Bjørn Lomborg

Bjørn Lomborg

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Bjørn Lomborg is a Danish
Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

 author, academic, and environmental writer. He is an adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School
Copenhagen Business School
Copenhagen Business School, also known as CBS, is situated in Copenhagen, Denmark. With more than 17,000 students and 1,300 staff members, CBS is also one of the largest business schools in Europe. CBS offers a wide range of business-oriented university programmes and a research environment...

, director of the Copenhagen Consensus
Copenhagen Consensus
Copenhagen Consensus is a project that seeks to establish priorities for advancing global welfare using methodologies based on the theory of welfare economics. It was conceived and organized by Bjørn Lomborg, the author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and the then director of the Danish...

 Centre and a former director of the Environmental Assessment Institute
Environmental Assessment Institute
Environmental Assessment Institute is an independent body under the Danish Ministry of the Environment. It was established in February 2002 by the Liberal/Conservative Danish Government with the task of making environmental and economic cost/benefit analyses...

 in Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

. He became internationally known for his best-selling and controversial book The Skeptical Environmentalist
The Skeptical Environmentalist
The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World is a book by Danish environmentalist author Bjørn Lomborg, controversial for its claims that overpopulation, declining energy resources, deforestation, species loss, water shortages, certain aspects of global warming, and an...

.

In 2002, Lomborg and the Environmental Assessment Institute
Environmental Assessment Institute
Environmental Assessment Institute is an independent body under the Danish Ministry of the Environment. It was established in February 2002 by the Liberal/Conservative Danish Government with the task of making environmental and economic cost/benefit analyses...

 founded the Copenhagen Consensus
Copenhagen Consensus
Copenhagen Consensus is a project that seeks to establish priorities for advancing global welfare using methodologies based on the theory of welfare economics. It was conceived and organized by Bjørn Lomborg, the author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and the then director of the Danish...

, which seeks to establish priorities for advancing global welfare using methodologies based on the theory of welfare economics
Welfare economics
Welfare economics is a branch of economics that uses microeconomic techniques to evaluate economic well-being, especially relative to competitive general equilibrium within an economy as to economic efficiency and the resulting income distribution associated with it...

.

Until 2010 Lomborg campaigned against the Kyoto Protocol
Kyoto Protocol
The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change , aimed at fighting global warming...

 and other measures to cut carbon emissions in the short-term, and argued for adaptation to short-term temperature rises as they are inevitable, and for spending money on research and development for longer-term environmental solutions, and on other important world problems such as AIDS, malaria and malnutrition.

In 2010, in conjunction with an announcement of a forth-coming book, Lomborg revised his position regarding mitigation of anthropogenic global warming. He has consistently supported the position that global warming
Global warming
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades...

 exists, but cost benefit analyses, as calculated by the Copenhagen Consensus
Copenhagen Consensus
Copenhagen Consensus is a project that seeks to establish priorities for advancing global welfare using methodologies based on the theory of welfare economics. It was conceived and organized by Bjørn Lomborg, the author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and the then director of the Danish...

 ranked climate mitigation initiatives low on a list of international development initiatives when first done in 2004. In 2008, the issue of global warming saw an increase in its priority ranking, culminating with examination of a broader list of possible solutions. He announced his agreement with "tens of billions of dollars a year to be invested in tackling climate change" and declared global warming to be "undoubtedly one of the chief concerns facing the world today" and "a challenge humanity must confront". In a 2010 interview with the New Statesman
New Statesman
New Statesman is a British centre-left political and cultural magazine published weekly in London. Founded in 1913, and connected with leading members of the Fabian Society, the magazine reached a circulation peak in the late 1960s....

, Lomborg summarized his position on climate change: "Global warming is real – it is man-made and it is an important problem. But it is not the end of the world."

Academic career


Lomborg spent a year as an undergraduate at the University of Georgia
University of Georgia
The University of Georgia is a public research university located in Athens, Georgia, United States. Founded in 1785, it is the oldest and largest of the state's institutions of higher learning and is one of multiple schools to claim the title of the oldest public university in the United States...

