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False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet
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False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  523 ratings  ·  99 reviews
Hurricanes batter our coasts. Wildfires rage across the American West. Glaciers collapse in the Artic. Politicians, activists, and the media espouse a common message: climate change is destroying the planet, and we must take drastic action immediately to stop it. Children panic about their future, and adults wonder if it is even ethical to bring new life into the world.
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published July 14th 2020 by Basic Books (first published June 23rd 2020)
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Glenn Naughton Not at all. Lomborg makes it very clear that climate change is real, that it needs to be addressed and that it will have what he refers to as a "net n…moreNot at all. Lomborg makes it very clear that climate change is real, that it needs to be addressed and that it will have what he refers to as a "net negative" effect on the planet.

He suggests we stop spending trillions on alternative fuels that are simply not efficient enough for us to operate on while stressing the need to invest in research and development for better options for energy as well as technology that can reduce carbon that is released in to the atmosphere.(less)

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Start your review of False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet
Mar 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
The way the data and research is presented is very articulate but not as much as Michael Shellenberger’s book, in my opinion. At times Lomborg might have contradicted himself by presenting research that shows that wildfires aren’t increasing and later saying that climate change will affect wildfires. That aside, this was a joy to read. All the political noise has made it difficult to talk about real solutions to mitigate climate change and Lomborg presents actual solutions that have been extensi ...more
Aug 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
At this point it's obvious that climate change is as much a political issue as it is an environmental one. If that doesn't sound right, here's some proof. Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel Prize in Economics winner wrote a review of False Alarm for the New York Times. He's a smart guy who has written a bunch of books himself. Despite this, his review is dishonest and factually incorrect from beginning to end.

Here's Stiglitz's review:
Here's Lomborg's response: htt
Jul 13, 2020 rated it did not like it
You're not going to find more intellectually dishonest reading, which is an especially dangerous venture especially for a such a hugely important issue such as man-made climate change - a threat that is agreed upon by 97% of climate scientists or more.

Of course the defence will inevitably be "we agree climate change is happening, we just don't believe the all the hype from the media". Actually, the media are devoting much less attention to climate change than it deserves (when you compare with
Morten Greve
Oct 18, 2020 rated it did not like it
If this book was your only source of information regarding ongoing anthropogenic climate change – consequences, policy options etc. – you'd be forgiven for thinking that the following claims are true:

- The key message of the 2018 IPCC special report on 1.5 C warming is that it will be exceedingly difficult to keep warming close to 1.5 or even just below 2 C – and, by implication, that this is not a desirable target (p. 24-25).

- Renewable energy sources (wind and solar) are hopelessly expensive a
Esben Kranc
Jul 23, 2020 rated it did not like it
Another prioritization book from Lomborg that does not take into account the risks of climate change. The book's sources are not relevant when speaking of the climate because of their underestimation of the (in this case, economic) effects of climate change. It is the same mistake as is so prevalent in other works like it. Lomborg's thoughts are a danger to the world by downplaying the impacts of global warming and trusting in markets that have crashed about every 15 years.

Joseph Stiglitz' NY Ti
Mama K
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well-researched and verified investigation. Offers reality instead of rhetoric and common sense solutions. Should be required reading in high schools and colleges.
I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Jul 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
False Alarm : How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet (2020) by Bjørn Lomborg is Lomborg's latest book. The gay vegetarian Dane who accepts the IPCC consensus and proposes a carbon tax sets off some environmentalists like few others. His latest book is his second about Climate Change after 2007's Cool It. Lomborg's main points are that the impact of Climate Change is often exaggerated and that the current mitigation strategies are unwise.
It's wor
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
Its always good to hear different views and this book tries to swim against the almost universal opinion that the Climate Change is our #1 challenge of our times. And the author have made some excellent points viz.
1. Not succumb to doomsday-ish panic
2. Investing more on innovation
3. Assessing our plans in terms of Cost vs Benefit
But (a big one), I cant help but notice that either he downplays the real threat or overestimate our capability in address a complex problem like this
- He argues tha
Cristie Underwood
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
Even though I do not agree with the author's opinion, this was an interesting book. The author's argument was laid out in a manner that made the reader understand their passion for the subject. I try to read books with different points of view from myself and this one was a really interesting one. ...more
Jul 17, 2020 rated it did not like it
May 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Takes on the largely one-sided proposed solutions to climate change with many excellent analogies and a fair amount of facts. Makes excellent points that have yet to be refuted by those who believe elimination of fossil fuels is the ONLY way to solve this problem. Clear, concise, and recommended.

Lomborg tends to rile people up, and people who try to tear down his arguments mostly get things wrong. This book outlines a good approach to measuring and balancing costs vs benefits, and argues yet aga
Aug 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Warnings on global warming have been rife since the beginning of the 1990s. Environmentalists have implored the world to switch to renewable energy alternatives. The issue has received widespread support from liberal western governments in the form of subsidies and tax breaks for renewable energy solutions. The environmental movement has supported it through sustained attacks on nuclear power, fossil fuels, and natural gas. The mainstream media have highlighted the urgency of implementing solar ...more
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I appreciated this book’s honest, common-sense, non-agenda examination of climate change. The author shows how panicking about it doesn’t solve anything. He offers common-sense, low-cost solutions that everyone ought to agree on, whether climate skeptic or climate doomsayer. He comes from the position that carbon dioxide is the biggest cause of warming and that climate policies must benefit people as well as the environment. The writing is clear and engaging and easy to understand. There are 80 ...more
Jul 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Must Read!

This book like Apocalypse Never uses a solid approach to assessing the impact of climate change, climate change policy and misreporting of climate change reality. It’s sometimes hard to work through the data, so the book would be significantly improved by aa summary showing exactly how little will be achieved by the Paris accord and similar massively expensive policy solutions. The bottom line is that climate change is being overblown by media looking for readers, by politicians lookin
Aug 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've been a fan of Bjorn Lomborg since the Skeptical Environmentalist. His basic message has not changed - that we need to pay attention to climate change just not to the nut cases who make the extreme case of a one best way to solve the issues.

For me there were several issues he raises -
1) The extremists see one best way and fail to offer any assumptions about adaptation - that ignores the human propensity to fit their needs to their environments.
2) He does a good job of contrasting the techno
Seeking Apatheia
Aug 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
Reading this book put me through the 5 stages of grief.
Wayland Coker
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Climate alarmism too often leads us to policies that while well intentioned, crowd out much more effective ways of helping people. It comes down to this: when we see a malnourished child or a town hit by a hurricane and seriously suggest that we should make lives better by cutting a ton of carbon dioxide, we are not actually trying to do good, but rather imposing our own priorities on people who have little power to assert their own. It has become too easy to believe that policies aimed at cutti ...more
Jason Green
Nov 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Another honest look at the environmental challenges facing our planet. I first read Michael Shellenberger's Apocalypse Never and then read False Alarm to learn more about environmental alarmism. The books are compatible and the learnings from one reinforce the learnings and the conversation topics from the other. This is one of the most important topics of today, with plans on the table to fight the most expensive war in history we need this conversation to make sure we are focusing on the right ...more
Mar 17, 2021 rated it really liked it
Maybe 4.5 stars

This isn’t really a book about climate science. This is a book about the economic consequences of climate change and of the policies designed to slow the effects of climate change.

I should point out that Lomborg is not a climate change denier. He seems to accept at face value the claims of the climate scientists that man-made global warming is occurring due to CO2 emissions. His focus is on the economic consequences of the solutions proposed to solve the climate crisis. He shows—
Michael Combs
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I would not give five stars to a work that contains a fundamental error, but "False Alarm" is so pertinent that everyone on Earth should read this book. Whether climate change skeptic or alarmist, there is much that both sides will find valuable and useful, but before I indulge in fulsome praise Mr. Lomborg does have a fundamental flaw in his presentation: being ignorant of or overlooking thousands of prior periods of natural climate change that warmed Earth far more than even the most unlikely ...more
Machiel Reyneke
Dec 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeff Rudisel
Nov 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Poverty-reduction/prosperity-increase turns out to be the best climate policy.

