One of the more superficially plausible critics of the need to mitigate and adapt to climate change, self-styled Danish ‘environmentalist’ Björn Lomborg, has been taken to the woodshed for his latest theory by the same authority whose work he cited in advancing it. The International Energy Agency called Lomborg’s readings of its data on the penetration of wind and solar energy contributions to total energy needs, “absolute rubbish.”
Newspapers belonging to the global media tycoon Rupert Murdoch have been giving Lomborg a platform for blogging from the Paris climate summit to readers in several countries. In his first post, Lomborg asserted that “after two decades of climate talks, we get a meagre 0.5% of our total global energy consumption from solar and wind energy, according to the leading authority, the International Energy Agency (IEA). And 25 years from now… the IEA expects we will get just 2.4% from solar and wind.”
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“That is absolute rubbish,” fired back Paulo Frankl, who leads the IEA’s program to monitor renewable energy. In fact, one of the IEA tables that Lomborg cites forecasts that by 2040 (under policies designed to keep atmospheric carbon below 450 ppm) wind and solar PV could meet as much as 41% of global electricity needs, and 29% of total energy demand.