Pharyngula

Lomborg is a hack

newtok

Oh, here’s a good takedown of that shill for the petroleum industry, Bjorn Lomborg.

Lomborg’s message to the newspaper readers has thus nothing to do with a fair portrayal of how much sea-level rise the scientific community expects. Rather it is a distortion and blatant attempt at downplaying future sea-level rise. Looking at Lomborg’s many other Project Syndicate columns shows that this is not a singular case but a regular pattern in his columns. This is all the more irresponsible given that Project Syndicate opinion pieces are widely reprinted by newspapers in developing nations, where reporting on the actual state of science is often poor and where people are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Earlier this year Lomborg travelled to Bangladesh to tell people there that “focusing on global warming instead of child nutrition is quite frankly almost immoral” (his standard false dichotomy).

It’s quite a thorough analysis, and exposes some of the most egregious of Lomborg’s sleights-of-hand. But here’s another very effective takedown: another long article on yet another small town in Alaska that’s disappearing into the sea.

Two decades ago, the people of this tiny village came to terms with what had become increasingly obvious: They could no longer fight back the rising waters.

Their homes perched on a low-lying, treeless tuft of land between two rivers on Alaska’s west coast, residents saw the water creeping closer every year, gobbling up fields where they used to pick berries and hunt moose. Paul and Teresa Charles watched from their blue home on stilts on Newtok’s southern side as the Ninglick River inched closer and closer, bringing with it the salt waters of the Bering Sea.

“Sometimes, we lose 100 feet a year,” Paul Charles told me, over a bowl of moose soup.

You know what’s immoral? Using one problem, child nutrition, to argue that we should ignore another problem, global climate change. Maybe we should recognize that food and climate are intertwined issues, and that you can’t make the world a better place by neglecting ongoing crises to plod through one problem at a time.