|THE LOMBORG STORY
- 2012: The Copenhagen Consensus Center
From 1st Jan. 2006, Lomborg´s position at the Copenhagen Business School improved. From then, he had a part-time position as a director of a new "Copenhagen Consensus Center", with two academic employees and one employee paid at student rate. The official web site of the Copenhagen Consensus Center is www.copenhagenconsensus.com.
In September 2007 Lomborg published a new book on climate change, "Cool it!", in two versions, one edited in USA and one in UK. See more about the book on www.Lomborg-errors.dk/coolit.htm. As before, the book was highly praised by anti-environmentalists and heavily criticised by environmentalists. It has since then be translated into 9 other languages, and more translations are underway.
The Copenhagen Consensus Center made preparations for Copenhagen Consensus 2008, and received for this purpose a grant of 4.5 million DKr. (0.6m Euro) from the Danish Ministry of Development. In addition, it has received funding from Danida (Danish International Development Agency). Since 2006, the staff has gradually increased, and in 2008 it numbered about 9 permanent positions and some temporary appointments. The second Copenhagen Consensus conference was held in Copenhagen during the last week of May 2008. See more about the conference here.
In November 2008, a majority in the Danish parliament decided to triple the appropriations for the Copenhagen Consensus Center in 2009. This happened on the initiative of the Danish People´s Party, which in its negotiations with the parties of the Danish government was able to set up this appropriation as one of its conditions for voting for the Budget. A spokesman from the Danish People´s Party said that they wanted Lomborg to make critical evaluations up to the UN global climate conference in Copenhagen 2009, in order that the government may keep its feet firmly planted on the ground, and avoid too much "hallelujah" in connection with the climate summit. Therefore, the Copenhagen Consensus Center, which already has yearly grants of 2.5 million DKr. for each of the years 2007-2012, had its grant raised to 7.5 million DKr. (about 1 million €) for the year 2009. For this money, the center must "throw light on benefits and costs associated with various possible solution models in relation to an international climate agreement."
In November 2009, Lomborg got even larger amounts from the Danish government, and that happened in the same way: the Danish People´s Party demanded that Lomborg and his institute should receive an additional amount of 18 million Dkr. (about 2.4m €), of which 2.5m Dkr. should be an extra appropriation for each of the years 2010-2013, and 8m Dkr. should be used for the Copenhagen Consensus conference in 2012. Because of the political situation in the Danish parliament, the government was once more forced to accept this. It is not readily understood why the Danish People´s Party supports Lomborg so strongly. According to a poll from October 2009, only 18% of the party´s voters support the idea of doubling the amount of money allotted to Lomborg, whereas 55% of the party´s voters are against. But the leaders of the party think differently from most of their voters. The result is that just before the global climate conference in Copenhagen in December, the Danish government sends a counter signal by gilding Lomborg.
By the end of 2009, the total allotments to Lomborg - first to the Environmental Assesment Institute, and later to the Copenhagen Consensus Center - amount to a total of 138m DKr, or about 18.4m €.
However, even though Lomborg gets special money grants from the Danish government, Lomborg complains that the government has practically stopped listening to him after 2004 when Connie Hedegaard became minister, first the minister of environment, and since 2007 minister for climate issues. And in a poll, the majority of the Danish people who have an opinion on the matter are against these grants to Lomborg´s institute.
Since July 2008, Lomborg has been a regular contributor to the web site "Project Syndicate", which is produced by an association of newspapers around the world. Lomborg produces one commentary every month, and these commentaries are regularly brought in certain newspapers, especially The Guardian in UK, but also others, such as Politiken in Denmark. As an example, Lomborg´s February 2009 contribution to Project Syndicate says inter alia:
"Some environmental campaigners argue that, given the effects of global warming, every nation must act. But if one takes a closer look at China, this argument disintegrates. Climate models show that for at least the rest of this century, China will actually benefit from global warming. Warmer temperatures will boost agricultural production and improve health. The number of lives lost in heat waves will increase, but the number of deaths saved in winter will grow much more rapidly: warming will have a more dramatic effect on minimum temperatures in winter than on maximum temperatures in summer. There are few arguments for China and India to commit to carbon caps – and compelling reasons for them to resist pressure to do so. " See also this page on Lomborg-errors.
Lomborg has had a couple of meetings with Bill Gates in Seattle, inter alia in the beginning of March 2009, to discuss how money from "The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation" and from the Warren Buffets foundation can best be used. These foundations own in the size order of 100 billion dollars in total. The discussions have centered around the Copenhagen Consensus method to prioritise allotments and to find out where the money can do most good. Lomborg has told Bill Gates that grants to supply children in The Third World with vitamin A is one of the most efficient methods to improve the state of the world. Bill Gates has accepted to use Copenhagen Consensus as a guideline for how to spend more than 3 billion dollars every year.
The third `ordinary´ Copenhagen Consensus conference was held in Copenhagen in May 2012.
In addition, Lomborg has set up several conferences on specific issues that have been organised by the same principles as the ordinary Copenhagen Consensus conferences. Several of these have been held at Georgetown University in Washington DC. This is the location of the `Copenhagen Consensus Center USA´, a non-profit tax-exempt organization set up in 2007 (link: http://www.copenhagenusa.org/aboutus.htm ). Lomborg is the president of the board of directors. The following conferences have been held at Georgetown University:
In 2006: The `Copenhagen Consensus United Nations´, which brought together United Nations ambassadors.
In 2009: The `Copenhagen Consensus on Climate´, read more here: www. Lomborg-errors.dk/CopConsClim.htm
In September 2011 a workshop was held at Georgetown University on the Project `RethinkHIV´, which is an introduction to a Copenhagen Consensus conference on HIV (link: www.rethinkhiv.com). The book `RethinkHIV´ will be released by Cambridge University Press in September 2012. It is said to provide the first-ever comprehensive comparative cost-benefit analysis of responses to HIV/AIDS.