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Assailing The Skeptical Environmentalist


The Washington Post reports today that Bjorn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist, was “denounced” for “scientific dishonesty” by the Danish Research Agency in response to several complaints filed by environmental activist researchers. The actual DRA decision, however, is more measured than the Post report, noting a lack of consensus among the reviewers on key points. Largely basing its conclusions on critiques of Lomborg’s book by activist researchers published in Scientific American (critiques rebutted here), the DRA panel concluded that “subject to the proviso that the book is to be evaluated as science” (because of all those pesky footnotes), the book is “contrary to the standards of good scientific practice” because of its “onesidedness in the choice of data and line of argument.” Setting aside any allegations that the DRA report is a political hatchet job, note the standard the DRA sets forth. Is this a standard Lomborg’s critics could meet? Are the various “scientific” reports by the Worldwatch Institute, Environmental Defense, and the Union of Concerned Scientists anything but “one-sided”? They should all thank their lucky stars they’re not Danish.


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