Will Bjorn Lomborg be compared to Al Gore?
At first sight, that sounds unthinkable.
Lomborg, a Danish statistician who wrote the book “The Skeptical Environmentalist”, argues that the world should develop cheap new green technologies before taking radical steps to fight global warming (…echoes of the policies of former U.S. President George W. Bush).
By contrast, former U.S. Vice President Gore won a share of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize after describing climate change as a “planetary emergency”.
But Lomborg makes a joking comparison with Al Gore in an interview with the Reuters Global Climate and Environment Summit to illustrate how he reckons debate is often polarised between people who fear global warming means the planet is doomed and others who dismiss it all as a hoax.
Lomborg wants the world to invest $100 billion a year in research and development of new green technologies to help make renewable energies competitive with fossil fuels. The problem is, he says, that some people conclude he’s suddenly embracing Gore-style action to confront climate change.
He says people usually denounce him as a denier of climate change because he says the issue is not a top priority. On the other hand, he said: “if you say as I do that we should spend $100 billion on this technology, people say: ‘Oh, he’s saying we must spend money, he must be Al Gore’.”
Is he right about polarisation of the debate?
(Pictures: Lomborg addresses APEC Ceo summit in Singapore, REUTERS/Michael Fiala, Nov 2009. Gore speaks at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York, Sept 2009, REUTERS/Chip East)