Lies, damn lies, and Bjorn Lomborg

The Boston Globe, which normally wastes editorial space by employing Jeff Jacoby, wastes a few inches more on fake environmental “expert” Bjorn Lomborg.

That would be this Bjorn Lomborg:

In 2001, Cambridge University Press published an English translation of his book, titled The Skeptical Environmentalist: measuring the real state of the world.

In it Lomborg argued that a statistical analysis of key global environmental indicators revealed that while there were environmental problems they were not as serious as was popularly believed. “The world is not without problems, but on almost all accounts, things are going better and they are likely to continue to do so into the future. The facts and information presented here should give us an opportunity to set free our unproductive worries and allow us to focus on the important issues, so that we may indeed help make an even better world for tomorrow”.

According to the frontspiece in Lomborg’s book his only published work is in “game theory and computer simulations”.

Australian National University academic, John Quiggin, writing in the Australian Financial Review in March 2002, pointed out the number of refereed publications Lomborg has produced on statistical or other scientific analysis of environmental issues “is zero”.

When Scientific American ran a critical piece on Lomborg’s book, Lomborg opted for the Jonah Goldberg Variation – blegging:

When Lomborg reproduced the Scientific American critiques on his website with his responses interleaved, the magazine threatened to sue him for copyright infringement. Lomborg withdrew the file from his website but it was later re-published on the Patrick Moore’s website. Scientific American stated that the unauthorised reproduction was damaging its ability to sell copyrighted material, while Moore portrayed Lomborg as being persecuted for his views.

John P. Holdren, author of one of the rebuttal articles in Scientific American, noted:

“Bjørn Lomborg has posted on his Web page a long response to the critiques (http://www.lomborg.com/critique.htm)that appeared in Scientific American of four of the chapters in his book,The Skeptical Environmentalist, including my critique of his chapter on energy. No part of my critique escapes rebuttal. Perhaps Lomborg felt obliged to use all of the submissions he received in response to the appeal for help he broadcast to a long e-mail list after the Scientific American critiques appeared. It is instructive that he apparently did not feel he could manage an adequate response by himself. (In this, at least, he was correct. But he could not manage it with help, either.) Just as the book itself betrays the seeming inability of its author to discriminate sensible arguments from nonsensical ones, so also does the posted response to my critique suggest that Lomborg just tossed in, uncritically, whatever replies popped into his head or into his e-mail ‘in’ box.”[3]

“In a “Dear Sir or Madam” broadcast e-mail sent out by Lomborg on December 18, he wrote, inter alia, “Naturally, I plan to write a rebuttal to be put on my web-site. However, I would also love your input to the issues — maybe you can contest some of the arguments in the SA pieces, alone or together with other academics. Perhaps you have good ideas to counter a specific argument. Perhaps you know of someone else that might be ideal to talk to or get to write a counter-piece.” [4]

On the other hand, Lomborg has created a cottage industry of Lomborg-debunkers so full employment is finally at hand.

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Yeah. Like I would tell you....