, earned an M.A.
Master of Arts (postgraduate)
A Master of Arts from the Latin Magister Artium, is a type of Master's degree awarded by universities in many countries. The M.A. is usually contrasted with the M.S. or M.Sc. degrees...

 degree in political science
Political science
Political Science is a social science discipline concerned with the study of the state, government and politics. Aristotle defined it as the study of the state. It deals extensively with the theory and practice of politics, and the analysis of political systems and political behavior...

 at the University of Aarhus
University of Aarhus
Aarhus University , located in the city of Aarhus, Denmark, is Denmark's second oldest and second largest university...

 in 1991, and a Ph.D.
Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy, abbreviated as Ph.D., PhD, D.Phil., or DPhil , in English-speaking countries, is a postgraduate academic degree awarded by universities...

 degree in political science at the University of Copenhagen
University of Copenhagen
The University of Copenhagen is the oldest and largest university and research institution in Denmark. Founded in 1479, it has more than 37,000 students, the majority of whom are female , and more than 7,000 employees. The university has several campuses located in and around Copenhagen, with the...

 in 1994.

He lectured in statistics
Statistics
Statistics is the study of the collection, organization, analysis, and interpretation of data. It deals with all aspects of this, including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments....

 in the Department of Political Science at the University of Aarhus as an assistant professor (1994–1996) and associate professor (1997–2005). He left the university in February 2005 and in May of that year became an Adjunct Professor at Copenhagen Business School
Copenhagen Business School
Copenhagen Business School, also known as CBS, is situated in Copenhagen, Denmark. With more than 17,000 students and 1,300 staff members, CBS is also one of the largest business schools in Europe. CBS offers a wide range of business-oriented university programmes and a research environment...

.

Early in his career his professional areas of interest lay in the simulation of strategies in collective action
Collective action
Collective action is the pursuit of a goal or set of goals by more than one person. It is a term which has formulations and theories in many areas of the social sciences.-In sociology:...

 dilemmas
Ethical dilemma
An Ethical dilemma is a complex situation that will often involve an apparent mental conflict between moral imperatives, in which to obey one would result in transgressing another....

, simulation of party
Political party
A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions...

 behavior in proportional voting systems
Party-list proportional representation
Party-list proportional representation systems are a family of voting systems emphasizing proportional representation in elections in which multiple candidates are elected...

, and the use of surveys in public administration
Public administration
Public Administration houses the implementation of government policy and an academic discipline that studies this implementation and that prepares civil servants for this work. As a "field of inquiry with a diverse scope" its "fundamental goal.....

. In 1996, Lomborg's paper, "Nucleus and Shield: Evolution of Social Structure
Social structure
Social structure is a term used in the social sciences to refer to patterned social arrangements in society that are both emergent from and determinant of the actions of the individuals. The usage of the term "social structure" has changed over time and may reflect the various levels of analysis...

 in the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma", was published in the academic journal
Academic journal
An academic journal is a peer-reviewed periodical in which scholarship relating to a particular academic discipline is published. Academic journals serve as forums for the introduction and presentation for scrutiny of new research, and the critique of existing research...

, American Sociological Review
American Sociological Review
The American Sociological Review is a bimonthly, peer-reviewed academic journal covering all aspects of sociology, including new theoretical developments, results of research that advance the understanding of fundamental social processes, and methodological innovations. It is published by SAGE...

.

Later Lomborg's interests shifted to the use of statistics in the environmental arena
Environmental movement
The environmental movement, a term that includes the conservation and green politics, is a diverse scientific, social, and political movement for addressing environmental issues....

. His most famous book in this area is The Skeptical Environmentalist, whose English translation was published as a work in environmental economics
Environmental economics
Environmental economics is a subfield of economics concerned with environmental issues. Quoting from the National Bureau of Economic Research Environmental Economics program:...

 by Cambridge University Press in 2001. He later edited Global Crises, Global Solutions, which presented the first conclusions of the Copenhagen Consensus
Copenhagen Consensus
Copenhagen Consensus is a project that seeks to establish priorities for advancing global welfare using methodologies based on the theory of welfare economics. It was conceived and organized by Bjørn Lomborg, the author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and the then director of the Danish...

