Last month the Australian government paid out $4 million for a Consensus Center that would be located at an Australian university to be headed by Danish researcher Bjorn Lomborg. The Australian center would have been modeled after Lomborg’s Copenhagen Consensus Center. The International Business Times states Lomborg’s outfit utilizes cost-benefit analysis to suggest to governments on how their funds can be better spent combating climate change including how assisting developing nations.
However, Lomborg’s ideas have had some set backs. Denmark ended up cutting funding for his Consensus Center in 2012 and Western Australia University just sacked the idea of having a Consensus think tank. According to Science Insider, scientists Down Under were furious at the expenditure since they have had to endure budget cuts resulting in losing star and closing labs. Furthermore, Lomborg is alleged to be a climate skeptic and UWA citing his two books The Skeptical Environmentalist and Cool It as the reason for the university turning the plan down.
I have read Cool It and Lomborg is not a climate skeptic in the least. He has said time and again climate change is real and I believe thinks humans are the cause of global warming. To his credit, Lomborg does not, however, buy in to the climate change hysteria. Rather than penalizing businesses and people in order to curb global warming, he points out more cost effective alternatives to help reduce poverty, disease and improve education. Bjorn Lomborg’s whole premise is that Earth’s climate has always changed and there are more effective measures that can be used to mitigate it without imposing onerous rules and taxes on the economy. In short, he believes we can adapt and survive like humans have done for thousands of years. Lomborg was in discussions with Prime Minster Tony Abbot for quite a few months before Abbot pledged money to a Consensus Center. Despite this setback the Prime Minister seems committed to having one in his back yard, respectfully.
I must admit to being concerned that Lomborg might turn out to be a Dr. Robert Stadler from the novel Atlas Shrugged when it comes to the climate change debate. In Atlas Shrugged, Stadler is a physicist and mentor to Ayn Rand’s hero John Galt. In her book, Stadler is portrayed as a man who loved ability in others, resented incompetence, was not envious and praised achievement. But at some point in the book Stadler came to lust after power where he would do anything to secure funding for his lab, the State Science Institute. Stadler essentially sold his soul to be socially acceptable. He is a man who is ultimately a coward, deliberately becomes evil and rejects his original principles of his own choosing.
Fortunately, Bjorn Lomborg has had little reason to give up his core beliefs. He came to his conclusions after reading economist Julian Simon’s book The State of Humanity which discusses the state of Earth’s environment and population growth. He and his entire University of Denmark research staff scrutinized Simon’s research and found Simon was correct on every one of his conclusions. It was after that that Lomborg published his book The Skeptical Environmentalist and, fortunately, he has consistently stuck to his guns refuting proponents of climate change hysteria and environmental doom and gloom. Good for him.
However, my impression with the sacking of an Australian Consensus Center at Western Australia University isn’t so much about scientists being angry as much as it is about misrepresentations of Bjorn Lomborg’s positions. In the Science Insider article, climate scientist Matt England is quoted as saying:
“Lomborg has been discredited over the years with some bizarre statements about climate physics,” England asserts. “He just doesn’t get it.”
Other researchers have objected to Bjorn Lomborg being appointed an adjunct professor due to his lack of an academic track record. However, the environmentalist is still hopeful that A Consensus Center will be in Australia stating that the attacks on him are grossly misinformed.