|THE LOMBORG STORY
|The establishing of the of the
Danish Environmental Assessment Institute
From publishing books, Lomborg wanted to go a step further. He came up with the idea that a new institute should be established where environmental issues could be judged by statistical methods.
According to Lomborg´s account, he contacted several political leaders in Denmark on this matter in the year 2000. Only one gave a positive response, viz. the leader of the Liberal Party, Anders Fogh Rasmussen. He promised Lomborg that if he came to power, such an institute would be established.
This version is probably not the whole truth, however. Lomborg and Anders Fogh Rasmussen had been educated at the same institute at Aarhus University, and although Lomborg is much younger than Rasmussen, it seems that they were already personally acquainted before 1998. So when Lomborg contacted Rasmussen in 2000, he was not just a stranger to him, but an acquaintance, probably even a close acquaintance.
At the election in November 2001, the balance in the Danish parliament tipped in favour of the right wing. Anders Fogh Rasmussen became the prime minister, and one of his first decisions was that an Environmental Assessment Institute should be established.
After a short time, the new government initiated the establishment by appointing the chairman of the board of the institution. This chairman was Ole P. Kristensen, who had been Lomborg´s supervisor and admired him.
At this point of time, Lomborg was on a trip to the USA to promote his ideas and the sale of his book. However, he returned to Denmark on about February 10th, which was precisely the date when the position as director of the new institute was advertised in the newspapers. The closing date for applications was only 11 days later. The announcement stated that applicants should be capable of high quality scientific documentation. Sixteen people applied, among them Bjørn Lomborg. The only person to evaluate the applicants was Ole P. Kristensen, because the rest of the board had not yet been appointed. He interviewed four applicants. On February 26th, only 5 days after the closing date for applications, Lomborg was appointed as the director. Shortly after, Ole P. Kristensen said that he had not read Lomborg´s book (TSE), but that he would probably make the time to do so some day.
What Ole P. Kristensen had received before the deadline was not only 16 applications, but also a copy of a formal complaint to the Danish Committees for Scientific Dishonesty, stating that Lomborg´s so-called scientific work is fraudulent. This was completely ignored by Kristensen - as was the very severe criticism of Lomborg by the world´s scientific community.
Interestingly enough another action of the new government, soon after it came into office, was to cut all funding to the Danish Ecological Council which had organized the opposition against Lomborg. The government also dismissed the "Nature Council", which had been critical of Lomborg, and its office in central Copenhagen was instead given to Lomborg´s Institute.