, published in 2004 by the Cambridge University Press. In 2007, he authored a book entitled Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming.

The Skeptical Environmentalist

Main article: The Skeptical Environmentalist
The Skeptical Environmentalist
The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World is a book by Danish environmentalist author Bjørn Lomborg, controversial for its claims that overpopulation, declining energy resources, deforestation, species loss, water shortages, certain aspects of global warming, and an...



In 1998, Lomborg published four essay
Essay
An essay is a piece of writing which is often written from an author's personal point of view. Essays can consist of a number of elements, including: literary criticism, political manifestos, learned arguments, observations of daily life, recollections, and reflections of the author. The definition...

s about the state of the environment
Environment (biophysical)
The biophysical environment is the combined modeling of the physical environment and the biological life forms within the environment, and includes all variables, parameters as well as conditions and modes inside the Earth's biosphere. The biophysical environment can be divided into two categories:...

 in the leading Danish newspaper Politiken
Politiken
Politiken is a Danish daily broadsheet newspaper, published by JP/Politikens Hus.The newspaper comes third among Danish newspapers in terms of both number of readers and circulated copies ....

, which according to him "resulted in a firestorm debate spanning over 400 articles in major metropolitan newspapers."

In 2001, he attained significant attention by publishing The Skeptical Environmentalist, a controversial book whose main thesis is that many of the most-publicized claims and predictions on environmental issues are wrong.

Accusations of scientific dishonesty


After the publication of The Skeptical Environmentalist, Lomborg was accused of scientific dishonesty. Several environmental scientists brought a total of three complaints against Lomborg to the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty
Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty
The Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty are a set of three committees under the Danish Ministry of Research and Information Technology: a committee for natural science, agricultural and veterinary science and technical science; a committee for health and medical science; and a committee...

 (DCSD), a body under Denmark's Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation
Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation of Denmark
The Danish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education is the Danish ministry in charge of research, innovation and education above high school/upper secondary school....

. The charges claimed that The Skeptical Environmentalist contained deliberately misleading data and flawed conclusions. Due to the similarity of the complaints, the DCSD decided to proceed on the three cases under one investigation.

DCSD investigation


On January 6, 2003 the DCSD reached a decision on the complaints. The ruling sent a mixed message, deciding the book to be scientifically dishonest, but Lomborg himself not guilty because of lack of expertise in the fields in question:
Objectively speaking, the publication of the work under consideration is deemed to fall within the concept of scientific dishonesty. ...In view of the subjective requirements made in terms of intent or gross negligence, however, Bjørn Lomborg's publication cannot fall within the bounds of this characterization. Conversely, the publication is deemed clearly contrary to the standards of good scientific practice.


The DCSD cited The Skeptical Environmentalist for:
  1. Fabrication of data;
  2. Selective discarding of unwanted results (selective citation);
  3. Deliberately misleading use of statistical methods
    Systemic bias
    Systemic bias is the inherent tendency of a process to favor particular outcomes. The term is a neologism that generally refers to human systems; the analogous problem in non-human systems is often called systematic bias, and leads to systematic error in measurements or estimates.-Bias in...

    ;
  4. Distorted interpretation of conclusions;
  5. Plagiarism
    Plagiarism
    Plagiarism is defined in dictionaries as the "wrongful appropriation," "close imitation," or "purloining and publication" of another author's "language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions," and the representation of them as one's own original work, but the notion remains problematic with nebulous...

    ;
  6. Deliberate misinterpretation of others' results.

