Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Mudded moderation

Andy Revkin describes Newt Gingrich, Bjorn Lomborg, Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger as "centrists" on climate change who eschew the alarmism of the left and the denialism of the right.

But to be alarmed and raising the alarm about anthropogenic climate change is not wrong, any more than it would be wrong to raise the alarm if there is a high probability of an uncontrollable fire on the floor below yours in a building.

In such circumstances, clear thought, determination, organisation and optimism are necessary. So yes to careful consideration of relative priorities and emphasis on solving the problem. But no to ignoring the full nature and extent of the risks and the measures needed to meet them.

Partha Dasgupta accurately describes Lomborg's mistake as "Muddled concreteness".

[P.S. 14 Nov: an exchange between Dave Roberts and Revkin.]

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