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How The War On Climate Change Slams The World’s Poor

August 29, 2018

By Paul Homewood


The latest contribution from Bjorn Lomborg:



When a “solution” to a problem causes more damage than the problem, policymaking has gone awry. That’s where we often find ourselves with global warming today.

Activist organizations like Worldwatch argue that higher temperatures will make more people hungry, so drastic carbon cuts are needed. But a comprehensive new study published in Nature Climate Change led by researchers from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis has found that strong global climate action would cause far more hunger and food insecurity than climate change itself.

The scientists used eight global-agricultural models to analyze various scenarios between now and 2050. These models suggest, on average, that climate change could put an extra 24 million people at risk of hunger. But a global carbon tax would increase food prices and push 78 million more people into risk of hunger. The areas expected to be most vulnerable are sub-Saharan Africa and India.

Trying to help 24 million people by imperiling 78 million people’s lives is a very poor policy.

We’ve heard similar stories before: In a few short decades, climate policy has often created more damage than the benefits it attempts to deliver.

Ten years ago, a biofuels craze swept rich countries with the full-throated support of green activists who hailed any shift away from fossil fuels. Food crops were replaced to produce ethanol, and the resulting spike in food prices forced at least 30 million people into poverty and 30 million more into hunger, according to UK charity ActionAid.

If we want to eradicate hunger, there are more effective ways. Around 800 million people are undernourished today, mostly because of poverty. The single most significant initiative that could be undertaken tomorrow is not a policy that slows the global economy, but one that cuts poverty: a global trade deal.

The Doha free-trade deal was allowed to collapse with just a fraction of the attention given to global climate-change negotiations.

Reviving Doha would lift an extra 145 million people out of poverty by 2030, according to research commissioned by Copenhagen Consensus. It could make the average person in the developing world $1,000 better off every year — allowing them to not only better feed themselves and their children, but also afford better health care, more education and lead more prosperous lives.

The EU’s climate policy under the Paris agreement, meanwhile, will realistically cost the bloc about $600 billion each year for the rest of the century, yet at best it delivers a trifling temperature reduction of just 0.09°F by the end of the century.

When comparing the massive cost with the slight delay in climate damage, each dollar spent delivers just three cents of climate benefits — i.e., lower hurricane damage, fewer heat waves, less agricultural stress.

Forcing poor countries to reduce emissions does even more harm, because cheap, abundant energy brings prosperity. Example: Activists argue Bangladesh should cut coal expansion. That would deliver global climate benefits worth nearly $100 million. But the forgone boost to the Bangladeshi economy would cost about $50 billion.

Aside from the immorality of obliging poor nations to avoid policies that would reduce poverty, the big problem with forcing carbon cuts is that green energy is not yet the savior that it is portrayed as.

Even after decades of heavy investment in subsidies to support green-energy production — costing more than $150 billion just this year — the International Energy Agency finds that wind provides just 0.6 percent of energy needs, and solar 0.2 percent.

By 2040, even if all of the grand promises in the Paris agreement on climate change were to be fulfilled (which seems unlikely), the IEA finds these figures will inch up to just 2.1 percent and 1.5 percent.

The flawed Paris agreement, which is the closest we have to a global scheme, will achieve at best merely 1 percent of what would be needed to keep temperature rises under 2°C, according to the UN. It’ll cost $1 trillion to $2 trillion annually. This is money that can’t be spent improving nutrition, health or education.

We need to get smarter about climate change. My think tank asked 27 top climate economists to explore all the feasible policy responses, and the conclusion was that the best long-term investment is in green energy R&D. For every dollar spent, $11 of climate damages would be avoided.

That makes much more sense than today’s climate approach, which mostly does more harm than good.


A lot of common sense from Lomborg, despite the fact that he believes climate change will cost anything at all – something for which there is absolutely no evidence at all.

  1. Up2snuff permalink
    August 29, 2018 10:37 am

    I would have thought that global warming AND ever increasing CO2 output would obviously tend to help the poor.

    Less need for fuel for keeping warm – most inhabitated places on the planet need some heat at some time of the day during at least a part of a year – together with the extra growth of food crops due to the greening caused by the extra CO2. If the extra warming brings extra and more widespread precipitation thanks to increased melting after winter, there’s another potential benefit.

    If you are a scientist specialising in those areas and I have got that all or part wrong, then please do correct me.

