Friday, December 19, 2003


The Financial Times opines on the vindication of Bj�rn Lomborg's book "The Skeptical Environmentalist." Here are the money paragraphs:
First, given a choice between alarmism and honesty science must always choose the latter. There is nothing to be gained by alarmism about an uncertain future in an attempt to influence the public and change policy. It merely creates opportunities for Mr Lomborg and others to knock down these and many other straw men. The truth is that the vast majority of scientists, whether they study environmental change or other fields, already adhere to this principle.

So the second lesson is for the media, politicians and the public. If we pay attention to important scientific issues such as global warning only when disaster or salvation is confidently predicted, bad policies are almost certain to be the result. Our appetite for a good story without caveats provides an incentive for some scientists to skip the qualifiers and for us to be fed a diet of distortions.
Right on. But will fundamentalist enviros and the "if it bleeds it leads" media crowd heed this advice? Unlikely.

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