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Chapter 21:

Conclusion to part IV: the pollution burden has diminished



P. 210 bottom right: WRONG STATEMENT

"Rivers have generally improved for almost all indicators." Error: Some rivers have improved somewhat, but when the word `generally´ is used, the statement becomes directly wrong. It does not adequately sum up Lomborg´s own text on his pp. 202-203, and it does not agree with other data, e.g. with the information on declining water quality in China´s rivers since 1990.

P. 211 and figure 116: FLAW

Flaw: The figure presents data only for the richest countries, although Lomborg´s main source, Smith 1999, has also curves for Eastern Europe, for Asia and The Middle East, and for Latin America. According to the principles set out by Lomborg in his introduction (p. 7), one should use global figures, because these summarize all the good stories as well as all the ugly ones, and global problems can only be elucidated with global figures. Here, however, he has presented only the nicest stories, and left out data for Latin America, where the average is still about 4.5 mg/kg (slowly declining), which is close to the level where the baby´s health is at risk. Thus, he has violated his own principle. There seems to be no obvious reason to leave out the not-so-nice curves, and therefore the omission must be deliberate.