  2. August 29, 2018 11:54 am

    The logical environmentalist. I’ve read his book :”Cool It”, & thoroughly recommend it.

    Lomborg specialises in demolishing UN IPCC & other climate alarmist policies, based on facts & figures, such as we have seen above.
    He does not allow himself to be sidetracked into disputing the fraudulent science.
    He just exposes the malevolent policy conclusions.

    The globalist aims behind the warming/climate scare fraud are:
    1) A vast depopulation.
    2) A Totalitarian World Govt.
    3) A World deindustrialisation toward a feudal future of Lords & serfs. No middle class.
    Click on Quotes.
    OR, read climatologist great little book, which I also thoroughly recommend.

    John Doran.

    • August 29, 2018 12:02 pm


      & his book is: Human Caused Global Warming The Biggest Deception In History

      John Doran.

      • Gerry, England permalink
        August 29, 2018 1:41 pm

        Wonder man, Dr Ball. Always writes good pieces on WUWT. I must add his book to my reading list.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      August 29, 2018 1:40 pm

      You can’t use facts and figures with global warming….you….you..just can’t, you know.

  3. jasg permalink
    August 29, 2018 12:01 pm

    The trouble with climate economists is that all but one presumes any warming at all to be bad for the economy while all of recorded history tells us the exact opposite. If they bothered to consider Richard Tol’s assertions that warming only stops being good after 2 degrees rise and only might turn bad at around 3 degrees (in accordance with history and common sense) then they should logically consider business as usual to be the best option. It would be nice for one of them to tell us just how much of the current greening of the planet will be too much. But then economists are rarely correct on anything.

    • Up2snuff permalink
      August 29, 2018 12:49 pm

      Indeed. However, I have to stand up for economists, on the one hand, while agreeing with you that some – perhaps many – of their forecasts do fail. 😉 That is due, in my view, to a tendency of many modern economists to purely restrict their vision to macros and BIG MACROS at that.

      One of the messages I have been preaching for the last ten years is for economists also or much more to look at not just micros but the sub-micros and sub-sub-micros, individual cases – if necessary – if they inform, when considering the impact of policies.

      Another example of the AGW/CC Alarmist and Economist peculiarity of thinking, is that they ignore the increase in deaths in the UK, for example, in every winter (measured in thousands) but get extremely concerned over handfuls (perhaps hundreds of deaths) in the occasional extremely hot summer. 2018 has been a good example of this, as was 2003.

      When you examine the heatwave deaths, you often find that they are also connected with risky behaviour: consuming alcohol and/or jumping into very cold water. In contrast, many of the the winter deaths are non risky behaviour and occur passively at home or in hospital.

      We all know what news editors (inc. those at broadcasters) like – a quick easy front page shock story – without too much work fact checking.

  4. August 29, 2018 12:27 pm

    Your very own, “Sir” David Attenborough has referred to humanity in this fashion: “We are a plague on Earth.” He was the subject of a column here on May 11, 2016.

    He calls for various methods of population reduction, including limiting the number of children to 2 with serious consequences taxwise for those who err. I might note that “Sir” David has 2 brothers and 2 sisters. I add this up to a family with FIVE children.

    He waxes poetic on the plight of poor in Africa and “They’ve been having… what are all these famines in Ethiopia, what are they about? They’re about too many people for too little piece of land. That’s what it’s about.” Notice that here (and elsewhere as I found him saying the same thing in various articles) there is no mention of climate. He blames the plight of the poor in Africa to too little land per person. There is not too little land in Africa, but too little good government.

    When you boil it down, he and the late Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger sing from the same page. If you think positive welfare for the poor are in their focus, think again. These are elitists whose power is dangerous. Margaret Sanger received kudos in a letter from one of Hitler’s staff. They had used her ideas as well as those of the American Democrat Party’s dealing with the black population in the late 1800’s. Specifically, the Jim Crow laws and the institution of the KKK.

    • Up2snuff permalink
      August 29, 2018 12:50 pm

      Joan, some are wondering if human hating is a Hate Crime and Sir David Attenborough can be prosecuted for it!

      • August 30, 2018 12:12 pm

        It is something to ponder. I had one of his books which accompanied one of his TV series shown here on PBS in the 1980’s. When I heard his pronouncements about the need to rid the world of people such as myself, I threw it on my sizable brush pile. The next time I burned the pile, I returned it to the carbon cycle.

