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“Thus, we need to abandon the Kyoto process”

December 23, 2007

I’ve just spent 1.5h this day before Christmas Eve doing something I wholeheartedly recommend everyone else to do as well – reading Bjorn Lomborg’s book on climate change.

Named “Cool It” (and yes, while I am a quick reader it is quite short) it makes an excellent case explaining that even though humans indeed cause some of the climate change in the world our response to that should be to basically continue on the same path as we already are instead of throwing money on projects like Kyoto that actually might cause more harm than good.

Select excerpts:

  • With Kyoto we can avoid about 140,000 malaria deaths over the century. At one-sixtieth the cost, we can tackle malaria directly and avoid eighty-five million deaths
  • When focused on water scarcity, we see that global warming actually makes water more available. We found that climate change would improve access for a net 1.2 billion people, and Kyoto would actually make matters worse
  • global warming makes flooding more likely, but other policies are vastly superiour in dealing with flooding [—] For every dollar spent on Kyoto, we could do 1,300 times more good through smarter social policies
  • global warming will probably mean more malnourished [—] For each person saved from malnutrition through Kyoto, simple policies – like investing in agriculture research – could save five thousand people

We should spend money on what matters, raising the living standards and mean income of the whole world. That will naturally, like it has all over the developed world already compared to the last centuries, take care of many of the problems popularily associated with climate change (yes, even the somewhat rising sea levels). The way to do this is through R&D, globalization and free trade. Now, how often do you hear those words being uttered by Greenpeace (et al) in a positive way?

Alfred Nobel, being a reasonably clear headed scientist, is probably creating a vortex in his grave at this very moment.

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