Fact Checking the Skeptical Environmentalist

Photo of Bjørn Lomborg by Emil Jupin, courtesy Wikimedia Commons

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Danish political scientist Bjørn Lomborg has made his fame and a fortune publishing two books, The Skeptical Environmentalist (2001) and Cool It (2007). One reason for his success in muddying the media waters on matters of science regarding biodiversity and climate change is because he voluminously footnotes his own work.

So Howard Friel took on the unenviable task of fact checking Lomborg’s sources. Friel found enough to be skeptical about in Lomborg’s findings to write a whole book, The Lomborg Deception, due out with Yale University Press next month. From Sharon Begley’s book review in Newsweek:

“When Friel began checking Lomborg’s sources, ‘I found problems,’ he says. ‘As an experiment, I looked up one of his footnotes, found that it didn’t support what he said, and then did another, and kept going, finding the same pattern.’ He therefore took on the Augean stables undertaking of checking every one of the hundreds of citations in Cool It. Friel’s conclusion, as per his book’s title, is that Lomborg is ‘a performance artist disguised as an academic.'”

Hat tip to Pharyngula for the link.

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

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