Lomborg on Intergenerational inequities in exposure to climate extremes

Spread the love

Originally tweeted by Bjorn Lomborg (@BjornLomborg) on October 3, 2021.

New study: climate makes children born today experience 2-36x more climate catastrophes

Lot of media coverage

But study assumes everyone stays poor and do nothing to adapt

Not remotely true of real world

So, what’s the point, except to scare?



To predict 2100, scary climate study assumes nobody does anything after 2005

– how does that inform real-life decisions?

They don’t even tell you this in main study – you have to read the supplementary material, almost as if they don’t want you to know


Predicting the world in 2021 with 1926 data is awful

Since 1926, sea levels risen 15-20cm so prediction: drowned significant parts of the world

But human ingenuity actually means that *more* land has been reclaimed than lost!


Scary climate study cherry-picks events that they know will get worse

Not useful way to guide policy

but great way to scare

(they also introduce ref37, which describes all their data better

Scary climate study shows that fires burn more and more

In reality, global burned area has *declined*

But, of course, if you ignore societies controlling fire…

Not useful to guide policy

but great way to scare


Scary climate study uses fire model that doesn’t really work

And acknowledges that human action could reverse ”any of the trends found here”

But while this is useless to guide policy

it is great for scaring


Global fire history shows ever less area burns because of human fire suppression

Climate policy will make fire decline even more

This sort of information can help policy-makers

But, of course, pretty useless for scaring young people senseless

Refs here

Scary climate study claims much more fire (red line)

But 𝗼𝗻𝗹𝘆 true if ignore CO₂ and fire suppression from society

If included, Nature study shows *completely* different outcome

Red line useless for policy, but great for scaring


Scary study shows more flooding, but ignores social factors:

Not surprisingly, humans can avoid most flooding, if they are not poor

Ignoring obvious adaptation — like levees and dams — doesn’t inform but simply scares


Compare the impact on coastal flooding from rising sea levels:

As humanity gets richer (SSP1 or SSP5), it will protect itself ever better, and ever fewer will get flooded

Informative, but not scary


Scary climate study finds more and more hurricanes

— although they *know* that ”most … models project fewer hurricanes in a warmer world”

While not informative, claiming more hurricanes obviously great for scare stories


Scary climate study finds more and more hurricanes

— but the UN Climate Panel from 2021 finds that the frequency “will decrease or remain unchanged with increased global warming”

How is this not deeply problematic?

Scary climate study expects more hurricanes and model that humanity will do nothing

— although we’ve always tackled hurricanes, and adaptation can ”reverse any such trend”

But great for scaring young people


Scary climate study expects more crop failure and expects humanity will do nothing

— although changing cultivars, fertilizer, pesticides, irrigation can reverse this

But narrative great for scaring young people

Scary study predicts more and more crop failures because they ignore adaptation

WHO estimate for malnutrition: declines dramatically because of less poverty. Climate simply slows down the decline slightly

But scaring people is apparently much more fun


Scary article blatantly tells you (in supplementary material) that they only look at potentially bad stuff, but in reality, things might get better

Well, here are actual damages for global weather-related losses — declining

Scary climate article tells you: children of the future will experience many more climate disasters

But they ignore adaptation and many of their models are just plain bad

Demand policy-relevant information, not just scares



Originally tweeted by Bjorn Lomborg (@BjornLomborg) on October 3, 2021.

via Watts Up With That?


October 3, 2021