Best-selling science fiction author Michael Crichton has penned a glowing review of Bjorn Lomborg's soon to be released book "Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming."
For those unfamiliar, Lomborg is an adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School and former director of the Environmental Assessment Institute. Although he believes in anthropogenic global warming, his controversial view is that there are far more serious problems facing the planet that governments should spend time and money solving.
As a result, his "Skeptical Environmentalist" series of books continually evoke great debate internationally.
With that in mind, the following are snippets of Crichton's review of Lomborg's most recent installment (emphasis added, h/t Glenn Reynolds):
Bjørn Lomborg is the best-informed and most humane advocate for environmental change in the world today. In contrast to other figures that promote a single issue while ignoring others, Lomborg views the globe as a whole, studies all the problems we face, ranks them, and determines how best, and in what order, we should address them.
Lomborg is only interested in real problems, and he has no patience with media fear-mongering; he begins by dispatching the myth of the endangered polar bears, showing that this Disneyesque cartoon has no relevance to the real world where polar bear populations are in fact increasing. Lomborg considers the issue in detail, citing sources from Al Gore to the World Wildlife Fund, then demonstrating that polar bear populations have actually increased five fold since the 1960s.
Lomborg then works his way through the concerns we hear so much about: higher temperatures, heat deaths, species extinctions, the cost of cutting carbon, the technology to do it. Lomborg believes firmly in climate change--despite his critics, he's no denier--but his fact-based approach, grounded in economic analyses, leads him again and again to a different view. He reviews published estimates of the cost of climate change, and the cost of addressing it, and concludes that "we actually end up paying more for a partial solution than the cost of the entire problem. That is a bad deal."
In some of the most disturbing chapters, Lomborg recounts what leading climate figures have said about anyone who questions the orthodoxy, thus demonstrating the illiberal, antidemocratic tone of the current debate. Lomborg himself takes the larger view, explaining in detail why the tone of hysteria is inappropriate to addressing the problems we face.
It is plain to see why Lomborg is such a controversial figure, as he is not afraid to call a spade a spade regardless of who might find such straight talk inconvenient.
Speaking of which, Lomborg is the person soon-to-be-Dr. Al Gore chickened out of an interview with in January (emphasis added):
The interview had been scheduled for months. The day before the interview Mr. Gore's agent thought Gore-meets-Lomborg would be great. Yet an hour later, he came back to tell us that Bjorn Lomborg should be excluded from the interview because he's been very critical of Mr. Gore's message about global warming and has questioned Mr. Gore's evenhandedness. According to the agent, Mr. Gore only wanted to have questions about his book and documentary, and only asked by a reporter.
As such, Lomborg is on a growing list of people that have challenged Gore to debate his junk science.
Of course, the Global Warmingist-in-Chief doesn't accept such challenges.
Why should he?
Or hadn't you heard that the debate is over?