MSTI review


On February 13, 2003, Lomborg filed a complaint against the DCSD's decision, with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MSTI), which has oversight over the DCSD. On December 17, 2003, the Ministry annulled the decision made by DCSD. In doing so, MSTI cited several procedural errors, including:
  • The DCSD did not provide specific statements on actual errors. On this point the MSTI stated "the DCSD has not documented where [Dr. Lomborg] has allegedly been biased in his choice of data and in his argumentation, and ... the ruling is completely void of argumentation for why the DCSD find that the complainants are right in their criticisms of [his] working methods. It is not sufficient that the criticisms of a researcher's working methods exist; the DCSD must consider the criticisms and take a position on whether or not the criticisms are justified, and why."
  • The DCSD did not use a precise standard for deciding "good scientific practice" in the social sciences
    Social sciences
    Social science is the field of study concerned with society. "Social science" is commonly used as an umbrella term to refer to a plurality of fields outside of the natural sciences usually exclusive of the administrative or managerial sciences...

    ;
  • The DCSD's definition of "objective scientific dishonesty" was not clear about whether "distortion of statistical data" had to be deliberate or not;
  • The DCSD had not properly documented that The Skeptical Environmentalist was a scientific publication on which they had the right to intervene in the first place;


The Ministry remitted the case to the DCSD. In doing so the Ministry indicated that it regarded the DCSD's previous findings of scientific dishonesty in regard to the book as invalid. The Ministry also instructed the DCSD to decide whether to reinvestigate.

DCSD response


On March 12, 2004, the Committee formally decided not to act further on the complaints, reasoning that renewed scrutiny would, in all likelihood, result in the same conclusion.

Response of the scientific community


The original DCSD decision about Lomborg provoked a petition
Petition
A petition is a request to do something, most commonly addressed to a government official or public entity. Petitions to a deity are a form of prayer....

 among Danish academics. 308 scientists, many of them from the social sciences, criticised the DCSD's methods in the case and called for the DCSD to be disbanded. The Danish Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation then asked the Danish Research Agency to
form an independent working group to review DCSD practices. In response to this, another group of Danish scientists collected over 600 signatures (primarily from the medical and natural science
Natural science
The natural sciences are branches of science that seek to elucidate the rules that govern the natural world by using empirical and scientific methods...

s community) to support the continued existence of the DCSD and presented their petition to the Danish Research Agency.

The Top 50 Sustainability Books


A panel of "senior business leaders and their peers in government and civil society", the alumni network of the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership
Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership
The Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership , formerly the Cambridge Programme for Industry, is part of the School of Technology within the...

 (CPSL), voted The Skeptical Environmentalist among its list of the top 50 sustainability books.

Continued debate and criticism


The rulings of the Danish authorities in 2003-2004 left Lomborg's critics frustrated. Lomborg claimed vindication as a result of MSTI's decision to set aside the original finding of DCSD.

The Lomborg Deception by Howard Friel
Howard Friel
Howard Friel is a U.S. independent scholar and author who wrote The Lomborg Deception: Setting the Record Straight About Global Warming, , a critique of Bjørn Lomborg's books The Skeptical Environmentalist and Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming.He also co-authored...

 claims to offer a "careful analysis" of the ways in which Lomborg has "selectively used (and sometimes distorted) the available evidence". Lomborg has denied the claims.

A Dutch think tank
Think tank
A think tank is an organization that conducts research and engages in advocacy in areas such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military, and technology issues. Most think tanks are non-profit organizations, which some countries such as the United States and Canada provide with tax...

, HAN, Heidelberg Appeal the Netherlands
Heidelberg Appeal
The Heidelberg Appeal, authored by Michel Salomon and signed by a large number of scientists, is a statement decrying "an irrational ideology which is opposed to scientific and industrial progress, and impedes economic and social development." Issued to coincide with the opening of the United...

, published a report in which they claimed 25 out of 27 accusations against Lomborg to be unsubstantiated or not to the point.
A group of scientists with relation to this think tank also published an article in 2005 in the Journal of Information Ethics, in which they concluded that most criticism against Lomborg was unjustified, and that the scientific community misused their authority to suppress Lomborg.

Kåre Fog


The claim that the accusations against Lomborg were unjustified was challenged in the next issue of Journal of Information Ethics by Kåre Fog, one of the original plaintiffs. Fog reasserted his contention that, despite the ministry's decision, most of the accusations against Lomborg were valid. He also rejected what he called "the Galileo hypothesis", which he describes as the conception that Lomborg is just a brave young man confronting old-fashioned opposition.

