The establishment media, relying largely on the comments of global-warming activists, misreported the climate-change report issued by the federal government, contends the head of an economic think tank in a New York Post column
Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, which holds a conference of prominent economists held every four years, argued activists “tend to exaggerate the impacts of climate change while underestimating the costs of tackling it.”
A former director of the Danish government’s Environmental Assessment Institute in Copenhagen, Lomborg said the reception to the 1,600-page climate change report compiled by 13 federal agencies and more than 300 leading scientists was “instructive.”
While the report “largely attempts to remain soberly scientific, and follows the even more careful global report by the United Nations climate-science panel,” he wrote, “accurate science doesn’t make for good television; predicting the end of times does.”
Among the many examples, he said, is climate scientist Michael Mann telling NPR and CNN the report’s predictions are already borne out in the current “unprecedented weather extremes.”
The assessment doesn’t say that, points out Lomborg, the author of bestselling book “The Skeptical Environmentalist,” which contends the proposed costly measures to combat global warming would have minimal impact.
The government report states drought statistics over the entire contiguous U.S. have declined, and the “Dust Bowl era of the 1930s remains the benchmark drought and extreme heat event.”
In addition, the report notes that the IPCC “did not attribute changes in flooding to anthropogenic [human] influence nor report detectable changes in flooding magnitude, duration or frequency.”
Lomberg also provides missing context for CNN’s headline warning “climate change will shrink [US] economy” by 10 percent.
He points out the U.N.’s climate scenarios envision GDP per capita will more than triple by the end of this century. That means the 10 percent reduction would come from an economy 300 percent larger than it is today.
Further, he questions the 10 percent figure, calling it “unrealistically pessimistic.”
“This stems from an extreme high-emission scenario that expects almost the entire world to revert to using massive amounts of coal: a five-fold increase from today,” he wrote.
When President Trump was asked about his government’s climate report before boarding Marine One on Monday, he said he did not believe its finding that warming would reduce the economy by 10 percent by the end of the 21st century.
On Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the report is “not based on facts” but on “the most extreme modeled scenario, which contradicts long established trends.”
Lomberg said the “idea that warming will shrink the economy by 10 percent disregards huge economic growth, assumes twice the damages of the worst-case temperatures the report itself expects and even then only finds such high costs stemming almost exclusively from easily preventable heat deaths.”
While he agrees with the “need to speed up the transition from fossil fuels by investing in green R&D,” reporting on climate change “needs to be grounded in reality.”
“Exaggeration is understandable but dangerous, because it risks wasting resources on the wrong policy answers, and gives ammunition to those who would ignore this real challenge.”