Bjorn Lomborg - the 'Polyanna of Global Warming'

Here's a review out this weekend in Canada's Globe and Mail on Bjorn Lomborg's new book, Cool it.

Choice quote:

Lomborg is a statistician. He's not a scientist, and the book of science, alas, is closed to him. His work betrays, embarrassingly, that he doesn't understand biology or how living systems work or any of the basic principles of scientific inquiry.”

I remember wondering, after I interviewed Lomborg, whether he was intellectually dishonest or just not very bright. Cool It has convinced me that it doesn't matter. Lomborg has now proved beyond a doubt that he is incapable of contributing anything of merit to scientific discourse.”


What a good article. She should glue it to Margaret Wente’s computer screen, since Wente is still idiotically trumpeting Lomborg as someone worth listening to.

Alanna Mitchell is entitled to offer her opinions on GW, however, she is even less qualified on the subject then Lomborg. Lomborg is a statistician, which in itself is a scientific discipline and of great importance on the subject of AGW.

And Mitchell? Well, she has an undergraduate degree in Latin literature and English as well as a degree in journalism. Well educated, yes, but not in climate science.

Her educational background isn’t in it, but Mitchell is well-read in climate science and the environment, Paul. Also, why do you attack her, Paul? You’re attacking the messenger (a common “denier” tactic), since you cannot attack the message (as the message is accurate) without looking foolish. I’d consider her to be more honest than Lomborg, who has been frequently guilty of cherry-picking his data, meaning he must be a pretty terrible statistician.

For more on Mitchell, see here:

The deniers are very quick to point it out if someone writing a critique of one of their gospels has no scientific background, but they fail to acknowledge the woefully shaky expertise of some the the people they rely on most heavily as “scientists”. I haven’t read Lomborg – I don’t have the time to read every half-baked self-proclaimed expert who comes along, and I depend on reviewers with a reliable track record like Mitchell to help me weed out the junk from the worthwhile stuff.

So Mitchell is well read in climate science and the environmnet. So am I. So are many people. That said, she is the one doing the attacking: attempting to portray statistics as less then a science.

As for attacking messengers; that is all she does in her article. At no point does she bother to attempt to rebut any of Lomborg’s claims.

Like I said, she is entitled to her opinions. Everyone is.

“As for attacking messengers; that is all she does in her article. At no point does she bother to attempt to rebut any of Lomborg’s claims.”

She doesn’t need to rebut any of Lomborg’s claims. They have already been debunked by the IPCC, national science academies, and other scientists.

Mitchell never portrayed statistics as “less than a science.” She said, however, that since Lomborg is not a climate scientist, there is nothing constructive he can add to the science of climate change.

Stephen says:

“Mitchell never portrayed statistics as “less than a science.” She said, however, that since Lomborg is not a climate scientist, there is nothing constructive he can add to the science of climate change.”

Statistics is a crtical component of climate science so Mitchell’s claim is unfounded.

Mitchell has no degrees in science, so other then relying on the consensus of others, has no standing in critiquing Lomborg’s work.

Paul S

The fact that he studied statistics does not mean he knows anything about climate science.

Statistics is one of the core components of climate science. As such, he is better able to assess climate studies then you or I are.

He appears to be a political scientist. In other words, not trained in physics, chemistry, biology, ecology, or any other fields that actually have something to do with climate science. You have to know more than just playing with a few numbers.

… that practically before the book hit the stores, Lomborg’s premises had been picked apart at the seams by people highly qualified to do so, whatever Mitchell knows or does not know about climate science. This is only one review and the balance of reviews out there agree that Lomborg’s work is fluff, and not very good fluff at that. It isn’t worth your time arguing with Paul over this, VJ – it can only deteriorate to a case of “oh yes he/she is/isn’t” like six-year-olds in the schoolyard. Don’t let him get up your nose!

I mean really, Ian, that is the best you can do? Pointing out a simple transposition of letters? Stop being so anal.

But why waste effort on someone like you? How do you manage to walk 10 kilometers (both ways) on a daily basis and still have time to write the rubbish you do? Have you any idea how long it takes to walk 10 kilometers? Or are you mathematically challenged as well?

In case you can’t read between the lines, I doubt very much that you walk that much on a daily basis, certainly not including a good day’s work in between.

Ian Forrester

You can’t walk 10 kilometres twice in one day Ian? It’s not hard. Are you an invalid? Takes less time then what many people spend driving to work or taking the bus. Don’t do it every day, but yes, I do do it on a regular basis. Try it some time, sounds like your brain needs (a lot) more oxygen. Cheers.

I often walk for exercise since I have owned a number of dogs over the past 35 years, springer spaniels to be exact. Anyone who knows springers (field bred) will know that they are very active dogs. However, I would never spend 2 hours before work and arrive at work needing a long rest (do you find you get more rest at work than at home?). I know your sort and they would certainly not survive long working for me. What does your family think when you spend 4 hours a day that could be spent with them? Yes, you can go walking with your family, it would be good for them as well as you.

As you can see I have no respect for people who hide behind nome-de-plumes and make outrageous statements that nobody can prove.

Get a life and stop hiding, people may take you a little bit more seriously if you do.

Ian Forrester