December 18, 2003


Via reader J.F. Beck, news of dissent uncrushed:

Bjorn Lomborg, the author of a controversial book attacking the environment movement, was cleared yesterday of "scientific dishonesty" by the Danish science ministry.

The ministry overturned a ruling in January by the Danish committee on scientific dishonesty (DCSD), part of the Danish Research Agency, that Mr Lomborg's book The Skeptical Environmentalist was "clearly contrary to the standards of good scientific practice".

Mr Lomborg hailed yesterday's decision as "brilliant". It provided confirmation that freedom of speech extended to the environmental debate, he said.

Michael Crichton had something to say back in January about the persecution of Lomborg. This decision will remove a stupid "conviction" from critics’ weaponry. And here’s more from the Financial Times:

How can they have been so stupid? In a nutshell, this was yesterday's official verdict on the Danish committees on scientific dishonesty.

With imperious hauteur the committees had ruled in January that Bjorn Lomborg's book The Skeptical Environmentalist was "objectively speaking . . . scientific dishonesty". Purely based on the evidence of articles in the magazine Scientific American, the Danish environmental optimist became the scientific equivalent of a flat-earther and the cause of an almighty dispute about the science behind global warming. "The publication is deemed clearly contrary to the standards of good scientific practice," the ruling added.

Yesterday it was damningly overturned by the Danish Ministry of Science, which found that the committees had not discovered any bias in Mr Lomborg's choice of data and that criticism of his working methods was "completely void of argumentation". The criticisms continue. The committees used sloppy and emotive language that - perhaps deliberately - obscured the fact that they had in fact cleared Mr Lomborg of gross negligence and an intent to deceive. They failed adequately to assess whether they had proper jurisdiction over the book. They used improper procedures. They failed to assess whether Mr Lomborg's work had been peer reviewed. They had not offered Mr Lomborg a chance to respond.

Posted by Tim Blair at December 18, 2003 11:31 PM

Michael Crighton has more to say about those who would wish to politicize environmental science: "If we allow science to become politicized...we will enter the Internet version of the dark ages."

Posted by: Sissy Willis at December 19, 2003 at 02:07 AM

Pleasntly surprised by the Crighton link. All his books come across as anti-tech rants..

Posted by: ted at December 19, 2003 at 08:21 AM

Crichton absolutely nails the topic and gives it to exactly the right forum. I'm also pleasantly surprised.

Posted by: Michael Gill at December 19, 2003 at 10:30 AM

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

Posted by: Razor at December 19, 2003 at 11:13 AM

What is obvious is the resemablance between the Danish Committee and the Inquisition and don't forget the R.C.Index. Bracks has trumped the Danes with his `blasphemy laws', beating even the E.U. which has its own `Blasphemy' regulations ready for enforcement.

Posted by: d at December 19, 2003 at 12:25 PM these rules apply in the US, too? No more books for me!!!

Posted by: Michael Moore (and more and more and...) at December 19, 2003 at 02:21 PM

Yahoooooo!!!! This is a great victory for freedom! :)

Posted by: Miguel at December 19, 2003 at 05:50 PM

The thing is, I bet they arent' even ashamed, because they have the current childish mind-set that says, I am on the morally righteous side, so it doesn't matter about the facts

It would be salutary if the m inistry, or perhaps the courts, made these sorry assholes apologise and compensate the scientists, given that their remarks can now be safely termed falsely defamatory of Lomborg's reputation. That should be worth a bundle.

Posted by: Dave F at December 19, 2003 at 07:17 PM