...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

July 09, 2006

Another Danish Themed Post

From the Wall Street Journal, a sensible Danish liberal:

Bjorn Lomborg busted--and that is the only word for it--onto the world scene in 2001 with the publication of his book "The Skeptical Environmentalist." A one-time Greenpeace enthusiast, he'd originally planned to disprove those who said the environment was getting better. He failed. And to his credit, his book said so, supplying a damning critique of today's environmental pessimism. Carefully researched, it offered endless statistics--from official sources such as the U.N.--showing that from biodiversity to global warming, there simply were no apocalypses in the offing. "Our history shows that we solve more problems than we create," he tells me. For his efforts, Mr. Lomborg was labeled a heretic by environmental groups--whose fundraising depends on scaring the jeepers out of the public--and became more hated by these alarmists than even (if possible) President Bush.
Read what Mr. Lomborg has to say about priorities here. Good stuff.

via Shelly.

Posted by annika, Jul. 9, 2006 | TrackBack (0)
Rubric: annikapunditry


Lomborg was neither an environmentalist nor a scientist, unless you want to consider his credentials as a political scientist. His material has been debunked and put to rest long ago.

Posted by: will on Jul. 10, 2006

A link to the full article;

Posted by: will on Jul. 10, 2006

Thanks for the link, Will. I will print it out and try to read it all.

By the way, just a friendly tip. I think your credibility is affected when you neglect to mention that the article you linked identifies Lomberg as a political scientist and statistician. (In fact, the article places the word statistician before political scientist when identifying Lomberg's credentials.)

Either you didn't expect anyone to actually click the link, which i doubt, or you don't consider mathematics a field of science. Having taken a statistics course at Berkeley, and done poorly in it, I can assure you, it is a field of science.

Posted by: annika on Jul. 10, 2006

Annika, I was referring to scientists from the direct subject areas, such as climatology, biology, epidemiology, etc. Most scientists take statistics as a matter of course (as have I in my engineering education), and report their results with statistics as one tool.

While Lomborg has a doctorate in political science and has lectured on statistics as it relates to that field, he doesn't have any degrees in statistics or even math, hence my description of him still stands as accurate.

Posted by: will on Jul. 11, 2006

So let me get this straight. you are now disputing the accuracy of the article, which you linked in order to dispute the accuracy of the article I linked, because your article is about people who dispute the accuracy of the guy in the article I linked, who disputes the accuracy of findings by people like those in the article you linked. I'm cornfused.

Posted by: annika on Jul. 11, 2006

You pointed out the article I supplied a link to reported that Lomborg is a political scientist and a statitician. He lectures on statitistics, though has no degree in any field of mathematics. So to call him a scientist would be misleading, which was my original contention. If you read the rest of the wikipedia page, you'll see that there has been considerable back and forth on the veracity of his book, which the Demark Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation eventually concluded was not a scientific publication, therefore could not be reviewed and critiqued as such. You would need several days to labor through the critiques, responses, response critiques, explanations of data set variations, artful deflections, dismissive generalizations, etc, etc, ad nauseum, ad infinitum. I plowed through this a few months ago, and it was quite a rollercoaster ride. He makes some valid points, though ultimately he is shown to be slanting his overall thrusts to the detriment of his thesis statement. However, the general public knows little about the application of the sciences involved, and can be easily hoodwinked by soundbites from either side.

Posted by: will on Jul. 11, 2006

If Dr. Lomberg's opinions can be dismissed because his PhD is "only" in political science, can I then dismiss Al Gore's opinions becuase he doesn't even have a PhD?

Posted by: annika on Jul. 11, 2006

Yes, "only" poly sci. Unless you are considering that a hard science.

You are shifting away from the original question with the remark about Gore, but I will be happy to provide you the answer;


Posted by: will on Jul. 11, 2006