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Customer Review

on August 2, 2002
Whatever your views about the state of the Earth are, they are bound to be shaken by "The Skeptical Environmentalist".
This book will challenge you to think that the world is not getting more and more polluted but, rather, the opposite, that world population is not growing out of control, that we are getting healthier and richer, that fewer people die of starvation every year, that deforestation is not happening on an alarming scale and that the extent of global warming may have been grossly overestimated.
Surely these statements will raise quite a few eyebrows among most of us since we are regularly told by the environmental organisations that our modern lifestyle is endangering the life of the planet.
The irony of this book is that Lomborg originally started his investigation with the aim of challenging the views of Julian Simon, an economist critic of the green movement. Lomborg, a former Greenpeace activist, set off to prove him wrong using the sources commonly quoted by environmental activists. Much to his surprise he came to the conclusion that Simon was right on most issues. Lomborg thus turned himself into a "skeptical environmentalist".
While some scientists have praised Lomborg's effort to put environmental issues through a tough scrutiny, many more have accused him of distorting the truth and misleading the public.
Most of these accusations are unfair. Lomborg may be wrong on some issues. He may also forget that if the world is not in such a bad state, it is also thanks to the efforts of the environmental organisations which warned of the dangers a few decades ago. "The Skeptical Environmentalist", however, deserves attention since it is well documented and Lomborg's writing does not lack clarity and enthusiasm.
Furthermore, the progress of science cannot avoid the confrontation of ideas, particularly when these are highly controversial and provocative.
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