Stroumboulopoulos and Bjorn Lomborg

The street cred of resident CBC hipster George Stroumboulopoulos took a big hit this week.

The Former VJ and current host of CBC’s The Hour invited well-known climate change apologist Bjorn Lomborg onto his show for a friendly chat and a chance to plug his latest book “Cool It” – a polemic about how there are far bigger fish to fry than tackling global warming.

Lomborg has long been the darling of the anti-kyoto crowd, being better looking and hipper than the likes of F. Fred Singer or Patrick Michaels. The difference however is that at least those two "climate skeptics" have scientific training. Lomborg’s academic background? Political science.

His first book “The Skeptical Environmentalist” was so offensive to the scientific community that Scientific American published a ten-page evisceration authoured by four actual researchers.

Lomborg tried to refute this critique on his website but apparently knew so little about science that he sent a blanket email to his supporters pleading for help. It read:

“Naturally, I plan to write a rebuttal to be put on my web-site. However, I would also love your input to the issues -- maybe you can contest some of the arguments in the Scientific American, alone or together with other academics. Perhaps you have good ideas to counter a specific argument. Perhaps you know of someone else that might be ideal to talk to or get to write a counter-piece."

John P. Holdren, one of the Scientific American authors noted “It is instructive that [Lomborg] apparently did not feel he could manage an adequate response by himself. (In this, at least, he was correct. But he could not manage it with help, either.)”

The Danish Committee for Scientific Dishonesty also received a whack of complaints about Lomborg's book. After investigating, they concluded:

"the publication is deemed clearly contrary to the standards of good scientific practice…there has been such perversion of the scientific message in the form of systematically biased representation that the objective criteria for upholding scientific dishonesty ... have been met".

As always it is instructive to follow the money. Lomborg’s current book tour is being sponsored by the Fraser Institute – which has itself been funded by Exxon Mobil. In 2003-04, Exxon shelled out $120,000 to the Fraser Institute - in part to pay for their anti Kyoto work.

None of this seems to stop the media from continuing to provide Lomborg a soapbox. The decision by Stroumboulopoulos to invite Lomberg on the show to plug his book is particularly gross given that yesterday was the ten-year anniversary of the Kyoto Accord. The UN climate negotiations in Bali hang in the balance as we speak.

It’s bad enough that to this day the CBC does not yet have a dedicated show on the environment on either TV or radio. It sucks worse that our national broadcaster is providing friendly airtime to the likes of Lomborg.

Your cred’s in the crapper over this one George.

This piece ran nowhere.

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