Lomborg ‘Could Save the Planet’

Published March 1, 2008

A panel of science, economic, and environmental correspondents has named Danish author and professor Björn Lomborg one of “50 people who could save the planet.”

The panel was convened by the London Guardian and announced its results on January 5 after conferring with leading scientists and environmental leaders.

Lomborg has been a thorn in the side of environmental activist groups who see a great expansion of government power as the most desirable way to safeguard the environment.

An adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School and author of the best-selling book The Skeptical Environmentalist, Lomborg is a former environmental activist who has documented the failure of collectivist environmental policies.

Essential Balance

According to the Guardian, “Björn Lomborg, 42, has become an essential check and balance to runaway environmental excitement. In 2004, the Dane made his name as a green contrarian with his bestselling book The Skeptical Environmentalist and outraged scientists and green groups around the world by arguing that many claims about global warming, overpopulation, energy resources, deforestation, species loss, and water shortages are not supported by analysis.

“He was accused of scientific dishonesty, but cleared his name. He doesn’t dispute the science of climate change, but questions the priority it is given. He may look increasingly out of step, but Lomborg is one of the few academics prepared to challenge the consensus with credible data,” the Guardian noted.

Exposing Misleading Science

The Guardian honor follows a similar honor Time bestowed on Lomborg in 2004. The magazine named Lomborg one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

According to Time, Lomborg “just might be the Martin Luther of the environmental movement. A statistician from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, Björn Lomborg examined the state of the world, using reputable sources and long series of data in his book The Skeptical Environmentalist, and found a surprising thing: by most measures the planet is getting healthier–less pollution, more forests, more food per head.”

Lomborg “exposed the often misleading and selective use of scientific evidence by environmental pressure groups, urged us to be optimistic rather than despairing about environmental problems, and set out what should be the true priorities of environmental action,” Time added.

James M. Taylor ([email protected]) is a senior fellow of The Heartland Institute and managing editor of Environment & Climate News.