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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a little scary....
....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...
Published on May 23 2004 by marktwian77

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars There is nothing to be skeptical about
This book shows concern for the earth's environment, but at the same time refutes catastrophic ecological events and processes. It's clear that both sides (environmentalists vs. everyone else) have their own agendas, which is why they argue their viewpoints as they do. So many biases based on innumerable experiences, ideologies, faiths, etc. come into play when...
Published on July 16 2004 by ABC123


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a little scary...., May 23 2004
By 
This review is from: The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World (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
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful story about a beautiful future, April 15 2004
By 
ěystein Sj°lie "ěystein Sj°lie" (Oslo, Norway) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World (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. He accuses the panel's 2001 report for being concerned about consumption in general, and comes up with a lot of fantastic quotations, like "it's doubtful that this trend (of higher speed in transportation) really enhances the quality of life". I couldn't really believe this, but yes, it was true. The IPCC, which I until yesterday believed consisted of natural scientist, has used a lot of their latest report to mourn about how the TV are fooling us to believe that consumption is the road to happiness. The IPCC! The revelation of the UN priorities stunned me a bit really.
The book is highly recommended. It's a thorough investigation into the all of humanities greatest concerns, and a highly usable reference. If you doubt any of the claims Lomborg makes you could always check out the primary source.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Should be manditory, May 25 2013
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars A look through the lies and exaggerations, April 13 2004
By 
Stephen Chakwin (Norwalk, CT USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World (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
4.0 out of 5 stars Danish Ministry of Science Vindicates Lomborg-Dec.17, 2003, Jan. 1 2004
By 
Fabian Boudville (BC, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World (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. a very useful web story by Ian Murray(my thanks to him for his insightful analyses of the DCSD situation) ...is that firstly, the DCSD failed to substantiate its case against Lomborg's book and did not state where Lomborg committed his alleged mistakes. In such a situation, Lomborg could not be expected to respond to the DCSD's critiques--which some have said merely copy Scientific American's previous critiques of Lomborg's work.
Secondly, while DCSD emphasised that all scientific work should go through a peer review, they omitted to examine whether such a procedure had been done in Lomborg's case. In fact, Lomborg's book had, in fact, been reviewed by 4 recognised scientists prior to its publication by the Cambridge University Press. Thirdly, the Danish Ministry of Scienace, Technology and Innovation criticised the language and tone of DCSD's report as being highly emotional and error prone--in other words, somewhat unprofessional for a scholarly Committee.
Fourthly, DCSD's procedure of presenting Lomborg's case before 3 separate scientific Committees instead of the usual one was unusual and procedurally incorrect. Moreover with this new situation, a ruling which was issued by the Individual Committee within whose area of study Lomborg worked could be overturned by the 2 other Commitees. Fifthly, it was "clearly wrong" to deny Dr. Lomborg an opportunity to defend his book in front of the Commitee of Scientific Dishonesty prior to the DCSD's ruling. Finally, the Chairman of the Sub-committee in the Lomborg case came from the Health Sciences, rather than from the Social Sciences Department, which is Dr. Lomborg's field. I thought it was quite funny that this was the case--it wld be like asking a Biologist to study the work of Chemist and makes no sense at all!
In summary, the Janury 2003 DCSD ruling seems to have been intended as a hatchet job on Lomborg's work. Perhaps it was an attempt to discredit the views of those who don't subscribe to the Environmentalist viewpoint. But fortunately, there is some justice to this world and the DCSD report has now been publicly repudiated by the DCSD's own superiors. As Lomborg states after the release of the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation's report: "It has been hard, but I am happy that we now have confirmation that freedom of speech extends to Environmental debate. Now that this distraction is behind us, we can concentrate our efforts on matters of importance--namely how to prioritize our effort for the earth." I think he couldn't have said it better. One should let the scientific facts on the ground--rather than the angry rhetoric and threats emanating from Environmental groups and their supporters against both Lomborg or his publisher, Cambridge University Press--to control the debate over how to preserve the Earth's Environment for the benefit of our future generations. Such a move strikes me as an attempt suppress dissent over such a topic.