Kåre Fog has established a catalogue of criticisms against Lomborg on the Lomborg-errors website, established in 2004. Fog maintains the catalogue, which includes a section for each page in each chapter in The Skeptical Environmentalist. In each section, Fog lists and details what he believes to be flaws and errors in Lomborg's work. Fog explicitly indicates if there are any details which he believes support the interpretation that the particular error may have been made deliberately by Lomborg, in order to mislead. Lomborg has on numerous occasions commented and defended himself against Kåre Fog's critique, especially in the web-book "Godhedens Pris".

Government work


In March 2002, the newly elected center-right
Centre-right
The centre-right or center-right is a political term commonly used to describe or denote individuals, political parties, or organizations whose views stretch from the centre to the right on the left-right spectrum, excluding far right stances. Centre-right can also describe a coalition of centrist...

 prime minister
Prime minister
A prime minister is the most senior minister of cabinet in the executive branch of government in a parliamentary system. In many systems, the prime minister selects and may dismiss other members of the cabinet, and allocates posts to members within the government. In most systems, the prime...

, Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Anders Fogh Rasmussen
Anders Fogh Rasmussen is a Danish politician, and the 12th and current Secretary General of NATO. Rasmussen served as Prime Minister of Denmark from 27 November 2001 to 5 April 2009....

, appointed Lomborg to run Denmark's new Environmental Assessment Institute
Environmental Assessment Institute
Environmental Assessment Institute is an independent body under the Danish Ministry of the Environment. It was established in February 2002 by the Liberal/Conservative Danish Government with the task of making environmental and economic cost/benefit analyses...

 (EAI). On June 22, 2004, Lomborg announced his decision to resign from this post to go back to the University of Aarhus, saying his work at the Institute was done and that he could better serve the public debate from the academic sector.

In 2002, Lomborg and the Environmental Assessment Institute founded the Copenhagen Consensus
Copenhagen Consensus
Copenhagen Consensus is a project that seeks to establish priorities for advancing global welfare using methodologies based on the theory of welfare economics. It was conceived and organized by Bjørn Lomborg, the author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and the then director of the Danish...

, which seeks to establish priorities for advancing global
World
World is a common name for the whole of human civilization, specifically human experience, history, or the human condition in general, worldwide, i.e. anywhere on Earth....

 welfare using methodologies based on the theory of welfare economics
Welfare economics
Welfare economics is a branch of economics that uses microeconomic techniques to evaluate economic well-being, especially relative to competitive general equilibrium within an economy as to economic efficiency and the resulting income distribution associated with it...

. A panel of prominent economists
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

 was assembled to evaluate and rank a series of problems every four years. The project was funded largely by the Danish government, and co-sponsored by The Economist
The Economist
The Economist is an English-language weekly news and international affairs publication owned by The Economist Newspaper Ltd. and edited in offices in the City of Westminster, London, England. Continuous publication began under founder James Wilson in September 1843...

. A book summarizing the conclusions of the economists' first assessment, Global Crises, Global Solutions
Global Crises, Global Solutions
Global Crises, Global Solutions is a book presenting the methodology, economic papers and conclusions of the first Copenhagen Consensus, edited by Bjørn Lomborg, published in 2004 by the Cambridge University Press....

, edited by Lomborg, was published in October 2004 by Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press is the publishing business of the University of Cambridge. Granted letters patent by Henry VIII in 1534, it is the world's oldest publishing house, and the second largest university press in the world...

.

Further books


Solutions for the World's Biggest Problems, published in 2007, offers an "... overview of twenty-three of the world's biggest problems relating to the environment, governance, economics, and health and population. Leading economists provide a short survey of the state-of-the-art analysis and sketch out some policy solutions for which they provide cost-benefit ratios."

Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming
Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming
Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming is a book by the Danish statistician and political scientist Bjørn Lomborg. The book is a sequel to The Skeptical Environmentalist , which in English translation brought the author to world attention...

