Bjorn Lomborg and the Climate Change Catastrophe at the New York Times

From Common Dreams:

by Howard Friel

Two days ago, the New York Times published an opinion piece by Bjorn Lomborg titled, “The Poor Need Cheap Fossil Fuels.” He began: “There’s a lot of hand-wringing about our warming planet, but billions of people face a more immediate problem: They are desperately poor, and many cook and heat their homes using open fires or leaky stoves that burn dirty fuels like wood, dung, crop waste and coal.” He reported: “About 3.5 million of them die prematurely each year as a result of breathing the polluted air inside their homes.”

Lomborg’s remedy for both global poverty and the cookstove fatalities: “Let’s face it. What those living in energy poverty need are reliable, low-cost fossil fuels, at least until we can make a global transition to a greener energy future.”

Lomborg cited no published source to support his claim that “cheap fossil fuels,” including coal, are the solution. Nor did he explain how building a massive fossil fuel infrastructure throughout sub-Saharan Africa, a focus of his piece, is at all consistent with a “transition to a greener energy future.” For one thing, there wouldn’t be any “green” future in Africa or anywhere else. And Lomborg’s fossil fuel advocacy isn’t supported by the published sources on these topics.

For example, a 2011 World Health Organization reportendorses “improved biomass cookstove designs that can substantially reduce indoor air pollution, as well as biogas stoves that very efficiently burn methane produced by sewage and animal waste as a clean household fuel.” The WHO report said nothing about fossil fuels.

Furthermore, in a 2011 resolution, the United Nations General Assembly declared 2012 the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All. The resolution’s chief concern was “that over three billion people in developing countries rely on traditional biomass for cooking and heating, [and] that one and a half billion people are without electricity.” While advocating “modern energy services for all,” the resolution issued no express preference for fossil fuels, and emphasized “the sustainability of energy sources … for the achievement of internationally agreed development goals, including … the protection of the global climate.”

Continue reading at:

Posted in Uncategorized. Comments Off on Bjorn Lomborg and the Climate Change Catastrophe at the New York Times
%d bloggers like this: