In my view, Carl Pope has the stronger arguments, although there are some simplifications that could be abused if taken out of context (for example, "
One of Lomborg's seemingly stonger cards looks like the Copenhagen Consensus project whose global priority list ranks preventing HIV/Aids, ending agricultural subsidies and fighting malnutrition and malaria far above responses to climate change in terms of "where we can do the most good per dollar".
Lomborg must be aware of criticisms of the Consensus (the Copenhagen Con, I once called it), including those reported in The Economist, which championed it:
"...some members of the Consensus are dissenting. Thomas Schelling of the
At least as importantly, the either/or assumptions that Lomborg makes (for example, "If investing in cookers is more cost effective than windmills, we should do the cookers first") need to be tested against specifics, and the fact that we are looking at interlocking systems where benefits and disbenefits may feedback.
Further, Lomborg states that "Most analyses show that the carbon damage cost is less than $10 per ton".
The UK Government estimated the marginal damage cost to be £70 (approx $126) in 2000 prices, within a range of £35 to £140/tC, increasing by £1/tC per year in real terms (this equates to £20.44 per tone of CO2-e (Government Economic Service Working Paper 140).
According to the Carbon 100 report from Henderson Global Investors (no relation!) , "this suggests that as much as 12% of the FTSE 100 EBITDA could be at risk, with 26 companies having a carbon exposure greater than 10% of EBITDA".