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Chapter 6:




P. 71 right: ERROR OF BIAS

" . . the UN writes in its 1997 report on poverty and inequality: `Few people realize . . ´ . . "The UN emphasizes that this progress has been general: " Error: Actually, the Human Development Report from 1997 faced the problem that no general statements give an apt description of the world situation; the only apt description is that there is both good and bad: Positive and negative trends exist side by side. As a consequence of this, the report had one chapter describing the good trends, and another chapter describing the bad trends. For instance, the chapter on negative trends had contained the following text: "During the last 15-20 years, more than 100 developing countries, and several East European countries, have suffered from disastrous growth failures. The reductions in standard of lving have been deeper and more long-lasting than what was seen in the industrialised countries during the depression in the 1930´es. As a result, the income for more than one billion people has fallen below the level that was reached 10, 20 or 30 years ago." What Lomborg does, is that he completely neglects the chapter on negative trends, but cites several text pieces from the chapter on positive trends. And in addition, he postulates that "the Un emphasizes that this progress has been general, which is downright wrong. Nowhere in the text does UN state that. So, this is an obvious example of deliberate bias.

P. 81 left and figure 41: FLAWS

" As can be seen from Figure 39, illiteracy in the developing world has fallen . . . to below 20 percent among the young of today. " Flaws: First, the figure referred to is Fig. 41, not Fig. 39. Second, the figure is drawn by Lomborg on the basis of tabulated data in the source given. These data are partially prognoses rather than measured facts. Clearly, it would not be possible by 1990 to know the illiteracy rate among persons born in 1983. Actually, all data from birth years at 1956 and after that are recalculated by Lomborg on the basis of data that are prognoses, not facts. It is wrong of Lomborg to write "has fallen" about data that in 1990 were prognoses for the future, and the same can be said about the term "the young of today". It should be added that illiteracy rates seem to have actually followed the course that was anticipated in 1990, but Lomborg ought to have used actual data instead of prognoses, especially when he postulates that he deals with actual data.