Lomborg is a hack


Oh, here’s a good takedown of that shill for the petroleum industry, Bjorn Lomborg.

Lomborg’s message to the newspaper readers has thus nothing to do with a fair portrayal of how much sea-level rise the scientific community expects. Rather it is a distortion and blatant attempt at downplaying future sea-level rise. Looking at Lomborg’s many other Project Syndicate columns shows that this is not a singular case but a regular pattern in his columns. This is all the more irresponsible given that Project Syndicate opinion pieces are widely reprinted by newspapers in developing nations, where reporting on the actual state of science is often poor and where people are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Earlier this year Lomborg travelled to Bangladesh to tell people there that “focusing on global warming instead of child nutrition is quite frankly almost immoral” (his standard false dichotomy).

It’s quite a thorough analysis, and exposes some of the most egregious of Lomborg’s sleights-of-hand. But here’s another very effective takedown: another long article on yet another small town in Alaska that’s disappearing into the sea.

Two decades ago, the people of this tiny village came to terms with what had become increasingly obvious: They could no longer fight back the rising waters.

Their homes perched on a low-lying, treeless tuft of land between two rivers on Alaska’s west coast, residents saw the water creeping closer every year, gobbling up fields where they used to pick berries and hunt moose. Paul and Teresa Charles watched from their blue home on stilts on Newtok’s southern side as the Ninglick River inched closer and closer, bringing with it the salt waters of the Bering Sea.

“Sometimes, we lose 100 feet a year,” Paul Charles told me, over a bowl of moose soup.

You know what’s immoral? Using one problem, child nutrition, to argue that we should ignore another problem, global climate change. Maybe we should recognize that food and climate are intertwined issues, and that you can’t make the world a better place by neglecting ongoing crises to plod through one problem at a time.


  1. Sili says

    Funny how it’s never war or business subsidies that are an (almost) immoral waste of resources.

  2. Bob Foster says

    Reading about this Blomberg fellow’s tactics made me realize that one could do this all day long. For example, should I worry about paying my mortgage or should I focus on my children’s dental care? I mean, I can’t possibly do both, can I? Or should I focus on Trump some more or should I think about what to make for lunch? Though that might be a poor example, since the one will ruin my appetite for the other.

  3. DataWrangler says

    Pretty much anything Lomborg says re: climate change amounts to a “Dear Muslima” to the entire world.

  4. mickll says

    Foreign children only matter to Lomborg and his paymasters insofar as they can be used as human shields by hacks like Lomborg to protect the coal and petroleum industries from criticism.

  5. F.O. says

    Wait, the town is between two *rivers*. While I do not question ACC, couldn’t that be the result of more local phenomena?

    Re Lomborg, The crank is still trying to get his “Consensus Centre” here in Oz, bribing the prospective host university with 4M$ of MY taxes. So far every university who even entertained the idea felt the risk to be tainted very hard.
    Our beloved government is only too happy to pander to him.

  6. madscientist says

    He’s much worse than a hack. In Australia the current federal government is trying hard to employ him as a special toady. His government mandate, should anyone give him office space, is to promote climate change denial *and* to come up with excuses to cut foreign aid – or as the politicians put it “direct foreign aid in a more productive manner”. The government had previously offered a university in Western Australia $4M to host Lomborg and if the government is providing the funding with typical conditions that means the coal, oil, and gas lobbies are chipping in another $4M. It pays to be a Real Shill, unlike most of us scientists and physicians who are only ever accused of being shills despite the absence of any credible evidence.

  7. Saganite, a haunter of demons says

    Diverting attention from global climate change by pointing to malnutrition is particularly fiendish – I’d even go so far as to call it “quite frankly almost immoral” – considering that global climate change will make food production a lot more difficult especially for the already poor or developing nations that have issues with properly nutritionally supporting their population to begin with. Ignore climate change and malnutrition will grow to be an even bigger issue in the coming decades.

  8. jufulu says

    I will have to see if I can find the cite, but Big Ag (or one of the Big Ag companies) has bought into Climate Change. They expect to see a large decline in production because of it. I don’t know about the Midwest output, but California has been definitely hit with a large reduction food production for some years now.