map, interesting because it also shows no long-term acceleration - has been faster rise (over 50 year periods) in past than now.

Pointless to even worry about climate change. We are stuffing the planet, its not going to change anytime soon. The failure is to address the impossible issues connected with it and that is the fact there are simply to many people on the planet now and its still growing at an exponential rate. There would simply be no problems with a fraction of the current world population. How many people here remember the simple science experiment at school with the bacteria in the petri dish of agar ? join the dots.

Peak baby. Join the dots.
"Humanity has passed one of its greatest milestones, and yet almost nobody has noticed. We have reached peak child: the total number of babies in the world is no longer increasing. There will never be more children than there are today: the world’s population will continue to grow, but only because almost everybody is living longer."

"We have reached peak child. The number of children is not growing any longer in the world. We are still debating peak oil, but we have definitely reached peak child. And the world population will stop growing."

For something that threatens humanity's existence, i think it's pretty sane and humane to take a worried, precautionary approach. All the eminent scientists are worried about it, except a few outliers like this one trying to sell some books to the ostriches. Funny how some people believe in science with a religious fervour when it comes to their mobiles or Netflix, but reject that same rationality when it comes to Climate Change.

Thanks for the best comment. I don't approve of playing russian roulette. Calm discussion rather than panic. If I was a kid I wouldn't be taking a day off school tomorrow.

Climate scare profiteers. We should not be listening to people who get rich off promoting and sexing up the apocalyptic stories, particularly when there is so much dissent for the 'worse than we thought' line promulgated by the scare profiteers from scientists who do not stand to benefit. The data backing dangerous climate change is at best equivocal, and skewed by 1000's of little incremental interpretation and adjustment choices that are always biased towards 'sexing up', the suggested political fixes at best ineffectual and expensive, and globally adaption is inevitably the most economic option. Even if the worst case scenarios were correct the highest payoff solution would be to invest in energy R&D - which is worth doing anyway.

The inevitable coming of AI (likely in most of our lifetimes) is the only real existential danger for humans and life on earth.

This piece is climate change denial/obstruction masquerading as a return to sanity.

The article speaks of "decades of climate change exaggeration". People that use these kinds of phrases along with "climate alarmism" are pushing the narrative that climate change is not that big of a deal and we shouldn't do anything about it.

We are currently at around 1.1 degrees above the pre-industrial average. This is already causing massive damage. Last year an unprecedented heat-wave killed people all around the world, a million acres were burned in California wildfires, huge hurricanes etc etc. These extreme weather events are all exacerbated by climate change. This is to say nothing of the hundreds of millions of people affected by air pollution.

The UN says we are on track for around 4 degrees of warming by the end of the century, and things are going to get far worse.

"Reality would sell far fewer newspapers. Yes, global warming is a problem, but it is nowhere near a catastrophe. " This is textbook climate denialism. Global warming IS an absolute catastrophe and it's only going to get worse.

Climate change denial has evolved over decades from "It's not happening" to "it's not caused by humans" to "it's not that bad and we don't need to do anything about it."

The writer goes on to mention that the total loss of income from global warming is x.x%. This fails to look at the full picture. What about the impact of the many million future climate refugees ? What about millions of people dying from air pollution or extreme weather events.

Below is an article from the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the environment.

"Dr Lomborg now has a long track record of being an unreliable and inaccurate source of information about climate change. He devotes most of his writing efforts to churning out polemics for the opinion columns of newspapers which fail to fact-check his false claims. It is no surprise that his latest article appears in the ‘New York Post’. It is owned by News Corporation, whose stable of newspapers, including ‘The Australian’, ‘The Times’ and the ‘Wall Street Journal’, promote climate change denial while the parent company boasts of its efforts to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions."

Everything we have been trying for 30 years has failed, because the basic systemic response is useless. It has led to massive increases in global carbon emissions and accelerated climate change. Bjorn Lomberg (for all his faults) is putting forward a solution that offers on a practical level a vast improvement over the current Cap & Trade nonsense - a carbon consumption tax placed on the end consumer.

1.1 degrees of warming since the Little Ice Age - half of this warming was pre-1945 industrialization. Run for the hills. What rate of inter glacial warming would you like to see? I guess it would be nice if the Aboriginals could walk back to Tasmania again or do you like it more when they can't?

Quoting Bob Ward - please. How many IPSO complaints has he lost now? At least Bjorn finished his PhD.

Interesting that the Danish Meteorlogical Institute has advised that Arctic sea Ice thickening has continued on a 11 year trend of thickening.

Cooling ?