By Bjorn Lomborg

“Gore and others often argue that if the science of climate change concludes that CO2 emissions are harmful, it follows that we should stop those harmful emissions, and that we are morally obliged to do so. But this misses half the story.”

Bjorn Lomborg

Bjorn Lomborg

DISCUSSIONS about global warming are marked by an increasing desire to stamp out “impure” thinking, to the point of questioning the value of democratic debate. But shutting down discussion simply means the disappearance of reason from public policy.

In March, Al Gore’s science adviser and prominent climate researcher Jim Hansen proclaimed that when it comes to dealing with global warming, the “democratic process isn’t working”. Although science has demonstrated that CO2 from fossil fuels is heating the planet, politicians are unwilling to follow his advice and stop building coal-fired power plants.

Hansen argues that “the first action that people should take is to use the democratic process. What is frustrating people, me included, is that democratic action affects elections, but what we get then from political leaders is greenwash.”

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