Bjørn Lomborg, a former member of Greenpeace, challenges widely held beliefs that the world environmental situation is getting worse and worse in his new book, The Skeptical Environmentalist. Using statistical information from internationally recognized research institutes, Lomborg systematically examines a range of major environmental issues that feature prominently in headline news around the world, including pollution, biodiversity, fear of chemicals, and the greenhouse effect, and documents that the world has actually improved. He supports his arguments with over 2500 footnotes, allowing readers to check his sources. Lomborg criticizes the way many environmental organizations make selective and misleading use of scientific evidence and argues that we are making decisions about the use of our limited resources based on inaccurate or incomplete information. Concluding that there are more reasons for optimism than pessimism, he stresses the need for clear-headed prioritization of resources to tackle real, not imagined, problems. The Skeptical Environmentalist offers readers a non-partisan evaluation that serves as a useful corrective to the more alarmist accounts favored by campaign groups and the media.
"The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World" is a book by Danish environmentalist author Bjørn Lomborg, controversial for its claims that overpopulation, declining energy resources, deforestation, species loss, water shortages, certain aspects of global warming, and an assortment of other global environmental issues are unsupported by analysis of the relevant data. It was first published in Danish in 1998, while the English edition was published as a work in environmental economics by Cambridge University Press in 2001.
Due to the scope of the project, comprising the range of topics addressed, the diversity of data and sources employed, and the many types of conclusions and comments advanced, The Skeptical Environmentalist does not fit easily into a particular scientific discipline or methodology. Although published by the social sciences division of Cambridge University Press, the findings and conclusions were widely challenged on the basis of natural science. This interpretation of The Skeptical Environmentalist as a work of environmental science generated much of the controversy and debate that surrounded the book.
Bjørn Lomborg is adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School. He is the organizer of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, which brings together some of the world's top economists, including 5 Nobel laureates, to set priorities for the world. Time magazine named Lomborg one of the world's 100 most influential people in 2004. In 2008 he was named "one of the 50 people who could save the planet" by the UK Guardian; "one of the top 100 public intellectuals" by Foreign Policy and Prospect magazine; and "one of the world's 75 most influential people of the 21st century" by Esquire.
Beside working as the director of Copenhagen Consensus and as adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School, Lomborg is the author of the best-selling "The Skeptical Environmentalist" and "Cool it" in which he challenged mainstream concerns about the environment and pointed out that we need to focus attention on the most important problems first.
"The Skeptical Environmentalist" had its genesis in 1998, when Lomborg worked as an associate professor of statistics at the Department of Political Science at the University of Aarhus in Denmark. He published four lengthy articles about the state of the environment in a leading Danish newspaper, which resulted in a firestorm debate spanning over 400 articles in major metropolitan newspapers. The articles led to the publication of "The Skeptical Environmentalist" in 2001, which has now been published in every major language in the world.
Since the publication of "The Skeptical Environmentalist", Lomborg has been a frequent participant in public debate. His commentaries have appeared regularly in such prestigious publications as the New York Times, Wall St. Journal, USA Today, Economist, Globe & Mail, The Guardian, The Daily and Sunday Telegraph, The Times, The Australian, the LA Times and Boston Globe. He has appeared on TV shows such as Politically Incorrect and ABC 60 minutes, Larry King, 20/20, 60 minutes and BBC Newsnight along with shows on CNN, BBC, CNBC, and PBS. In November 2001, Lomborg was selected Global Leader for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum.
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