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Greens Slander of a Skeptic: Three Years Later, the Truth Wins Out

Danish statistics professor Bjorn Lomborg never set out to take on the environmentalist movement. One day he happened to read an interview with Julian Simon, a renowned economist (now dead) who made a career of disproving the claims of environmentalists. Seeking to disprove Simon's arguments, Lomborg instead - to his surprise - confirmed all but a few. His work resulted in his 2001 book, The Skeptical Environmentalist.

Complete with nearly 3,000 footnotes, the book makes the case that while our stewardship of the environment isn't perfect, things are rapidly improving and our future looks bright. Not surprisingly, environmentalists made it their goal to discredit Lomborg.

Scientific American, better known lately for politicized science than reportage, commissioned several writers to rebut Lomborg. Numerous environmentalist organizations spread the message that the book was to be attacked. The highest-profile effort came courtesy of the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty, which ruled the book was nothing less than "scientific dishonesty."

Lomborg did commit a few errors - something he has openly acknowledged. To his credit, he made it very easy to check all of his sources and conclusions.

The attacks against Lomborg, however, had less to do with his accuracy and more to do with the nature of the environmentalist movement. As science writer Ronald Bailey has pointed out, environmentalism is a political ideology that claims a basis in science. If you discredit the science, the movement has nothing to support its drive to fundamentally change the way we live.

The Danish committees' conclusions were almost entirely based on the four articles run by Scientific American in 2002, even though all had been refuted by Lomborg. Other criticism held that Lomborg failed to follow the scientific method - which is interesting given that his conclusions were based on data from the United Nations and other international agencies and governments, not from any experiments he had performed. So if Lomborg's data is flawed, so then is the data that many environmentalists rely on.

Nevertheless, Lomborg has been pilloried around the world ever since.

Now, however, he has been vindicated in sweeping fashion. Earlier this month, the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty essentially retracted its claim that The Skeptical Environmentalist was objectively dishonest. This came three months after the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation had rejected the committees' claims about the book, saying the critique was not backed up by documentation and was "completely void of argumentation" for the claims of dishonesty and lack of good scientific practice on Lomborg's part.

In declining to challenge the Danish ministry's decision, the committees basically conceded that outside of the errors that Lomborg freely admitted to, their researchers have been utterly unable to refute any of his major points about environmentalists' exaggerations.

And so the environmental movement has turned Lomborg into a modern-day Galileo, a scientist who was brutalized because his conclusions don't fit with environmentalist orthodoxy and for thoroughly undermining the science that green alarmists rely on. His attempt to put environmental concerns on the same level as other concerns, such as the prosperity of humanity, was too threatening to environmentalists' motivating belief that their agenda is far and away the most important in the world.

Perhaps the pendulum finally has begun to swing back against the environmentalist movement. Thanks to Lomborg and others like him, people are beginning to realize that much of the movement's claims amount to junk science.

--The author of this article may be contacted through the BRC main office: 4555 Burley Drive, Suite A, Pocatello, ID, 83202. Phone: 208-237-1008, Fax: 208-237-9424. Email: .

June 1, 2016 3:10 PM

POCATELLO, ID (June 1, 2016) – Coalition (BRC) is pleased to reveal that its long-time partner in the fight to protect recreational access, Rocky Mountain ATV-MC (RMATV-MC), has agreed once again to generously match each dollar* raised to support BRC at the upcoming annual COW TAG event hosted by Klim, another long-time partner for access.

April 26, 2016 9:54 AM

POCATELLO, ID (April 26, 2016) -- Coalition (BRC) is pleased to announce the recent release of issue #4 of the BlueRibbon Magazine. This issue is packed with outstanding winter articles and a variety of recreation topics.

Hard copies of the BlueRibbon Magazine should be arriving at doorsteps this week (if they have not already arrived). If your copy has not yet arrived, there's no need to wait! The digital edition of the BlueRibbon Magazine is available today, in FlipZine or PDF versions.

April 13, 2016 10:04 AM

It's time once again for the annual COW TAG event! Please join KLIM and the Sharetrails/BlueRibbon Coalition (BRC) at this one-of-a-kind ride to be held on Saturday, June 25 at Kelly Canyon, ID. Proceeds benefit trail organizations and Sharetrails/BRC. Enter to win a 2016 Beta 300RR Race Edition!...

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