Sunday, April 26, 2009

You're right for a change, Bjorn Lomborg!

Change is what I believe in. My PhD dissertation was about language change (I'm afraid I never completed it, so I'm not a PhD.) I ran a diaper service about 15 years ago to change the way people changed diapers. (Never made a profit, though). I worked for a while with a Danish management consultant who was very big on using motivation to effect change, and used what I learned there in a job working on motivating Danish telephone company employees to recycle more.

Danish Statistics Professor Bjorn Lomborg is interested in cost-effectiveness, which is also a worthy thing to be concerned about. In fact most of my motivational work was connected with the cost-effectiveness of managing resources as part of environmental management programs. Now of course we have to motivate an entire planet to the cost-effectiveness of managing our resources, including habitats, energy, and people.

Mr. Lomborg, the organic vegetarian who calls himself the Skeptical Environmentalist, has long doubted the need for spending lots of money to save the planet from Climate Change. He was more interested in using the same money for very necessary projects for health, education and the like. But he seems to have come around now to thinking that just letting the Climate Change maybe wouldn't be all that cost effective anyway.

But still he doesn't like the methods that have been suggested so far to combat Climate Change. Instead of fighting symptoms, which emissions are, we should be removing the sources of the emissions by spending more money researching (and I assume also installing) renewable energy. That is a great change that is also cost-effective. Climate Change is a change we need to slow down -by changing ourselves, the way we think, and the way we spend our money.

For once, Mr Lomborg, I agree with you. Let's get things moving even faster than they are to implement this systemic change that will save the globe only if we do it fast enough. No more stalling with new coal technology or nuclear plants, which are decidedly NOT cost-effective. Let's get those PV panels up on roofs and over parking lots, or in military areas (as long as they don't affect tortoises, gophers and other desert wildlife.) Lets get those windmills turning in Nantucket Sound, Mr. Kennedy. It's cost-effective, all you conservatives who don't like to spend government money. In the long run it will save you piles of tax-money - or maybe it will be there for you when your insurance company throws you out because you got cancer...

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