Talking About Green Jobs Might Impede Action on Climate Change

Advocates of true action on climate change do not have an easy job to do. Scientists keep producing evidence of dangerous man-made climate change, the IPCC keeps producing reports that summarize that evidence, activists keep doing their activism… Meanwhile, politicians, and decision-makers more generally, keep talking and the society at large sticks to business-as-usual. No wonder that the “alarmists”, as we are sometimes called, are steadily looking for new powerful arguments. In hope either that a specific single argument will suddenly make people wake up and act on climate change, or that the accumulated mass of arguments will do. One such argument is about so-called “green jobs”. Clean technology investments are presented as a great opportunity to create jobs, as a growth booster. However, in this specific case, the well-intentioned pro-climate-action argument might actually be a shot in the cause’s foot. Continue reading

(Partly) Right for the Wrong Reasons

Some time has passed since I commented (i.e., criticised) on Bjørn Lomborg’s writings for the last time. His most recent activity (an article on Project Syndicate) is, however, inviting for another round of critique. Actually, there is not much newness to be found in this piece by Lomborg. But because it kind of summarises his views, it may be worth a brief investigation. Continue reading

Bjørn Lomborg. A Critique

Zielona Grzybnia’s readers may have noticed that my opinion about Bjørn Lomborg, the famous Danish “skeptical environmentalist” (as he calls himself), is rather low. He is one of the most prominent voices in the public discussion on climate change. And, although he sometimes makes important points, in general his work in the field of economic and political analysis of climate change must be viewed with skepticism and criticism. Continue reading

Nuclear Power or Fossil Fuels?

Here an update Nuclear Power or Fossil Fuels?, Revisited, including a changed attitude toward the problem.

I already almost have specialized in commenting on articles by Bjørn Lomborg, the (in)famous “Skeptical Environmentalist”. Today I will do it one more time.

It is a sad true that we often have to choose between alternatives which we don’t like – deciding on what is better, not what is good. In his recent article my favourite politologist argues that we have to make a decision: do we want to rely on electricity generation from nuclear power or from fossil fuels?, since renewables are still too expensive and cannot close the gap if we would like to abandon both. As one can think, I don’t agree with Mr Lomborg – otherwise I wouldn’t be writing this post. I will argue that, first, we cannot but abandon both, and, secondly, it is not necessarily true that we cannot afford a switch to renewables. Continue reading

Lomborg Again

This time I must admit, I agree with the general message of the new article by Bjørn Lomborg, whom I normally am rather critical about (see here and here). In “A Race to Hunger” he is commenting on the recent boom in the so called biofuels, using the example of the US.

What is the problem with biofuels? Despite some imperfections in his argumentation, Mr Lomborg is generally right – while there is the claim from politicians especially that biofuels are an important contributor to the transition to a “emissions free” world, there are many reasons to reject this idea. Continue reading

Bjørn Lomborg and Green Jobs

One of my “favourite” authors writing extensively on the economics of climate change, Bjørn Lomborg, has attacked in his new article those who are predicting that the transition of economies to “green” ones is going to create a lot of new jobs – “green jobs”, as they are called. I am not a specialist in the area of job markets, but I would like to point out some flaws in Mr Lomborg’s argumentation. Continue reading

Lomborg Changed His Mind?

For most people knowing a bit about the global warming discussion the name Bjørn Lomborg should be common. He is a Danish political scientist and writes a lot about (the economics of) climate change. He calls himself a “skeptical environmentalist” (he once was a member of Greenpeace) and is a highly controversial author – while admitting that there is a man-made global warming, he long claimed that mitigation of it wouldn’t be worth the trouble. Instead we should concentrate on adaptation and solving other problems like poverty. Continue reading