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Life expectancy and prosperity will continue to rise and food production should keep up with population growth, but the Kyoto agreement will have little effect on global warming, according to Bjørn Lomborg, director of the Danish Environmental Assessment Institute.

In an article in the British Medical Journal, Lomborg paints an optimistic picture of a future world in which poverty will fall and in which global warming "is not expected to have a severe impact on human welfare as a whole".

But, in an accompanying commentary, Anthony McMichael of the Australian National University argues that Lomborg's views are a blend of naïvety and ignorance. Lomborg is not only selective in his use of data, but his trivialising of climate change shows ignorance about the profound ecological and social implications of global environmental change, he says.

Link to Lomborg's and McMichael's articles in the British Medical Journal