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Lomborg disproved

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Feb 15, 2003 | From the print edition
The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World

-- The Skeptical Environmentalist

Bjorn Lomborg's book The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World created ripples around the world after its release in 2001, to the scepticism of environmentalists. Lomborg, a self-proclaimed ex-green, assured us that the "litany" of exhaustion of natural resources, population explosion, threat of biodiversity loss and pollution was not backed up by evidence. The book found immediate favour among the anti-environment crowd. The Danish author was immediately embraced by conservative governments like his own, which made him director of Denmark's Institute of Environ-mental valuation.

The Economist magazine rated the book "one of the most valuable books on public policy - not mer-ely on environmental policy - to have been written for the intelligent general reader in the past ten years." The magazine followed up with an editorial, which termed green concerns "bogus doom and gloom about the state of the planet." Britain's conservative Daily Telegraph considered it "probably the most important book on the environment ever written."

The rave reviews seem misplaced. Recently the Danish Committee on Scientific Dishonesty (dcsd) ruled that Lom-borg's scientific positions on the environment were incorrect in many cases. dcsd found Lomborg's work less than honest, concluding that he had "clearly acted at variance with good scientific practice."

The committee suggested that Lomborg might not have known his subject well enough.

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