, also published in 2007, argues against taking immediate and "drastic" action to curb greenhouse gases while simultaneously stating that "Global warming is happening. It's a serious and important problem ...". He argues that "... the cost and benefits of the proposed measures against global warming. ... is the worst way to spend our money. Climate change is a 100-year problem — we should not try to fix it in 10 years."

Howard Friel
Howard Friel
Howard Friel is a U.S. independent scholar and author who wrote The Lomborg Deception: Setting the Record Straight About Global Warming, , a critique of Bjørn Lomborg's books The Skeptical Environmentalist and Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming.He also co-authored...

 wrote a book entitled The Lomborg Deception, which criticizes Lomborg, claiming that the sources Lomborg provides in the footnotes do not support—and in some cases are in direct contradiction to—Lomborg's assertions in the text of the book; Lomborg has denied these claims in a public rebuttal.

In August 2010, Lomborg appeared to reverse his position on global warming in an interview with the Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

. He revealed that he endorses the use of a carbon tax to fight climate change in his latest book.

Personal life


Lomborg is gay
Gay
Gay is a word that refers to a homosexual person, especially a homosexual male. For homosexual women the specific term is "lesbian"....

 and a vegetarian. As a public figure
Public figure
Public figure is a legal term applied in the context of defamation actions as well as invasion of privacy. A public figure cannot base a lawsuit on incorrect harmful statements unless there is proof that the writer or publisher acted with actual malice...

 he has been a participant in information campaigns in Denmark about homosexuality, and states that "Being a public gay is to my view a civic responsibility. It's important to show that the width of the gay world cannot be described by a tired stereotype, but goes from leather gays on parade-wagons to suit-and-tie yuppies on the direction floor, as well as everything in between"

Recognitions and awards


In November 2001, Lomborg was selected "Global Leader for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum
World Economic Forum
The World Economic Forum is a Swiss non-profit foundation, based in Cologny, Geneva, best known for its annual meeting in Davos, a mountain resort in Graubünden, in the eastern Alps region of Switzerland....

.
In June 2002, BusinessWeek
BusinessWeek
Bloomberg Businessweek, commonly and formerly known as BusinessWeek, is a weekly business magazine published by Bloomberg L.P. It is currently headquartered in New York City.- History :...

 named Lomborg one of the "50 Stars of Europe" (June 17), in the category of Agenda Setters. The magazine noted, "No matter what they think of his views, nobody denies that Bjorn Lomborg has shaken the environmental movement to its core." Lomborg was selected as one of TIME
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

 magazine's 100 most influential people of 2004. In 2008 he came 41st in the Top 100 Public Intellectuals Poll run by Foreign Policy and Prospect Magazine, having placed 14th the previous time the poll was conducted in 2005, and was named as one of the 50 people who could save the planet by The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

.

Discussions in the media


After the release of The Skeptical Environmentalist in 2001, Lomborg was subjected to intense scrutiny and criticism in the media
News media
The news media are those elements of the mass media that focus on delivering news to the general public or a target public.These include print media , broadcast news , and more recently the Internet .-Etymology:A medium is a carrier of something...

, where his scientific qualifications and integrity were both attacked and defended. The verdict of the Danish Committees for Scientific Dishonesty fueled this debate and brought it into the spotlight of international mass media
Mass media
Mass media refers collectively to all media technologies which are intended to reach a large audience via mass communication. Broadcast media transmit their information electronically and comprise of television, film and radio, movies, CDs, DVDs and some other gadgets like cameras or video consoles...

. By the end of 2003 Lomborg had become an international celebrity, with frequent appearances on radio, television and print media
Publishing
Publishing is the process of production and dissemination of literature or information—the activity of making information available to the general public...

 around the world.
  • Scientific American
    Scientific American
    Scientific American is a popular science magazine. It is notable for its long history of presenting science monthly to an educated but not necessarily scientific public, through its careful attention to the clarity of its text as well as the quality of its specially commissioned color graphics...

     published strong criticism of Lomborg's book. Lomborg responded on his own website
    Website
    A website, also written as Web site, web site, or simply site, is a collection of related web pages containing images, videos or other digital assets. A website is hosted on at least one web server, accessible via a network such as the Internet or a private local area network through an Internet...

