Campaign Against Lomborg Is Discredited
18 December 2003
Campaign against Lomborg is Discredited
Environmental activists in New Zealand should be among those who apologise to Danish scientist and author of The Skeptical Environmentalist, Bjørn Lomborg, after he was cleared of accusations of scientific dishonesty, New Zealand Business Roundtable executive director Roger Kerr said today.
Lomborg argues that environmental trends are not as negative as many maintain, and that environmental groups, scientists and the media tend to exaggerate bad news. He came to New Zealand to deliver the Business Roundtable's Sir Ronald Trotter lecture in October.
The Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation today overturned and criticised a January 2003 finding by the Danish Committees on Scientific Dishonesty (DSCD) that Lomborg's book The Skeptical Environmentalist was "objectively dishonest" or "clearly contrary to the standards of good scientific practice".
The Ministry, which is responsible for the DSCD, has found that the DCSD judgment was not backed up by documentation, and was "completely void of argumentation" for its claims. The Ministry characterises the DCSD's treatment of the case as "emotional" and "deserving criticism".
"Environmental activists around the world used the DCSD finding to attack Lomborg's message," Mr Kerr said.
"Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons seized upon the now-discredited ruling, and said during Lomborg's visit that "he plays fast and loose with the scientific facts." Victoria University lecturer Cath Wallace who chairs ECO, an umbrella group of 65 conservation organisations, also criticised Lomborg's work. Both should apologise and withdraw their comments," Mr Kerr said.
Lomborg said today: 'It has now been established that if someone wants to criticise the Institute or my book - and anyone is welcome to do so - mudslinging is not enough. You have to use solid arguments.'
Media release by Lomborg and other information is available at http://www.imv.dk