Thursday, August 28, 2003

Once More Into the Fray for Bjorn Lomborg

Bjorn Lomborg, author of the Skeptical Environmentalist, has been the object of a number of ad homenim attacks since the publication of his book.

There was the trashing of his work in Scientific American, which backfired badly against Scientific American:

As Philip Stott, a distinguished emeritus professor of biogeography at the University of London put it at the time, "I have been involved in the editing of scientific journals for over 15 years, and I could never conceive of treating an author in the manner that the Scientific American has dealt with Dr. Lomborg. …

"Not only did the magazine run an editorial criticizing Dr. Lomborg, it gave space to four known environmentalists to write separate articles attacking him with no balancing articles whatsoever from senior scientists who are likely to support Dr. Lomborg's critique. Again, I have never heard the like. In a so-called scientific journal, such a course of action beggars belief."

Then there was the creation of an ad hoc "committee on scientific dishonesty", created especially to attack Lomborg, that issued a report accusing him of dishonesty. This also backfired as hundreds of Danish scientists closed ranks with Lomborg and defended the honesty of his work.

Now we have one, last desperate salvo by the Green Cult against Lomberg.

But his opponents never seem to learn. So this week another round of Lomborg bashing begins. But what this week's Danish panel, the DCSD, Scientific American and others who perpetuate the sustained intellectual pie-throwing campaign against Lomborg can't seem to come to terms with is a much bigger problem on their hands. The long-held convictions of the environmental movement are crumbling under withering scrutiny from independent scientists and academics who refuse to kowtow to green orthodoxy and pressure.