Skip to comments.Please Freep my amazon.com review of Bjorn Lomborg's book "The Skeptical Environmentalist."
Posted on 06/19/2002 9:46:37 AM PDT by grundle
amazon.com has just posted my new review of Bjorn Lomborg's book "The Skeptical Environmentalist." (I submitted it 11 days ago, but they just posted it today.)
At the end of my review on their website it asks "Was this review helpful to you?" Please go to the website and vote on my review. Thank you!
Here is my review:
Doomsayers are afraid that you might actually read this book
June 8, 2002
Since Bjorn Lomborg's book "The Skeptical Environmentalist" was published in the United States last year, a lot of people have been very critical of Lomborg and his book. That's fine. Healthy debate and disagreement over important issues is essential to the preservation of a free, open, democratic society.
Some of Lomborg's critics have politely raised legitimate disagreements about some of Lomborg's statements, such as on global warming, the amount of public land that's covered in forest, and the size of wild fish populations. However, even these polite and civil critics have ignored the vast majority of Lomborg's book.
Many of Lomborg's other critics have resorted to waging personal attacks on Lomborg, calling him a "liar" and a "fraud" and a "charlatan," and saying that he has "no credentials." These personal attacks against Lomborg suggest that Lomborg must have struck a nerve somewhere.
I suppose that anyone who dares to give statistics and facts to disprove the doomsayer predictions that were made by Paul Ehrlich, Lester Brown, the Club of Rome, Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, and others in 1960s and 1970s, is bound to strike a nerve somewhere.
The doomsayers who predicted a worsening of third world famine as the world's population doubled from 3 billion to 6 billion were wrong. Despite what Paul Ehrlich and other doomsayers predicted in the 1960s and 1970s, the truth is that over the past few decades, per capita food production has increased in China, India, Latin America, the developing world in general, and the world as a whole.
The doomsayers were wrong in their claim that the Chinese famines of the 1960s were caused by "overpopulation." And the doomsayers were wrong in their prediction that as China's population got bigger, its problem of famine would get worse. In reality, China's famines of the 1960s were caused by bad economic policies, not by "overpopulation." China's switch from collective farming to private farming in the late 1970s caused a tremendous increase in per capita food production. Today, China's population is much bigger than it was in the 1960s. And today, the people of China are much better fed than they were in the 1960s.
Despite what Paul Ehrlich and other doomsayers want us to believe, Africa actually has a low population density, and is very rich in many valuable natural resources, and has many large tracts of fertile land that are sitting idle, unplanted, with no crops being grown. The real cause of African famine is bad economic policies, not "overpopulation." Collective ownership of farmland discourages farmers from planting crops, because the person who plants the crop is not necessarily the person who gets to harvest it. Government price caps on food discourage farmers from growing food.
Poor countries remain poor because of corrupt government, bad economic policies, and a lack of strong protections of private property rights. Whenever a poor country adopts strong protections of private property rights, free market pricing, and free trade, combined with a strong rule of law, and enforcement of contracts, and holds on to these policies, the country experiences tremendous increases in its standard of living. Recent examples of poor countries transforming themselves into rich countries include Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and South Korea, and all of this happened while these countries experienced substantial increases in their populations. Paul Ehrlich said this was impossible, but real world experience proves that Ehrlich was wrong.
In the rich capitalist countries with a first world standard of living, the air and water have been getting cleaner. Once per capita GNP in a country reaches about $4,000, people can start to afford worrying about protecting the environment. And the richer the country gets, the better off its environment becomes.
On privately owned timberland, the greedy landowner is concerned about the future resale value of his land, so he usually plants more trees than he cuts down.
On private fish farms, fish populations keep getting bigger and bigger.
Government price caps on the price of water keep the price artificially low. This artificially low price encourages people to waste water. Also, this artificially low price prevents many water suppliers from being able to afford desalination plants. 70% of the world's surface is covered in water, to an average depth of 2 miles. Water "shortages" are caused by bad economic policies, not by an actual lack of water.
The doomsayers who predicted that before the year 2000, the world would run out of oil, copper, gold, iron, tin, and aluminum, were wrong. In a free market, with private ownership of resources, and free market pricing, it's impossible to run out of a resource. Scarcity of a resource leads to higher prices. Higher prices encourage users to conserve. Higher prices encourage suppliers to look for more of the resource, and/or to find a cheaper substitute. The doomsayers don't understand the function of prices in a free market economy, and that's why their predictions of "running out" of resources have been consistently wrong.
The doomsayers of the 18th century who worried about running out of candle wax and whale oil never realized that things like petroleum and electricity and light bulbs would come along. The stone age didn't end because we ran out of stones, and the petroleum age won't end because we run out of petroleum.
The doomsayers who predicted global cooling and an ice age by the year 2000 were wrong.
The doomsayers who predicted the extinction of one million species by the year 2000 were wrong.
The doomsayers who predicted the total disappearance of the amazon rain forest by the year 2000 were wrong.
I recommend that you read Lomborg's book. I also recommend that you read Lomborg's critics. Then you can make up your own mind about who is right.
Consider yourself pinged in the future wrt land rights stuff. 'Pod
Really nice job. Well argued and nicely written.
Please note that most of the one star reviews are simply personal attacks against the author, and don't even discuss the contents of the book.
Maybe it just appears this way to me because I already said I found it helpful. Maybe it is something more sinister...
Of course, there appear to be newer reviews that have scores...
They didn't post my review until 11 days after I submitted it. I think that's unfair. Especially because both of the 1 star reviews that were submitted on June 18 showed up just two days later, and it's obvious that the people who wrote those two reviews didn't even read the book. Those two reviewers are just making personal attacks against Lomborg. I think it's unfair that they waited 11 days to post my review, but they posted those other two reviews just two days after they were submitted. Because they wiated 11 days to post my review, it never got a chance to be at the top. Oh well.
Thanks for your help.
:’) My pleasure. Found this in a search for something else.