As an update to the furious debate around the writings of Bjørn Lomborg and especially this book, it should be noted that the Danish Committee on Scientific Dishonesty is now being examined itself! Apparently, they have made the critique on Lomborgs book without setting up clear criteria for their claim of scientific dishonesty. At current date (Jan. 18), newspapers are arming themselves for yet another debate on possibly the most debated man in modern Denmark. The political opposition, which after the fairly recent election became the political left, is using the opportunity to criticize the new, right-wing Prime Minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen for his choice of Lomborg to the position of director of the Danish Institute for Environmental Assessment. All sides are building an arsenal of mud for slinging, in addition to their rational arguments.

This writeup is not meant to claim right or wrong for any side in this debate. Having studied briefly at the Department of Technology and Social Sciences at Roskilde University Center in Roskilde, Denmark, I have had the dubious experience of being one of three students to ask "should we simply dismiss Lomborg, or should we consider whether his claims, exaggerated or not, may be valuable contributions to the environmental debate?". The comparison to committing medieval heresy is fairly accurate, and no arguments in favor of any Lomborg claims can today be given in environmental circles without seriously damaging one's own status. My writeup is more than anything an attempt at demonstrating the insanity of a debate, in which any and all criticism of the mainstream, in this case the established environmental beliefs, is considered inappropriate.

The environmental debate needs to have two sides in order to be a debate. We need to consider the impact done by human action on the environment. But we also need to consider the validity of the warnings we hear about the state of our environment. And, as one of Lomborgs points goes, we need to consider whether to spend tons of resources in panic every time a new threat is described. Even if that threat is valid, those resources require us to sacrifice other projects, which may be just as critical.
A note: It has just come to my attention that 250+ scientists and academic professors (many in social sciences) have signed a protest against the Committee.