Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Bjorn Lomborg Vindicated -- Again

Bjorn Lomborg is an inconvenience for statist environmentalists, who have yet to produce any credible objections to the bulk of his work. Yes, he made a few minor mistakes, which he has acknowledged, but they do not amount to a repudiation of his main thesis -- that things are generally getting better for man and the planet, and will continue to do so.

That is why the weird decision of the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty has been deployed so often by his enemies. The committees found that Lomborg had been scientifically dishonest, but didn't mean to be, which is a pretty odd definition of dishonest, if you ask me. The committees did no independent investigation of the charges, instead relying almost exclusively on a series of articles in Scientific American by scientists whose conclusions Lomborg disagreed with.

Well, Bjorn's institute in Denmark today issued this press release:

Lomborg Decision Overturned by Danish Ministry of Science

The Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation has today repudiated findings by the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty (DSCD) that Bjorn Lomborg's book "The Skeptical Environmentalist" was "objectively dishonest" or "clearly contrary to the standards of good scientific practice"

The Ministry, which is responsible for the DSCD, has today released a critical assessment of the Committee's January 6 ruling. The Ministry finds that the DCSD judgment was not backed up by documentation, and was "completely void of argumentation" for the claims of dishonesty and lack of good scientific practice.

The Ministry characterises the DCSD's treatment of the case as "dissatisfactory", "deserving criticism" and "emotional" and points out a number
of significant errors. The DSCD's verdict has consequently been remitted.

The DCSD report was a hatchet job designed to keep Lomborg out of contention for a position as the head of the Environmental Research Institute in Denmark. His book has been a great blow to the environmentalist cult worldwide. The dishonesty and cynicism of the cult, of which the DCSD report is typical, has been apparent in their response to Lomborg as in nowhere else.

In the book, Lomborg argues that environmentalist claims that the world is running out of resources, that the air and water are getting more and more polluted, and that the earth cannot sustain human population growth are not supported by the evidence. In fact, most resources are nowhere near running out now or in the foreseeable future. Those resources such as oil that are likely to become less abundant in two or three generations can be replaced by technological advances, and human activity is unlikely to have that much of an effect on, for example, the atmosphere or the oceans.

Moreover, he argues that living conditions for peoples the world over have been steadily improving as a result of institution of public health, economic, and technology solutions such as improved communication, free trade, open markets, and sanitation. He points out how simple solutions such as providing a clean water supply to communities has a much greater effect on human wellbeing than any of the priorities of the environmentalists are likely to have. (IN fact, his emphasis on human well-being as a criteria for environmental policy rankles environmentalists to no end.) He regards evironmentalism inspired efforts such as the campaign to limit population growth or limit commerce and industrial activity (e.g., the Kyoto Protocol) as misguided and counterproductive.