The Cynical Environmentalist

August 30, 2010

Rajendra Pachauri just gave Bjørn Lomborg’s book an endorsement. Surprising news, I suppose, from the man who once compared Lomborg to Hitler. Evidently,

“Lomborg will call for tens of billions of dollars a year to be invested in tackling climate change. “Investing $100bn annually would mean that we could essentially resolve the climate change problem by the end of this century,” the book concludes.”

A philosophy graduate student writes privately with the following insight:

Of course, that’s $100 billion per year to solve the problem “by the end of the century,” i.e. in the next 90 years, which means $90 trillion dollars [sic]. Could it possibly cost that much? And take that long? You know, call me a cynic, but it sounds like he’s high-balling the cost and the time-span to make it seem even more daunting, demanding, and fiscally impossible, thereby lending credence to the skeptics. But that’s just the cynic in me.

Even if it’s just $9 trillion dollars, that’s still a lot of dough. Good magazine has a slightly different cynical take.

Has Pachauri been had?


  1. Cynically put, it looks like a Breakthrough Institute ploy.

  2. Unlike Eli, Bjorn appears to know which way the wind is blowing.

  3. Many different enviro websites (i.e. Grist) have bashed Lomborg. I find much of his work sloppy and possibly suspect but I don’t see why greens don’t embrace this. Who cares why he is being portrayed as switching his views, run with the meme and use it to fight the denialists. Basically, one of your own switched and see how unreasonable you are being. But, that is just me — people love to keep a chip on their shoulder even when it does them no favors.

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