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The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World Paperback – August 30, 2001
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"This is one of the most valuable books on public policy - not merely on environmental policy - to have been written for the intelligent general reader in the past ten years. The Skeptical Environmentalist is a triumph."
"... a superbly documented and readable book."
The Wall Street Journal
"... it is a surprise to meet someone who calls himself an environmentalist but who asserts that things are getting better ... Strange to say, the author of this happy thesis is not a steely-eyed economist at a conservative Washington think tank but a vegetarian, backpack-toting academic who was a member of Greenpeace for four years ... The primary target of the books, a substantial work of analysis with almost 3000 footnotes, are statements made by environemtal organizations like the Worldwatch Institute, the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace. He refers to the persistently gloomy fate from these groups as the Litany, a collection of statements that he argues are exaggerations or outright myths."
The New York Times
"The Skeptical Environmentalist should be read by every environmentalist, so that the appalling errors of fact the environmental movement has made in the past are not repeated. A brilliant and powerful book."
Matt Ridley, author of Genome
"Lomborg pulls off the remarkable feat of welding the techno-optimism of the Internet age with a lefty's concern for the fate of the planet."
"Bjørn Lomborg is an outstanding representative of the 'new breed' of political scientists - mathematically-skilled and computer-adept. In this book he shows himself also to be a hardheaded, empirically oriented analyst. Surveying a vast amount of data and taking account of a wide range of more and less informed opinion about environmental threats facing the planet, he comes to a balanced assessment of which ones are real and which are over-hyped. In vigorous and what needs not to be done about those turning out to be pseudo-problems."
Jack Hirshleifer, University of California, Los Angeles
"Bjørn Lomborg raises the important question whether the costs of remedying the damage caused by environmental pollution are higher than the costs of the pollution itself. The answer is by no means straightforward. He has written a pioneering book."
Richard Rosecrance, University of California, Los Angeles
"When Lomborg concludes that 'the loss of the world's rainforests, of fertile agricultural land, the ozone layer and of the climate balance are terrible' I agree. But we also need debate, and this book provides us with that in generous amounts, incl 2428 footnotes. If you, like I do, belong to the people who dare to think the world is making some progress, but always with mistakes to be corrected, this book makes important reading."
Lars Kristoferson, Secretary General, WWF Sweden
"... probably the most important book on the environment ever written."
"Lomborg is right on his points, that his critique of much green activism and its reporting in the media is just, and, above all, that where there is room for disagreement, Mr Lomborg invites and facilitates discussion, rather than seeking to silence it."
Challenges widely held beliefs that the environmental situation is getting worse and worse. Making use of the best available statistical information, Lomborg systematically examines a range of major environmental problems that feature prominently in global headline news. His arguments are presented in non-technical, accessible language and are carefully backed up by over 2500 footnotes allowing readers to check sources for themselves. The Skeptical Environmentalist offers readers a non-partisan stocktaking exercises that serves as a useful corrective to the more alarmist accounts favored by campaign groups and the media.
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Top Customer Reviews
I read this book because as one who lived through the sixties, I have not seen the environmental disasters that were predicted, come true. The world population did not outrun the food supply of the green revolution by the mid- seventies; basic foodstuffs are not even on a rising price trend. I have not seen it with our basic metals or oil for that matter. The costs of these have not kept pace with inflation. The author attempts to show where the error lies in these environmental dire predictions. One is inclined to believe this book, the original source is cited, numerous graphs are used and the historical results seem to jive with reality. Many of the past-predicted environmental scares did not pan out.
One example would be the scarcity of oil in the seventies and the beginning of a continuous oil scarcity. In reality, oil prices have not kept pace with inflation.
One main point of the book is that as a country becomes richer it puts less pressure on the environment and its population levels off. The author puts much faith in this because statistics show that the percentage of the world's population considered poor is steadily diminishing. The author's research seems to be immense, and his reasoning very well thought out. He leads you through the main points of environmental crisis's, scarcity of resources, energy, food, the rainforest, global warming, etc. This book puts many things in perspective. One wants to believe this book, because it offers a future that is not going to be one of stark choices, but reasonable choices and trade-offs. The conclusions are based on the data given and seem very logical. I recommend this book as an eye-opener. The author's explanation of what is happening environmentally, certainly bears more resemblance to reality than can be shown throughout the history of the environmentalist scares of the recent past. One can only hope the future is also as consistent.
Honest, no hint of his having a self minded agenda.
Frightening in how it reveals how poorly we as a society think about important issues. Sobering.
It should be read by all "greenies" so that they can try and argue from a facts perspective rather than sensationalist hype.
The book is now a little out of date so I also recommend reading Climate Change - The facts by various qualified authors.
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