As expected, Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize. Just to throw some cold water on this hot topic, I’m posting Mona Charen’s excellent column on climate change and consensus opinions. She argues that skeptical environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg is a better guide than Mr. Gore:
“The dying animals is a big favorite in the schools, particularly the stranded polar bear on an ice floe searching for land. That one even got to my worldly sons. So I was particularly happy to have Bjorn Lomborg’s new book, Cool It: A Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming, on hand.
“Lomborg does not deny that global warming is happening, nor that it is the result of human action. But he does apply a necessary damper to the white-hot rhetoric and scare mongering of the global warming fanatics. A political scientist by training and an economist by outlook, the man the Wall Street Journal called the ‘golden-haired Dane’ applies common sense and cost/benefit analysis to a subject brimming with emotion and unreasoning fear.
“Along the way, he debunks some of the myths….”
The good news is that the polar bear population may be better off than we’re often led to believe:
“Pace Al Gore it seems that of the 20 subpopulations of polar bear, one or possibly two are declining in population. But more than half are stable, and two are increasing. Actually, the world population of polar bears has mushroomed over the past several decades, from some 5,000 in the 1960s to about 25,000 today, due to stricter regulation of hunting. As for those two subgroups that are declining in population, they live in regions in which the temperatures have actually been dropping over the past 50 years, whereas the subgroups that have seen an increase in population live in areas that have been getting warmer.”