Key quote "Cutting carbon emissions believing that will have make much of a difference is almost illusory" - Professor Bjorn Lomborg
Story in full SCOTLAND'S leaders should accept that climate change would be good for the country instead of spending millions of pounds cutting carbon emissions, a leading academic claimed last night.
In an address to the Scottish Parliament, Professor Bjorn Lomborg said the "scaremongering" of lobbyists, such as former United States vice-president Al Gore, has led to a "hysteria" so that governments are wasting resources on climate change that could be spent on tackling global poverty.
Prof Lomborg, the author of The Sceptical Environmentalist, said: "When you scare people into hysteria, you are not very likely to make smart decisions." In developed countries like Scotland, he said the temperature increase of two degrees would lead to more species and fewer deaths from the cold.
Also, he said any effort to reduce carbon emissions would have little effect, except to slow global warming by a matter of years. Therefore, Prof Lomborg argued that the millions of pounds being pumped into reducing carbon emissions should be diverted into improving the general environment so generations to come could cope better with climate change.
He said: "If you care about Scotland's flora and fauna, you should focus on setting aside national parks and all the things that typically degrade nature like over-fertilisation, industrial pollution and those kind of things that have huge impacts.
"But cutting carbon emissions believing that will have make much of a difference is almost illusory."
But Duncan McLaren, chief executive of Friends of the Earth, said: "The scientific evidence is cranking up and up.
We have to see global emissions decline within 15 years."