I haven’t had time to comment on this recent article by Bjorn Lomborg. To start off on the picky level–not all environmentalists think alike and so the neat rhetorical trick in the title is telling of what Lomborg is trying to accomplish–getting lots of attention and selling lots of books.
Lomborg is essentially correct in arguing that development will lead to environmental awareness. Steve Chapman has made the point before, but Lomborg misses two critical points.
The United States isn’t advocating any serious solution to development or sustainability. While some environmentalists might be focusing on one side of the equation, the United States isn’t focusing on any portion of the equation and instead is avoiding the issue entirely.
Second, encouraging development isn’t an exclusive goal. One can encourage sustainability and development at the same time. Indeed (the most overused word on blogs–instapundit especially), technology transfers of cleaner energy sources and pollution reducing technologies encouraged by the 1990 Clean Air Act encourage development and sustainability.
In line with the above, he tries to use the Kyoto Protocol’s flaws to force a false choice. One can support taking serious action to mitigate global warming and argue that Kyoto was terribly flawed all at the same time–maybe even chew gum while doing so…
The problem with Bush choosing to walk away from Kyoto is his complete inability to offer an alternative of any substance. Reducing emission intensity is a joke–a cynical joke at that.
And with any mention of Lomborg or any other alternative science type, one should point out a reliable alternative source.