Friday, 29 September 2006

The Nutty Professor

Sometimes I cannot believe what some scientists produce in the face of overwhelming counter evidence. Today step forward this article in the Scotsman about Professor Bjorn Lomborg wrtier of the Skeptical Environmentalist.

OK I agree with him on one point that we need to spend more on tackling global poverty. However, how does he expect us to be able to do so if we are unable to support ourselves properly by not simultaneously tackling climate change.

Here are some flaws in that article:

He says a two degree increase in temperature would benefit developed countries like Scotland.

1. How does he intend to stop it after only a 2 degree rise. Has he discovered and patented some magic switch than can stop the trend.

2. He says that 2 degree increase will be beneficial to developed countries, does he fancy saying that to the Netherlands, Belgium, Louisiana, Florida or the people of East Anglia for starters.

3. The two degree estimate is a global average. The environmental impact possibly on Scotland might be reversed. We enjoy current good temperatures courtesy of the Gulf Stream will that flow of warmer water still end up at this latitude if global temperatures increase by 2 degrees, the last time this happened was during the time of the ice fairs on the Thames. Therefore Prof Lomborg may be condeming more Scots to death due to cold weather rather than less.

Ironically he says that what is needed is for Scotland to set aside National Parks, he's obviously forgetting the Cairngorm National Park (3800 sq kms) and the Loch Lomond and Trossachs (1865 sq kms). But in setting these aside he also says we should set aside over fertilisation and industrial pollution.

Now hang on. If we cut down on industrial pollution especially emmissions are wwe going some way to combatting climate change? Now I don't know how much Environmental and Economic Studies Prof. Lomberg did during his Political Science studies, however, he would have been studying the same experts on that subject as I did at the end of the 80s and early 90s. Since then the trend has become even more strongly in favour of tackling climate change.

Professor Lomborg says tackle global poverty and forget climate change. I say what is wrong with doing both, concurrently and sucessfully.

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