“Ensuring free trade would make almost everyone much better off.” Cool It, 45
Lomborg opposes government spending on costly methods of climate mitigation and energy efficiency measures, but advocates government-sponsored investment in energy research and development of climate modification technology.
Lomborg believes that a shift away from fossil fuels will be necessary in the long term, but shouldn't occur until alternatives become completely economically viable. In the meantime, money should go towards raising the standard of life on a global scale (see On Prioritize Human Health and Equity). And, he argues, we must strengthen market growth and government investment in R&D necessary to yield innovations that will eventually make climate mitigation cost-effective.
“Climate models uniformly show that that for all the economic havoc that such carbon cuts would likely wreak, they would have a negligible impact on global temperatures.” Europe's Determination to Decline
“There are many circumstances in which environmental intervention is necessary if we are to prevent unnecessary pollution and avoid people shunning their responsibilities. However, we should only intervene if it is reasonable to do so, not simply because myth and worries lead us to believe that things are going downhill.” Skeptical Environmentalist, 32
Dense urbanization has significant benefits to human health and well-being, argues Lomborg: “In more densely populated areas, the most serious infectious diseases… become less of a problem the closer the buildings are together, because less space is left for the swampy areas…. Moreover water supplies, sewage systems and health services are considerably better in urban areas than in rural ones… ‘cities are growing because they provide on average greater social and economic benefits than do rural areas” Skeptical Environmentalist, 49
The myths of green living, according to Lomborg, mask the true difficulty of changing our energy use: “Moral posturing about global warming is easy, and it feels good. Actually doing something to solve the problem—like committing serious amounts of money to green energy research and development will take real effort and sacrifice.” Obama Gets Reasonable on the Environment
“It's like when your family has to decide where to live. It would be nice to have a great house and be close to a good school. But there's also a budget restriction.” Bjørn Lomborg feels a Chill
“It's clear that they [human health and climate change] are all interrelated. But one of the things that seems curious in the climate change discussion is the insistence that climate change is linked to all these other issues. But they are equally linked back. When we talk about how global warming is going to make people more vulnerable to malaria, that's absolutely true. At the same time, rampant malaria is going to make everyone much more vulnerable to climate change. In a perfect world, we should fix all problems. But in a world where we haven't fixed all the problems in the last 50 years, it makes sense to ask, 'If you fix a large chunk of malaria, how much good do you do?'” Bjørn Lomborg feels a Chill
Only when we get sufficiently rich can we afford the relative luxury of caring about the environment… higher income in general is correlated with higher environmental sustainability.” Skeptical Environmentalist, 32-33
The WHO estimate of the distribution of Years of Life Lost caused by ten important risk factors. (source: The Skeptical Environmentalist)
For Lomborg, we will only be able to withstand climate change risks if we can effect greater human prosperity.
Lomborg staunchly advocates for prioritizing issues based on cost-benefit analysis, which asks whether the cost of revamping our energy systems is worth the benefit gained from curbing global warming.
Bjorn Lomborg is a Copenhagen-basted statistician, economist and copious footnoter who advocates for a cost-benefit approach to environmentalism. He is an adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School and founder of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, where he seeks to prioritize human health concerns and solutions based on their cost-effectiveness. As author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist," Lomborg argues that worries of environmental disaster are overblown in light of human ingenuity and progress. In "Cool it," he suggests solving current human health issues will have a greater net positive than implementing expensive climate change policy.