September 19, 2003


Bjorn Lomborg is yet to even arrive in Australia, and already the slamming has commenced. Must be that "crushing of dissent" we're always hearing so much about.

Posted by Tim Blair at September 19, 2003 03:39 AM

The article seems accurate - in that it accurately quotes other people's lies and distortions about Lomborg.

No mention of the readily available debunking of Lomborg's critics, of course, and no links to source material (especially any two-sided discussion) - why confuse the issue?

Posted by: Parker at September 19, 2003 at 04:46 AM

Quote: "Improvements in the environment do not follow naturally from more economic growth."

This is utterly, UTTERLY at variance with reality. As GDP per capita increases beyond $6,000 per year pollution gets lower. That wealth equates to a cleaner environment is almost axiomatic. London doesn't have better air quality than 30 years ago. It has better air quality than any time since the late sixteenth century. There are salmon in the Thames. It is impossible to have environmentally sound policies unless there is the wealth there to pay for them. The brain-dead left needs to understand the idea of opportunity cost, and fast.

There has never been a single well-attested refutation of any of Lomborg's major points. To the contray: his critics have been proven time and again to be grossly wrong. This Hamilton character has written an article that is a tissue of lies from start to finish - and where it's not outright lies, it's indecipherable gibberish (q.v. the final paragraph on what level of national income the US and Australia would volunteer to commit economic suicide).

One can only assume from this that The Australia Institute is some form of sheltered accommodation for mental defectives.

Posted by: David Gillies at September 19, 2003 at 05:56 AM

Re: The Kyoto treaty

Hamilton conveniently omits the plain fact that even if the global-warming-theorists are right, and even if their models are accurate, by their very own estimates the Kyoto Treaty will not stop global warming but will, over the course of the next century, delay the estimated temperature rise by...

six years.

Posted by: Ken Summers at September 19, 2003 at 08:35 AM

Further, it is Hamilton who is guilty of junk science , along with `environmentalists' and the `greenies, and governments who have set up monstrous scams like EPA and so on.But, it is after all, the SMH which published Hamilton's garbage.

Posted by: d at September 19, 2003 at 09:48 AM

i think clive has an exra chromosome.

Posted by: roscoe p coltrane at September 19, 2003 at 10:21 AM

The IPAA shouldn't be describing Lomborg as a "leading international environmental scientist".

Lomborg would not approve of that description.

As anyone who has read the book would know, Lomborg didn't stray from his field of expertise -statistics.

Posted by: Pig Head Sucker at September 19, 2003 at 10:49 AM

Big Clive is from the Australia Institute, as indicated. This organisation includes on its board Sharan Burrow and Michael Raper, formerly of ACKPOSS (the Australian Council for Keeping People on Social Security).

Needless to say, you can make a tax deductible donation to them to support their good work.

I wonder if the ABC will refer to this group as 'left-wing thinktank, The Australia Institute...'

Posted by: GeoffM at September 19, 2003 at 11:04 AM

Hey people! Send a letter to the SMH:

Posted by: Aaron at September 19, 2003 at 12:58 PM

Oh guys, this article is SATIRE! Satire, god you guys are so easily fooled. I twigged early when I read this:

Usually when academics stray from their areas of specialisation, they adopt a degree of caution and humility

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!! Oh clive!

Posted by: AMOS at September 19, 2003 at 01:02 PM

If you want to learn about the "string of denials from some of the world's leading environmental scientists, who pointed out that the book's litany of errors and misinterpretations could be explained by the fact that the author had no qualifications in any area related to it." that Hamilton speaks of, see the Econimists ripping apart of those claims...

Defending science

For a summary of Lomborg's work, go here...

The truth about the environment

Posted by: PK at September 19, 2003 at 01:30 PM

how is this 'crushing dissent'? it's one person disagreeing with another (in an opinion column - not an act of parliament, mind you).

by tim's own standards, his comments on any number of australian or international writers on any given day are crushing dissent.

no. it's called debate in the public sphere, and it's a large part of what the internet, and certainly blogs, is about.

disagree if you want - just don't label it the crushing of dissent.

Posted by: crush at September 19, 2003 at 01:43 PM

Economic growth undoubtledy improves the quality of the environment.

As people get richer, they want a cleaner envorinment--and the acquire the means to pay for it. For example, if farmers freely pollute rivers, higher agriculture exports will increase pollution. The solution to this is not to shut off exports: it is to impose tougher environmental laws that make polluters pay. This combined with greater wealth generated from increased exports will drive innovation towards more environment-friendly production methods.

How are we going to stop Brazil from raping it's natural resources? By moving it's economy away from the emphasis on primary products towards a manufacturing-based and eventually service and technology-based economy. And the only way to do that is through sound economic growth strategies.

Posted by: Cruddrick at September 19, 2003 at 01:44 PM

crush, the statement is meant to be ironic. Liberals are always labelling debate as "crushing of dissent".

Posted by: Cruddrick at September 19, 2003 at 01:56 PM

Poor crush. Not yet capable of recognizing satire and irony when he sees it. Dumbass.

Posted by: Eichra Oren at September 19, 2003 at 02:13 PM

PK, Thanks! I was trying to find the reference for the Kyoto statement (six years).

Posted by: Ken Summers at September 20, 2003 at 12:03 AM

Professor Lomborg is not an "environmental scientist", he is a statistician. That compromies the whole argument against his work. But does his book claim to be scientific environmental investigation? No: he takes the published statistics - his field - and shows how they have been manipulated improperly, interpreted wrongly, mathematically distorted, and even lied about. He has shown that a part of the field, the vocal squeaking-wheel part, all too often emulates the Bellisles approaches to data.

Posted by: John Anderson at September 20, 2003 at 07:25 AM

"compromies"? Er, comprises.

Posted by: John Anderson, again at September 20, 2003 at 07:26 AM

Danish statistician Bjorn Lomborg wrote a best-selling book, The Skeptical Environmentalist, which created waves by arguing that environmental decline has been grossly exaggerated and that, in truth, things have never been better.

I'm wouldn't agree that this is what Lomborg is arguing. He is more interested in trends, and his general point is that most indicators suggest that the state of environment is getting better and not worse. There are in fact plenty of things that are unacceptably bad (for instant that there is any starvation in the world at all) and that we should do plenty about but it is not the case that the world is going to hell in a handbasket.

Lomborg's book attracted a string of denials from some of the world's leading environmental scientists, who pointed out that the book's litany of errors and misinterpretations could be explained by the fact that the author had no qualifications in any area related to it.

I have seen nobody point out any significant errors in the book, although there have been one or two convincing arguments that Lomborg's interpretation of the facts is overoptimistic on certain points. However, in terms of refuting his arguments, nobody has even landed a punch. There has just been a lot of shouting smearing. Given that his opponents accuse him of scientific inaccuracy and dishonesty, it is impressive how unwilling they have been to participate in actual scientific discussion.

Posted by: Michael Jennings at September 20, 2003 at 11:41 PM

i'd rather drive a lombarghini than a lombargreenie

Posted by: roscoe p coltrane at September 21, 2003 at 08:12 PM