  5. August 29, 2018 1:52 pm

    Yes sir it’s cruel the way they are using anti poverty programs to fight climate change. George Orwell is rolling over in his grave.

  6. August 29, 2018 2:04 pm

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News and commented:
    Climate policies hurting the world’s poor by design.

  7. Alan Isselhard permalink
    August 29, 2018 2:43 pm

    Make ethanol illegal. Cease making ethanol and instead make beer in these plants.

  8. Broadlands permalink
    August 29, 2018 3:36 pm

    “We need to get smarter about climate change. My think tank asked 27 top climate economists to explore all the feasible policy responses, and the conclusion was that the best long-term investment is in green energy R&D. For every dollar spent, $11 of climate damages would be avoided.”

    One of the policy responses that appears to have been omitted was the idea that climate can be controlled by capture and store technology. With the need to store safely at least 350 BILLION tons of CO2 (oxidized carbon), the cost per ton multiplier to avoid climate damages becomes astronomical with “green” energy doing nothing to help. Think tanks need to think about it and calculate per capita costs for seven billion people going on eight to ten.

    • August 30, 2018 12:31 pm

      I would suggest that the first thinking revolve around the question of whether or not adding to the CO2 in the atmosphere is harmful. In fact, studies of ice cores and sea floor cores show that there has been a lot more CO2 in past periods and here we are. During the hand-wringing over CO2 with the cutting of jungle in South America we were all going to die from that and there would be no more jungle. Then the learned scientists found that the Arctic tundra was happily slurping up the CO2 and putting on a lot of growth–not easy in those conditions. Those ground-huggers were more than grateful for the added CO2 if I may be so teleologicall (a real no-no when I was a botany graduate student at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to see “actions” of plants by the results).

      There has been no real correlation to show CO2 causing rising temperatures. In fact, an uptick in CO2 comes FOLLOWING temperature rises. The supposed correlations “found” by the likes of Michael Mann have been produced by torturing data and actually false studies. I would say to Mr. Mann, that a dozen bristle cones pines in California or 25 tree cores from Siberia do not a data base make. Besides, dendrochronology is not a valid source for CO2 data as there is too much “noise” as to what is driving the climate. Growth rings can be used to show water availability and temperatures during growing seasons, but that is about all. Further, cherry-picking 2 dozen trees from an overall data set of some 250 trees is NOT scientific. It just shows one’s ability to pick data which agrees with their preconceived results.

      President Donald J. Trump “got smarter about climate change.” He pulled us out of the Paris Climate Accord hoax. Actually, he was smarter to begin with.

    • Russ Wood permalink
      September 2, 2018 10:49 am

      I keep repeating that anyone contemplating Carbon Capture and Storage should have a BIIIG sign on their office wall: “Remember Lake Nyos!”

  9. bobn permalink
    August 29, 2018 3:58 pm

    What a surprise, A ‘think tank’ (aka ignorant parasites) who sit around ‘researching’ decide spending $billions on R&D (that they would run) is the best way to spend money! Bloody parasites!

    • dave permalink
      August 29, 2018 5:10 pm

      Also, the thing about R&D is that when you have not done anything after five years, you can always say “The research is proving a little tricky, and so the development is delayed,”
      but, definitely, “The research is promising…”

  10. August 29, 2018 5:45 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  11. saparonia permalink
    August 30, 2018 12:41 pm

    It’s “alright Jack” attitude problem

  12. September 3, 2018 5:13 pm

    Reblogged this on my site: Energy poverty is one of their biggest problems, not overpopulation, which is a myth. Environmentalists only fund solar and wind power in Africa while discouraging other means such as hydroelectric, geothermal, nuclear and cheaper, readily available fossil fuel power. Africa and other underdeveloped countries don’t need population control or unreliable “renewable” power plants. They need Education, Employment, Investment and Infrastructure.

    • Jack Broughton permalink
      September 3, 2018 6:35 pm

      I fully agree with your opinions on the need for proper development in Africa. One obvious evil that the developed world has done relates to Cane Sugar, where we have protected Beet Sugar from competition and still do so.
      However, I cannot accept your thesis that Socialism is bad for Africa (when I think that you mean Communism), and that religions are good for Africa. Religion is and has been the opiate of the masses everywhere and capitalist economises have thrived despite it not because of it. Religions all emphasise the glory of poverty and pleasures to come….

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