Some solutions are smarter than others.

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Bjorn Lomborg

Better solutions to storms
(and they have nothing to do with CO2)

When Sandy hit the east coast of the United States on October 29, it not only flooded the New York City Subway and became an important election issue. It also resurrected the claim that global warming was to blame, together with the morally irresponsible argument that we should help future hurricane victims by cutting CO2 emissions
Picture above show flooding in Staten Island in the aftermath of Sandy. But as Bjorn Lomborg points out in his latest Project Syndicate op-ed, tackling it by building seawalls and "storm doors" for subways would not only be cheaper than cutting carbon, it is the only way to help in the next 50-100 years.

Sandy: Bloomberg & blame
When Mayor Bloomberg blamed the damages from hurricane Sandy on global warming, it was not only tenuous or incorrect -- it took attention away from NYC's lack of preparation. A hurricane like Sandy was to be expected. Why didn't NY politicians prepare NYC better?
Bloomberg Businessweek´s cover: "It´s global warming stupid"Here, Bjorn Lomborg lays out the costs and benefits of two policy options to tackle future Superstorms.

A) a very cheap solution, where we within a few years would be much better able to handle 25ft of storm surge, with a large reduction of damages

B) an incredibly expensive, but very slow solution, where it will take a hundred years before we can avoid just a third of an inch to perhaps 1.5 feet of storm surge

Unfortunately, option A did not make it onto the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek.

Obama and the World
As part of Foreign Policy’s briefing for the incoming president, here is Bjorn Lomborg’s advice on climate change: "Realize it is a problem and that the current approach doesn't work. Then focus on green energy innovation - the only solution that has sufficient scope and sufficiently inexpensive."
Read the Climate Course Correction advice to Obama.

‘Saudi America’ by 2020
US shale gas and oil is redrawing the world energy map at an amazing speed.The International Energy Agency has just published its annual review. In the 2020s, it expects the US will produce more oil than Saudi Arabia. See Bjorn Lomborg's comment here.

Remember, shale gas reduces CO2 emissions, because gas emits 40% less than coal. Thus, the US has already reduced its emissions some 400-500Mt (about twice what Kyoto ever did for the entire world).

Things are getting better
In this talk Dr. Lomborg shows us how the argument for running out of resources and choking on pollution was dubious already when it was made, but has since proven spectacularly wrong. Despite us using ever more resources, we actually have more resources left over — because of technology: we have become better at finding, utilizing and extracting them. Despite ever higher production, we are actually polluting the air and water less, again because of technology: we pollute much less because of cleaner production and smarter design.

It does not mean there are no environmental problems. But we can stop panicking and start thinking smartly about how to tackle the remaining problems in the best possible way. See the hopeful 20 minute talk here.

Thank you for your continued interest and we hope you enjoy these occasional updates. If you do not wish to receive news about Bjørn Lomborg and the Copenhagen Consensus in the future, you can easily remove your email address from our mailing list by following the link at the bottom right.

Best wishes,
Zsuzsa Horvath
Executive Assistant to Bjorn Lomborg
US online phone number: +1-347-903-0979
Office cell in Budapest: +36-306920720