Header graphic for print
Energy & the Law

What is the Best Way to Fight Rising Sea Levels?

Posted in Energy Policy, Environmental Policy

For the purposes of this conversation let’s agree that global warming exists, and let’s not argue about whether it is, as those who use big words say, “anthropomorphic”  “anthropogenic” or, as you and I might say, “man made”.

Bjorn Lomborg doesn’t focus so much on the causes of rising sea levels; he proposes alternative ways to address the effects. In his latest Newsletter he explains why he disagrees with the conventional reactions to the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy and advises what should be done to avoid future catastrophes.

His points are, among others:

  • The goal of reducing carbon emissions is far too costly for future generations to afford and won’t make a timely difference anyway. The benefits don’t justify the costs.
  • Because of those costs and the delayed effect it is, in his words, “morally irresponsible” to go about protecting coastlines by CO2 reductions. 
  • Carbon cuts won’t be effective for 50 to 100 years, during which time there will be much human suffering that could be avoided.
  • There are better, more practical, and quicker acting ways to address rising sea levels that attempting to reduce CO2 levels.
  • Prominent “environmental experts” such as Robert Redford and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg attract lots of attention but have it wrong.

Those who doubt Mr. Lomborg’s position will find comfort in several comments posted with the newsletter. 

A blog from Wendell Cox for the National Center for Policy Analysis on California’s Global Warming Solutions Act is an example of what Mr. Lonborg is worried about. The report questions whether cap and trade is a cost-effective way to reduce carbon emissions.   

An appropriate musical interlude ?