    , quoting the article at such length that Scientific American threatened to sue for copyright infringement
    Copyright infringement
    Copyright infringement is the unauthorized or prohibited use of works under copyright, infringing the copyright holder's exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative works.- "Piracy" :...

    . Lomborg eventually removed the rebuttal from his website; it was later published in PDF format on Scientific Americans site. The magazine also printed a response to the rebuttal.
  • The Economist
    The Economist
    The Economist is an English-language weekly news and international affairs publication owned by The Economist Newspaper Ltd. and edited in offices in the City of Westminster, London, England. Continuous publication began under founder James Wilson in September 1843...

     defended Lomborg, claiming the panel of experts that had criticised Lomborg in Scientific American was both biased and did not actually counter Lomborg's book. The Economist argued that the panel's opinion had come under no scrutiny at all, and that Lomborg's responses had not been reported.
  • Penn & Teller: Bullshit! — the U.S. Showtime television programme featured an episode entitled "Environmental Hysteria" in which Lomborg criticised what he claimed was environmentalists' refusal to accept a cost-benefit analysis
    Cost-benefit analysis
    Cost–benefit analysis , sometimes called benefit–cost analysis , is a systematic process for calculating and comparing benefits and costs of a project for two purposes: to determine if it is a sound investment , to see how it compares with alternate projects...

     of environmental questions, and stressed the need to prioritise some issues above others. Rolling Stone
    Rolling Stone
    Rolling Stone is a US-based magazine devoted to music, liberal politics, and popular culture that is published every two weeks. Rolling Stone was founded in San Francisco in 1967 by Jann Wenner and music critic Ralph J...

     stated, "Lomborg pulls off the remarkable feat of welding the techno-optimism of the Internet age with a lefty's concern for the fate of the planet."
  • The Union of Concerned Scientists
    Union of Concerned Scientists
    The Union of Concerned Scientists is a nonprofit science advocacy group based in the United States. The UCS membership includes many private citizens in addition to professional scientists. James J...

     strongly criticised The Skeptical Environmentalist, claiming it to be "seriously flawed and failing to meet basic standards of credible scientific analysis", accusing Lomborg of presenting data in a fraudulent way, using flawed logic and selectively citing non-peer-reviewed literature. The review was conducted by Peter Gleick
    Peter Gleick
    Dr. Peter H. Gleick is a scientist working on issues related to the environment, economic development, and international security, with a focus on global freshwater challenges. He works at the Pacific Institute in Oakland, California, which he co-founded in 1987. In 2003 he was awarded a MacArthur...

    , Jerry D. Mahlman, Edward O. Wilson, Thomas Lovejoy
    Thomas Lovejoy
    Dr. Thomas Eugene Lovejoy III is chief biodiversity adviser to the president of the World Bank, senior adviser to the president of the United Nations Foundation, and president of the Heinz Center for Science,...

    , Norman Myers
    Norman Myers
    Norman Myers BA PhD , is a British environmentalist specialisting in biodiversity. He is an influential figure among policy and institutional circles, although much of his more prominent work - such as on environmental refugees' - is widely viewed as lacking academic credibility...

    , Jeff Harvey
    Jeff Harvey
    Jeff Harvey is a Senior Scientist in the Department of Multitrophic Interactions at the , and formerly an associate editor of Nature.Harvey specializes in research concerning:...

     and Stuart Pimm. Lomborg countered that some of the scientists involved in this report were also named and criticised in The Skeptical Environmentalist, and thus had a vested interest
    Vested interest
    Vested interest is a communication theory that seeks to explain how influences impact behaviors. As defined by William Crano, vested interest refers to the amount that an attitude object is deemed hedonically relevant by the attitude holder...

     in discrediting it and its author.

