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The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World Paperback – Sep 10 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 540 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (Sept. 10 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521010683
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521010689
  • Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 17.3 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (277 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #86,019 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By marktwian77 on May 23 2004
Format: Paperback
....that Scientific American and The Star Chamber (Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty) piled on Lomborg with polemic statements and petty arguments against The Skeptical Environmentalist. I have a physics degree and currently study politics with a stastistical approach, and I appreciate the effort Lomborg put into his comprehensive survey so that we now have a dispassionate reference of the state of the environment.
Read Lomborg's careful rebuttle to Scientific American on the web, and watch him debate a Berkeley professor of Ecological Studies on PBS's Uncommon Knowledge (where you can view 25 minutes on several topics -- just enter Lomborg's name in the web site serach engine). Lomborg doesn't simply win the debate but utterly smashes these scientists' feeble arguments, all while gracefully taking their cheap shots. To some extent the lopsidedness is funny, but deeper down it is disturbing. I still have respesct for science in general although worry when many prominent scientists have inexcusable lapses in reasoning. But then again, Lomborg has one clear advantage over many scientists he debates: He understands basic economics and benefit/cost analysis while too many bright scientists obviously do not.
Long live science, but live longer the intelligent skeptics.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Øystein Sjølie on April 15 2004
Format: Paperback
Poverty, infectious diseases, hunger and pollution are serious problems for the humanity. The good news is that all these problems are getting smaller and smaller all the time. The problems have become extraordinary smaller during the last century, and are likely to get even smaller during the next one. That is one of Bjorn Lomborg's messages in this highly controversial book. He is attacking a lot of high-flying pessimist like Lester Brown, Al Gore and UN's climate panel (IPCC), and has therefore been portrayed as a liar, amongst them the Danish Committee on Scientific Dishonesty (before the ministry cancelled their verdict). Their official reason is that the book is one-sided and contains some (a lot of) factual mistakes. My oh my. As he writes himself: the intention is to correct the usual picture painted by the environmental movement and the media, and that must necessarily mean a bias. And the book certainly is biased, but the trouble is that Lomborg is biased the political incorrect way. That there are some factual flaws shouldn't surprise anyone, because the book is so full of facts. However, with his 3000 footnotes and 70 pages of references, the facts are very easy to check.
I was planning to give this book four stars, but after checking the some of the allegations other reviewers have posted on their sites, I changed my mind. Lomborg is one place attacked for 'deliberately not' having rounded 174,600 into 175,000 hectares, meaning Lomborg have given the number far to much credibility (Lomborg's footnote number 78). At another point, Lomborg is attacking the IPCC for having a hidden agenda.
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By techuser on May 25 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In our politically correct world, where special interests work so hard to manipulate us to match their thinking, we need more and more balance. This book does not debunk or preach, it gives a grounded alternate view of environmental reality. Strip away the retoric of various groups, and you will see what really needs to be done. If we viewed the world with this sane and rational approach, we would make much more headway.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Chakwin on April 13 2004
Format: Paperback
I won't add much to the many notes here. This is a book that is important to read to get some perspective on the exaggerations and distortions fed to us and repeated uncritically by the mostly mindless press.
As Lomborg points out more than once in the book, there is real environmental work to do and there are real environmental decisions to be made, but there is so much noise and so much distortion by advocacy groups competing for money and others competing for publicity that it can be hard to get government to do what will really work instead of wasting needed money on foolish enterprises.
The "review" by the appropriately-named Mr. Fog is nothing more than a hatchet job by someone who helped launch the now-discredited Danish Committee on Scientific Dishonesty and who helped contribute to a lengthy book in Danish attacking Lomborg's. Lomborg's response to the book shows some of its inaccuracies and distortions and can be found on his web site <[...]
The policy stakes here are high. Even higher is the cost of the intellectual pollution offered by dishonest "activists" to the information level of some important pubilc debates. If a closer look isn't given to these issues, lives, health, and money will all be squandered.
Read Lomborg's book carefully. Check it against its critics and them against his rebuttals and all of them against what facts can be nailed down.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fabian Boudville on Jan. 1 2004
Format: Paperback
It is true that Lomborg's book does contain some errors. And that is why I am giving it only 4 Stars. But Lomborg has freely admitted them; More importantly, however, these minor mistakes do not undermine his main conclusion that the Earth's Environment is improving, rather than declining. We have had predictions of mass famine in the 1960's too due to the growing world population but the subsequent Green Revolution boosted crop production and supported the increased population. My point here is that Scientists and Prognosticators cannot predict the future. Personally, I do think that we should do more to curb Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions and increase Fuel Economy Standards in both Canada and the US. Having a higher gas or electric bill tends to focus one's mind on buying energy saving devices, light bulbs, etc. Having said that, we should equally NOT Demonise individuals such as Bjorn Lomborg who argue that the Earth's Environment is gradually improving rather than going to hell in a hand basket. Rather we should rationally examine the scientific facts first and then form a conclusion as Lomborg attempts to do in his book.
Some critics of Dr. Lomborg have referred to the January 2003 report by the Danish Commitee on Scientific Dishonesty(DCSD) as essentially discrediting the entire basis of The Skeptical Environmentalist. But, in fact, many lay people have pointed out serious flaws in the Methadology of DCSD's conclusions and on its refusal to give Lomborg prior to the release of their critical report. The Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation has now(December 2003) intervened to harshly criticised the DCSD's methadology and to repudiated its findings on Lomborg's book. here. Among the points cited(cf.
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