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Looks like Bjorn Lomborg was right that 22 years ago

Summary:
Lomborg’s Skeptical Environmentalist was first published (in Danish) 22 years ago. In which he said - and we paraphrase wildly - that climate change wasn’t that much of a problem. For solar power was going down in cost by some 20% a year. Had been for decades and there was nothing very much that said this wouldn’t continue.Yes, entirely true, it’s not simple to run an industrial civilisation this way but insolation is such that if we can make it cheap enough then it’s entirely possible. That price drop meaning that we didn’t have to do much more than keep feeding the researchers and wait.Just a few years ago, low cost natural gas was the main force pushing coal out of the power generation market, and now low cost solar power is sneaking up on low cost natural gas. So far the competition is

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Lomborg’s Skeptical Environmentalist was first published (in Danish) 22 years ago. In which he said - and we paraphrase wildly - that climate change wasn’t that much of a problem. For solar power was going down in cost by some 20% a year. Had been for decades and there was nothing very much that said this wouldn’t continue.

Yes, entirely true, it’s not simple to run an industrial civilisation this way but insolation is such that if we can make it cheap enough then it’s entirely possible. That price drop meaning that we didn’t have to do much more than keep feeding the researchers and wait.

Just a few years ago, low cost natural gas was the main force pushing coal out of the power generation market, and now low cost solar power is sneaking up on low cost natural gas. So far the competition is a trickle, not a flood. However, natural gas stakeholders don’t have much breathing room left, as indicated by the latest perovskite solar cell research.

It appears that he was right. This being what is driving the apoplexy of certain parts of the climate change movement:

Whence the warning about 3 degrees C? The standard argument from the international advocates of climate policy for years was a need to limit anthropogenic warming to 2 degrees C by 2100, officially reduced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2018 to 1.5 degrees C, for the obvious reason that given ongoing and likely trends, the 2 degree C limit is going to be achieved without any climate policies at all.11 Thus has the climate left moved the policy goalposts, a dynamic that has received vastly less critical attention than it deserves.

It’s not necessary to overturn industrial civilisation nor smash capitalism. Some are going to be so disappointed about this. But no worries, no doubt they’ll find a new excuse soon enough.

All of this is entirely independent of whether we should, or should not, worry about climate change itself. The fact is that the standard processes of markets and technological development are dealing with it. As they’ve dealt rather well with other human problems this past few centuries. Meaning that perhaps it’s a system that we don’t want to smash or overturn then?

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Tim Worstall
Tim Worstall is a British-born writer and Senior Fellow of the Adam Smith Institute. Worstall is a regular contributor to Forbes and the Register. He has also written for the Guardian, the New York Times, PandoDaily, the Daily Telegraph blogs, the Times, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2010 his blog was listed as one of the top 100 UK political blogs by Total Politics.

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