How media and political exaggerations and hype-mongering more often lead to excessive harm than to balanced benefit. Media crisis-merchant business models and other conflicting interests inevitably lead to innumerable false alarms and over-reactions that cause great harm.

The stats and projections cited here by Lomborg are certainly extremely well-founded, and he certainly does not claim that the problem of human-induce
Nov 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great discussion of climate change, even for non-scientists like me. Lomborg demonstrates that “climate change is real, but it's not the apocalyptic threat that we've been told it is. Projections of Earth's imminent demise are based on bad science and even worse economics. In panic, world leaders have committed to wildly expensive but largely ineffective policies that hamper growth and crowd out more pressing investments in human capital, from immunization to education. False Alarm points the wa ...more
Carlos Oliver
Nov 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
No notes on this one either. Very sober, scientific, and humanistic approach to climate issues.
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
A nice case for progress and economic growth to build resilience against climate change. Strong reminder that society and the developed world have other responsibilities than climate, reducing poverty should be pretty high on that list and not to be sacrificed easily to «save the planet». I saw Stiglitz called this book «dangerous» in his NYTIMES piece - but when people and societies are asked to make huge sacrifices, dangerous books nourish democratic deliberation. Looking forward to following ...more
Tom Cross
Aug 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fabulous book that debunks climate change hysteria, puts climate change in proper context and uses rigorous economic analysis to prioritize climate change spending versus other global priorities. It’s a must read for anyone that wants real facts and rigorous analysis on climate change versus climate change hysteria and propaganda spread by Al Gore and his minions.
Jeff Kissel
This book was recommended to me by my father. I did not expect to agree with much in the book given the title and my current understanding of the risks of climate change. I was pleasantly surprised to be wrong in this case. The book is clear and well argued and, having a background in economics myself, spoke my language. I think it is a worthwhile read for anyone trying to wrap their head around the climate issues.

Bjorn’s proposed solutions are the framework conservative and moderate leaders SH
Bill Leach
Sep 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The subject of this book, subtitled "how climate change panic costs us trillions, hurts the poor, and fails to fix the planet", is explored in detail by Lomborg. A great amount of information that is generally not known puts a unique perspective on where the hysteria around Global Warming is leading the world. By focusing most of our attention on climate change, we are ignoring other, bigger issues that could make the world a much better place.

To be clear, Lomborg states that Climate Change is r
The only reason Lomborg misses 5 stars is he believes the world will continue to get richer. It is not unusual for many to believe this is true but, sadly, we are about to run into a demographic collapse. This will cause all types of growth, except in the USA, to become impossible. Why?

Types of growth:
1. Consumption led
2. Investment led
3. Export led

These 3 types of growth have lit a fire under capitalism since the 15th Century.

Throughout the OECD, childbirth rates are 1.6 (2.1 is simple re
David Mihalyi
Mar 04, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021
Bjorn Lomborg is the most famous dissenting voice on climate change. He doesn't dispute man made warming exists, but believes the seriousness of the issue is way overstated. He makes his long case for it in this book, which is partly a rehash of various earlier books, articles and op-eds.

Let's start with the good stuff from the book.
-He highlights that focusing our efforts on climate change mitigation involves some trade-offs. The money spent on it could have been spent on some other urgent pri
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Bjørn Lomborg is a Danish author and president of his think tank, the Copenhagen Consensus Center. He is former director of the Danish government's Environmental Assessment Institute (EAI) in Copenhagen. He became internationally known for his best-selling and controversial 2001 book, The Skeptical Environmentalist, in which he argues that many of the costly measures and actions adopted by scienti ...more

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126 likes · 46 comments
“The Paris Agreement will be the costliest pact ever agreed to, by far. It will cost us $1–$2 trillion per year from 2030 onward, if actually fully implemented. Yet the agreement will do almost nothing for the climate: all of its promises will reduce the temperature rise by the end of the century by an almost imperceptible 0.05°F. And none of the big emitting countries are anywhere close to actually delivering on their promises. Spending trillions to achieve almost nothing is, not surprisingly, a bad idea. Every dollar spent will produce climate benefits worth just 11¢.” 1 likes
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