Thursday, September 27, 2007

the deceitful bjorn lomborg, at it again

Bjorn Lomborg has earned a pretty penny as the so-called skeptical environmentalist. Lomborg is typically deceitful in his latest column pooh-poohing various environmental dangers. For example, he grotesquely oversimplifies the issue of global warming to "the polar bears are in danger," and he then refutes that by claiming that polar bear population has increased from 5000 to 25,000 in the past 40 years.

Of course, Lomborg ignores the unhelpful fact that the frigging Arctic Ocean was actually sufficiently ice-free this summer to allow shipping thru the Northwest Passage. Nor does Bjorn note the fact that polar bears rely on sea ice. Not to mention that Bjorn ignores the myriad other problems associated with climate change. We shouldn't worry about climate change just because polar bears may go extinct, sad as that would be. We worry about it for so many other reasons - rising sea levels, drier agricultural lands, mass extinctions. Despite Lomborg's professional skepticism, a very sober bunch of people who are not prone to fits of hysteria and fad-hopping are increasingly worried about climate change - the sober men and women at Lloyds of London, Swiss Re, Allianz and other insurance companies, who fear increased extreme weather incidents.

In any case, Lomborg, the past 40 years are not a predictor of the next 40 years. I am sure he understands that, and I am sure that he ignores it for his convenience, so he can send out his soothing message that we don't really have to do anything. Relax little froggies, and don't worry about that water heating up around you because it hasn't killed you yet.

For example, over the past 40 years Lomborg has thrived - he has grown up and grown taller, gotten out of diapers, become much better educated, seen his earnings rise dramatically, become stronger. Using Lomborgian logic, I believe Bjorn is immortal (after all, he hasn't died once in the past 40 years) and will grow ever wealthier (earnings are up therefore can only go up) and stronger until he is as rich as Croesus and as strong as Atlas. Because surely those past trends in Lomborg's life will continue indefinitely regardless of any changes in conditions, right?

Lomborg's "The Skeptical Environmentalist" book was a bunch of crap. The Danish Committee on Scientific Dishonesty saw fit to review it, and found it contained fabricated data, selective discarding of unwanted results, deliberately misleading use of statistics, distorted interpretation of conclusions, deliberate misinterpretation of others' results, oh and for good measure, plagiarism.

Why does this guy get published? Because there are still those who are willing to finance the dishonest who are willing to say, "don't worry be happy." I would like to believe in hell, because I think they deserve a special spot there.



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