Atlantic piece mocked for warning of nuclear war's effects on climate change: 'Out of whack with reality'

Atlantic mocked for concern about nuclear war affecting climate

Hoover Institute senior fellow Bjorn Lomborg reacts to a piece in The Atlantic that argues nuclear war could hurt the climate.

The Atlantic was mocked by political commentators for showing concern about how a nuclear war would affect the climate. Reacting Tuesday to the piece on “Fox & Friends,” Hoover Institute fellow Bjorn Lomborg said that he was “astounded” by the argument.

The Atlantic headline on Sunday argued, in addition to killing millions of people, a nuclear war would “prove disastrous for climate change.”

“On Top of Everything Else, Nuclear War Is a Climate Problem,” the headline of The Atlantic article read. “A nuclear war would kill tens of millions of people and would also prove disastrous for climate change,” a tweet that accompanies the article said.

Activists participate in a climate change protest in Glasgow, Scotland ahead of the start of COP26, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
(AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

“There are a lot of problems in the world. And global warming is one of them. But it seems to be this obsessive focus just on climate change to the extent that you now actually worry about a nuclear war because it would be bad for global warming is out of whack with reality,” Lomborg told host Rachel Campos-Duffy. 

The article argued, if “you’re worried about rapid, catastrophic changes to the planet’s climate, then you must be worried about nuclear war.” 

“On top of killing tens of millions of people, even a relatively ‘minor’ exchange of nuclear weapons would wreck the planet’s climate in enormous and long-lasting ways,” the outlet added.

Critics slammed the tweet, calling the article “silly” and questioning the “priorities” of The Atlantic.

Fox News contributor Joe Concha said “there are no words” to describe the statement. 

After a wave of criticism against the piece, Lomborg said humanity should be concerned about avoiding nuclear war in general. 

“Let’s get our priorities right. If you want to deal with the problem from Russia, you should be able to have your own energy. That includes getting fracking, maybe going more nuclear. Make sure you get all these energy sources that can actually make you independent instead of just talking about your favorite thing like solar and wind,” he said, adding global warming must be treated as one of many global problems. 

Fox News Hanna Panreck contributed to this report.

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