Publications

  • Bjørn Lomborg, "Nucleus and Shield: Evolution of Social Structure
    Social structure
    Social structure is a term used in the social sciences to refer to patterned social arrangements in society that are both emergent from and determinant of the actions of the individuals. The usage of the term "social structure" has changed over time and may reflect the various levels of analysis...

     in the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma", American Sociological Review
    American Sociological Review
    The American Sociological Review is a bimonthly, peer-reviewed academic journal covering all aspects of sociology, including new theoretical developments, results of research that advance the understanding of fundamental social processes, and methodological innovations. It is published by SAGE...

    , 1996.
  • Bjørn Lomborg, The Skeptical Environmentalist
    The Skeptical Environmentalist
    The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World is a book by Danish environmentalist author Bjørn Lomborg, controversial for its claims that overpopulation, declining energy resources, deforestation, species loss, water shortages, certain aspects of global warming, and an...

    , Cambridge University Press, 2001.
  • Bjørn Lomborg (editor), Global Crises, Global Solutions
    Global Crises, Global Solutions
    Global Crises, Global Solutions is a book presenting the methodology, economic papers and conclusions of the first Copenhagen Consensus, edited by Bjørn Lomborg, published in 2004 by the Cambridge University Press....

    , Copenhagen Consensus
    Copenhagen Consensus
    Copenhagen Consensus is a project that seeks to establish priorities for advancing global welfare using methodologies based on the theory of welfare economics. It was conceived and organized by Bjørn Lomborg, the author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and the then director of the Danish...

    , Cambridge University Press, 2004
  • Bjørn Lomborg, "Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming
    Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming
    Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming is a book by the Danish statistician and political scientist Bjørn Lomborg. The book is a sequel to The Skeptical Environmentalist , which in English translation brought the author to world attention...

    ", 2007
  • Bjørn Lomborg, "Smart Solutions to Climate Change, Comparing Costs and Benefits", Cambridge University Press, November 2010, ISBN 978-0-521-76342-4.

Documentary film



Bjørn Lomborg released a documentary feature film COOL IT on 12 November 2010 in the US. The Atlantic review of COOL IT described it as "An urgent, intelligent, and entertaining account of the climate policy debate, with a strong focus on cost-effective solutions.""

The Bloggers' Briefing with Bjorn Lomborg and his movie COOL IT. Accuracy In Media
Accuracy in Media
Accuracy In Media is an American, non-profit news media watchdog founded in 1969 by economist Reed Irvine. AIM describes itself as "a non-profit, grassroots citizens watchdog of the news media that critiques botched and bungled news stories and sets the record straight on important issues that...


See also

  • The Skeptical Environmentalist
    The Skeptical Environmentalist
    The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World is a book by Danish environmentalist author Bjørn Lomborg, controversial for its claims that overpopulation, declining energy resources, deforestation, species loss, water shortages, certain aspects of global warming, and an...

  • Cool It
    Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming
    Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming is a book by the Danish statistician and political scientist Bjørn Lomborg. The book is a sequel to The Skeptical Environmentalist , which in English translation brought the author to world attention...

  • List of gay, lesbian or bisexual people
  • Environmentalism
    Environmentalism
    Environmentalism is a broad philosophy, ideology and social movement regarding concerns for environmental conservation and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the concerns of non-human elements...

  • Environmental skepticism
    Environmental skepticism
    Environmental skepticism is an umbrella term that describes those that argue that particular claims put forward by environmentalists and environmental scientists who support the first are false or exaggerated, along with those who are critical of environmentalism in general...

  • Project Syndicate
    Project Syndicate
    Project Syndicate is an international not-for-profit newspaper syndicate and association of newspapers. It distributes commentaries and analysis by experts, activists, Nobel laureates, statesmen, economists, political thinkers, business leaders and academics to its member publications, and...


External links


  • Lomborg's personal website, with own articles, links to related broadcasts on radio and TV, and Lomborg's opinion on the issues with the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty
  • Column archive at The Guardian
    The Guardian
    The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

  • Column archive at Project Syndicate
    Project Syndicate
    Project Syndicate is an international not-for-profit newspaper syndicate and association of newspapers. It distributes commentaries and analysis by experts, activists, Nobel laureates, statesmen, economists, political thinkers, business leaders and academics to its member publications, and...


Interviews
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