Cool It: Book summary and reviews of Cool It by Bjørn Lomborg

Cool It

The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming

by Bjørn Lomborg

Cool It by Bjørn Lomborg X
Cool It by Bjørn Lomborg
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Book Summary

Bjorn Lomborg argues that many of the elaborate and expensive actions now being considered to stop global warming will cost hundreds of billions of dollars, are often based on emotional rather than strictly scientific assumptions, and may very well have little impact on the world’s temperature for hundreds of years. Rather than starting with the most radical procedures, Lomborg argues that we should first focus our resources on more immediate concerns, such as fighting malaria and HIV/AIDS and assuring and maintaining a safe, fresh water supply—which can be addressed at a fraction of the cost and save millions of lives within our lifetime. He asks why the debate over climate change has stifled rational dialogue and killed meaningful dissent.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"But this really is not the point. The glaring error in "Cool It," and the one that disqualifies the book from making a serious contribution, is that Lomborg ignores the main concern driving the debate. Incredibly, he never mentions even the possibility that the world might heat up more than 4.7 degrees. Although he claims IPCC science as gospel, in fact the scientific body gives no single "standard" estimate as its official forecast for this century's warming. Instead, the IPCC provides a range of up to 10.5 degrees -- more than double the number on which Lomborg bases his entire argument." - Salon.

"Glib, misleading associations mark Lomborg's style. In his chapter on glaciers, he states that since "we're leaving the Little Ice Age" (which, in fact, we left long ago) it's not surprising that glaciers are dwindling. Remarkably, he believes that is more good news, because "with glacial melting, rivers actually increase their water contents, especially in the summer, providing more water to many of the poorest people in the world." "It boils down to a stark choice," he lectures us. "Would we rather have more water available or less?" - The Washington Post.

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More Information

Bjorn Lomborg is the author of The Skeptical Environmentalist. He was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2004 and has written for numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Economist.

After the publication of The Skeptical Environmentalist, Lomborg was accused of scientific dishonesty. Several environmental scientists brought a total of three complaints against Lomborg to the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty (DCSD). The charges claimed that The Skeptical Environmentalist contained deliberately misleading data and flawed conclusions.

In January 2003 the DCSD reached a decision on the complaints. The ruling was a mixed message, deciding the book to be scientifically dishonest, but Lomborg himself not guilty because of lack of expertise in the fields in question.

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