USA Today

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  • 22 Apr 2010
    Bjørn Lomborg

    Climate Change and a Skeptical Environmentalist on Earth Day

    Today marks the 40th anniversary of Earth Day – the birth of the modern environmental movement – and a great moment to reflect on how far we’ve come since 1970. In a year that witnessed the failed Copenhagen climate conference and steadily escalating conflicts between climate change skeptics and fervent environmental activists, it remains difficult to sort out answers amid the clamor. In USA TODAY, Bjorn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and editor of the forthcoming Smart Solutions to Climate Change (September 2010), gives his rather optimistic perspective: "Earth Day: Smile, don't shudder..." -------- Given all the talk of impending catastrophe, this may come as a surprise, but as we approach the 40th anniversary of the first Earth Day, people who care about the environment actually have a lot to celebrate. Of course, that's not how the organizers of Earth Day 2010 see it. In their view (to quote a recent online call to arms), "The world is in greater peril than ever." But consider this: In virtually every developed country, the air is more breathable and the water is more drinkable than it was in 1970. In most of the First World, deforestation has turned to reforestation. Moreover, the percentage of malnutrition has been reduced, and ever-more people have access to clean water and sanitation. Apocalyptic predictions from concerned environmental activists are nothing new. Until about 10 years ago, I took it for granted that these predictions were sound. Like many of us, I believed that the world was in a terrible state that was only getting worse with each passing day. My thinking changed only when, as a university lecturer, I set out with my students to disprove what I regarded at the time as the far-fetched notion that global environmental conditions were actually improving.

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  • 2 Oct 2009

    Climate Change threatens national parks

    A new report, reported in USA Today outlines major hazards to our national parks, with climate change presenting the greatest. The report’s data comes from Global Impacts in the United States, which we just published.

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