We need to find a middle ground on global warming to start tackling it effectively. Drastic carbon cuts won't workby Bjorn Lomborg / November 25, 2007 / Leave a comment
Published in November 2007 issue of Prospect Magazine
Discussion about climate change seems stuck in an unproductive dichotomy. One side argues vehemently that global warming is nothing but a grand hoax. The other side maintains that the planet is headed for catastrophe. In my book, Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming, I point out how neither side is right, and propose that we stake out a more sensible middle ground.
However, many people in this debate appear to identify almost tribally with one set of arguments. Kevin Watkins’s review of my book (Prospect, October) is a case in point. He claims that while I don’t deny that climate change is real, I understate the problems it causes.
In Cool It, I explore the impact of the most likely temperature increase over this century: the median estimate of a 2.6°C rise reached by the intergovernmental panel on climate change (IPCC), whose estimates start at 1.8°C and go up to 4°C. This seems too low to Watkins, who accuses me of having a “cavalier approach to scientific evidence” and then himself only talks about a rise of the magnitude of 4°C or 6°C.