Fact Checking the Skeptical Environmentalist

Photo of Bjørn Lomborg by Emil Jupin, courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


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.

THE END...

of our fiscal year is Thursday, June 30, and we have a much larger fundraising gap than we can easily manage with only days left to go.

Right now is no time to come up short: If you value the hard-hitting, democracy-protecting, justice-advancing journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us keep charging as hard as we possibly can with a much-needed and much-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

THE END...

of our fiscal year is Thursday, June 30, and we have a much larger fundraising gap than we can easily manage with only days left to go.

Right now is no time to come up short: If you value the hard-hitting, democracy-protecting, justice-advancing journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us keep charging as hard as we possibly can with a much-needed and much-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate