The Heat from ‘Cool It’


There is a new documentary out that is causing quite a bit of controversy, on the mistakes and exaggerations of global warming. For some, it is the response to Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth”. It is called “Cool It” and despite its potential for generating controversy, has been surprisingly well accepted. One good way to learn is to look at what the opposition is saying. Andy Revkin from the New York Times, a long time advocate of climate change and personally very involved in the issue has a surprisingly positive view on the documentary. You can see Revkin’s comments here and Lomborg’s own answer to questions and criticisms here.To me, it seems like the final strike to a ‘cultural narrative’ that is dying, as I mentioned here.

Lomborg’s approach seems to be not to contest climate change on scientific grounds, but rather on economic and cultural grounds. With the information we have, what should we do? In unraveling that question Lomborg seems to give responses very similar to many serious academics committed to climate change but disenchanted with the responses in the popular media, such as Roger Pielke Jr., Max Boykoff, Judy Curry and others.

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2 thoughts on “The Heat from ‘Cool It’

  1. Lomborg raises some interesting elements of the ongoing global warming debates.There is scientific evidence supporting alternative explanations and consequent solutions, but we have gaps in understanding of what an opposing view is really saying. We see a so called established “consensus” and dogma that will not entertain any alternative and if one disagrees then he/she is deemed a heretic.

    History is filled with examples where the “case was closed” on an issue only to be changed with new evidence. The question is raised as to how can we remain open to new evidence and consequent solutions to a problem like global warming. Lomborg’s ideas suggests an answer – focus on the needs of people and filter actions through that lens. In his case he defines general R&D and geoengineering solutions. Irrespective of his approach, I believe it is indicative of what John Paul II said and Benedict XVI has been saying about solutions need to be reflective of the dignity of the human person.

    • I think you have a point, but I am not so confident about geo-engineering(GE). I am no expert but my impression is that GE carries a whole set of other problems with it, and rings of technophilia. To order a bit the 3 basic options on action for climate change here are the alternatives: 1. mitigation (what Lomborg argues against and has been in vogue as part of the dogma) 2. GE and 3. Adaptation. I find 3 much more in line with the dignity of the human person and consistent with a Catholic env. approach. It is fundamentally assisting those in need, the poor. GE implies some ‘ playing God’ by altering the climate system which we understand little about. Helping the poor… something we should be doing anyway.

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