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?
, 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
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
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