Why Failure in Copenhagen would be a success

an incredibly expensive folly – Linked on these blogs with Climate Change has found to be fake,  with The Day Global Warming Stood Still, with Climategate: the Whitewash Begins, with There Is No Consensus On Global Warming, with Call For Independent Inquiry Into Climategate as Global Warming Fraud Implodes, with Global Warming: Fixing the Climate Data around the Policy.

Published on Spiegel Online International, an essay by Bjørn Lomborg, December 7, 2009 – PART TWO
(See also /PART ONE).

… Right now, politicians are increasingly engaging in fanciful promises that have little or no chance of being fulfilled …

… It is important that research and development spending is devoted to developing new, alternative technologies instead of simply propping up today’s inefficient technology. We can find a case of the latter in Germany, which pays a huge amount to cut tiny amounts of carbon through supporting solar power. This support costs €0.43 per kWh, which is equivalent to spending €716 to cut every ton of CO2. Yet, the expected climate damage of each ton is about €4. 

The price-tag is phenomenal – estimated at €53 billion for the solar panels installed between 2000-2010 – yet the maximum effect will be to postphone global warming by just one hour, at the end of this century. This incredibly expensive folly is an example of a policy that feels good but does nothing.

Policymakers should abandon fraught carbon reductionoooo negotiation, and instead make agreements to invest in research and development to get alternative technology to the level it needs to be.

Since politicians first promised to cut carbon in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, we have wasted nearly 20 years without meaningful progress in our well-meaning but ultimately fanciful quest of cutting carbon emissions. We have no more time to wasste on a critially flawed response to global warming. (full long text, part two).

(Bjørn Lomborg, 44, is Statistician and the director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, an institute that researches strategies for environmental and climate issues and organizes conferences with economists and Nobel Prize winners. The Dane teaches as a professor at the Copenhagen Business School and is the author of Cool It, The Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming).

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