I was going to write a post about the whole Lomborg saga, but I really can’t be bothered writing too much. If you want to read about his many errors, you could read Graham Readfearn’s Guardian article. If you want to read a defense of Lomborg, you could read Roger Pielke Jr’s. Roger’s article makes the perfectly reasonable suggestion that we shouldn’t demonise academics, but fails to acknowledge that Lomborg is not an academic by any standard definition, that criticising what someone says is not demonising them, and fails to recognise the irony of suggesting that we shouldn’t demonise Lomborg, while essentially demonising his critics. In fact, if you want to read a good discussion of why Lomborg’s appointment is anything but academic, this is pretty good.
However, ignoring that Lomborg appears to have a rather tenuous grasp on the basics of climate science, my main issue with what he says is its simplicity. Take all the problems in the world, determine some kind of priority ordering, and then start at the top and work your way down – climate change, obviously, being well down the list. It’s as if Lomborg doesn’t realise that the world is a complex place and that many of the problems we face are related. We can’t necessarily solve something if we don’t also try to address many of the other issues at the same time. It’s this kind of simplistic linear thinking – and that some seem to take it seriously – that irritates me most. It reminds me of another theory that I saw presented some time ago.