Spiegel- and Latif's BILD interviews, here now a commentary with the opposite message written by Lomborg and published in several newspapers (here in German) . On the one hand, I am more sympathetic to Lomborg's message - raising fear permanently is counter-productive, and the apocalyptic rhetoric tends to be oversold. On the other hand, there are striking similarities to the alarmist rhetoric in the way Lomborg builds his own argument. The way he comes to his conclusion is as speculative as Latif's and Schellnhuber's conclusions. In my opinion, the main problem is how these narratives on climate change are presented. Alarmist or not - I argue that this kind of story telling is oversold.
Yes, climate change is real, and it is man-made. But according to Bjorn Lomborg, there is no reason for worrying too much. Where does he know from? He takes a (playful?) scientific article which calculates the economic and human costs of the melting of the Arctic ice-sheets, that is, a six meter sea level rise. Things that are done by curious economists such as Robert J. Nicholls, Richard S.J. Tol, and Athanasios T. Vafeidis. Lomborg quotes (no references given) some numbers and calculations and says that the article comes to the conclusions that only 15 million people would be really affected, and managing the costs of the 'catastrophe' would only be '600 billion$' a year. That's all, just 1% of the global GDP. So why worry too much? Tokyo already managed successfully a 5 meter decline in the last centuries. The world won't go down, even though we will face a highly complex problem over a long time.
In short, that's Lomborg's anti-alarmist message.
Whatever Nicholls et al. had with their research in mind, in Lomborg's commentary it turns into the typical pseudo-scientific argument in public climate discourse. If Lomborg intends to make a political statement, he should do so with political arguments and not misuse science for this purpose. Exactly this misuse is a chronic disease in current climate discourse, be it alarmist, skeptic, or whatever.