Thank You.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lomborg vindicated, March 12 2004
By 
John H. Zipps (Boston, MA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World (Paperback)
This is not a review as such, but it will help buyers trying to determine the validity of the charges against this book's rigour:
Press Release from the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty
March 12, 2004
Scientific Dishonesty Committee Withdraws Lomborg Case
The Danish Committee on Scientific Dishonesty (DCSD) today announced it would not reopen the case concerning Bj°rn Lomborg's book, "The Skeptical Environmentalist".
In December 2003 The Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation completely rejected the DCSD finding that "The Skeptical Environmentalist" was "objectively dishonest" or "clearly contrary to the standards of good scientific practice".
The Ministry, which is responsible for the DCSD, found that the committee's 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 invalidated the original finding and sent the case back to DCSD, where it was up to the committee to decide whether to reopen the case for a new trial.
"The committee decision is as one would expect," Environmental Assessment Institute director Bj°rn Lomborg said today. "More than two years have passed since the case against my book was started. In that time every possible stone has been turned over, yet DCSD has been unable to find a single point of criticism that withstands further investigation."
"DCSD have reached the only logical conclusion. The committee has acknowledged that the former verdict of my book was invalid. I am happy that this will spell an end to what has been a very distasteful course of events," Bj°rn Lomborg said.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lomborg vindicated by Danish Ministry of Science, Dec 17 2003
By 
pretnar (Norwalk, CT) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World (Paperback)
I figured this worthy of mention here since the DCSC's smear campaign against Lomborg is oft cited in the preceeding negative reviews of this book.
From a press release today (12/17/03):
"The Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation has today repudiated findings by the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty (DSCD) that Bj°rn 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."
Link: [...]
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting debate, July 14 2004
By 
C. Dunn "independent thinker" (Austin, TX USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World (Paperback)
I have read the (book-length) debates between the author and environmental scientists, and from that I've learned a tremendous amount about the extent of our knowledge of weather and ecosystems. The most informative debate is Lomborg's point-by-point rebuttal of criticism which appeared in Scientific American. (You can find all of this on the web.) In a nutshell, the scientists do not sound very scientific.
I think there is a reason for the disgust of many scientists. Lomborg attacks the evidence of several kinds of environmental catastrophe. The scientists, on the other hand, begin from a conservative point of view in their concern for the mere possibility of irreparable damage to the earth. They are obviously correct to realize that we cannot afford to lose the earth, and we should therefore be wary of any significant perturbation made by mankind.
I believe that the scientists get angry because Lomborg refutes their favorite arguments in favor of strict environmental policies, those which purport that a catastrophe has already begun. Lomborg, on the other hand, does not understand that the strongest argument is that we can always be wrong.
We cannot afford a mistake which destroys our only viable planet, which is why we must limit the global impact of our activities. But this is not the point addresed by either Lomborg or his critics.
Lomborg has done a significant service in pointing out some flaws and biases in scientific research, but you would learn more by following the debates than by reading this large, tendentious book.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Those who panned the book didn't read it, July 5 2004
By 
SW (United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World (Paperback)
Outstanding analysis. Lomborg makes a point of using the same data sources (mainly the UN development agencies) that the rabid "don't confuse me with facts" environmentalists use. General complaints about Lomborg by fanatics are "uses discredited studies" and "picks and chooses data". The book has 2930 footnotes and the bibliography is 72 pages long, so how he left anything out boggles me. Lomborg gives the reader ALL the facts, and shows that our priorities should be based upon the data, not religious zealotry for environmental concerns.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The "Hidden" Agenda, July 2 2004
By 
Adam Adamou "grazen" (Toronto, ON, CANADA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World (Paperback)
This is a terrific book that should be on the bookshelf of everybody that believes that reason is more powerful than passion or faith. Using detailed statistical analysis, the author essentially tears apart most of the arguments that environmentalists have been using to push their agenda on the rest of us. Reading this book, it became obvious to me that environmentalists for the most part, are *not* interested in the environment and in the health of the people on it (if they were, they would at least get their facts straight, and stop the constant barrage of misinformation that they constantly throw at us). They are indeed, more interested in their political agenda, a combination of fascism and socialism, because of course, "they know best".
Use this book as a fact finder. And then watch your so-called environmentalist friends squirm when you feed them the facts. Guaranteed, they will not have a response, and then eventually concede that the facts don't matter one way or another.
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