|Apparently, Lomborg has never in
public debate commented on the
Lomborg-errors web site or on the allegations made here. However, on
his own web site, www.Lomborg.com, he has a FAQ page with the following
produced a copious list of how wrong
true that Fog has been very productive in his claims (http://www.lomborg-errors.dk/
so since the publication of Lomborg's book in 1998 in
Danish. However, Lomborg has answered Fog many times in publications,
most clearly when Fog edited a book with arguments against Lomborg in
1999. Lomborg published a web-book of 180 pages painstakingly going
through each argument in Fog's book, pointing out its unproductive
errors and misunderstandings, Lomborg likewise replied to each and
every of the first batch of claims from Fog to the DCSD, pointing out
how they were incorrect and/or misleading. However, with limited time,
Lomborg cannot reply to every new claim from Fog. Moreover, it would
seem reasonable that Fog would have used his best counterarguments
first, and clearly these have not stood up. Web book: Godhedens pris
Even these eight lines of text are full of errors. Unfortunately,
Lomborg refers to texts that are in Danish, and so most readers are
unable to check the postulates.
Here are some facts: Lomborg has not answered Fog many
times, but people who support Lomborg have entered into discussion
The book with arguments against Lomborg in 1999 was not
just written by Fog, but by 18 persons, of which Fog was one.
The 180 page reply to that book was written by
Bjørn Lomborg and Ulrik Larsen in 1999. They wrote it in just
three weeks, heavily pressed for time. There is no useful
point-by-point rebuttal or any useful corrections of misunderstandings
in their text. Rather, it is in many places meaningless or illogical,
which may be excused by the time pressure when it was written. See the
example below for details.
It is true that Lomborg replied to each and every of
the first batch of claims to the DCSD - this was part of the process,
and Lomborg had to reply. But whether Lomborg managed to demonstrate
that the claims were incorrect and/or misleading is open to discussion.
Everyone can judge for himself by reading the translation of the
documents on the documents page.
The first counterarguments used during the DCSD
complaint case were hardly the best arguments - I wrote the first
complaint very hastily, whereas Lomborg-errors is the result of careful
scrutiny. There have been allegations that the first arguments have not
stood up, but these allegations have been refuted (see references to
debate in Journal of Information Ethics here).
are still upheld on Lomborg-errors, and seem to hold.
Example from the reply book
Lomborg and Larsen (1999):
The link to the web book is given above. The title, "Godhedens pris",
means "The cost of goodness". It consists of replies to each of
22 chapters written by 18 authors in a book countering
Lomborg´s first Danish book. On his pages 76-81, Lomborg rebuts a
text called "Some figures about the world´s forests" by
Kåre Fog. But out of these five pages, more than 50 % are made up
of lengthy quotes, so relatively little text presents new arguments.
This is representative for all 180 pages of the web book.
In my original text, I criticize Lomborg´s postulate
about 20 % of the original global forest area has been cleared, because
data from WRI and FAO indicate that somewhere about 50 % has
disappeared. Lomborg then postulates that the data from WRI are
unreliable, indicating a much too large loss (67%), and that these
unreliable data have been taken from the World Conservation Monitoring
Center (WCMC). This is all nonsense. The data have not been taken from
the WCMC and do not indicate 67 % (see my second letter to the UVVU,
subject: forests, "breach 3", here).
the figures cited by me (which were the correct
figures) should have
been some other figures, which do not actually exist anywhere, and he
then criticizes me for having not cited those non-exisitng figures, and
further says that if I had cited them, they would have been wrong. So,
in essence, my "misunderstanding" is that I do not cite the wrong
figures which he would have liked me to have cited. In this way, the
whole text is so mad that it cannot been taken seriously, and it has
not been. It must have been written in a very late hour .
This example is maybe illuminating to those who do not understand
the very negative attitude that I and many other experts have towards
Lomborg. It is very unpleasant to be criticised for having said
something that you have not said, and at the same time to be denounced
for having misunderstood everything, because you allegedly have said
that which you did not say. Especially during the first years of his
public appearance, this was Lomborg´s style again and again.
The sad thing is that most of the "rebuttal" is of the same kind, or
even more illogical than in this example. It is simply nonsense, but
written in such a style that those readers who do not understand it
(i.e. 99.99 % of all readers) believe that it is a serious criticism.
Very few points have been detected up to now where Lomborg actually
points out an item that has been unrightfylly criticised by his 18