Relying on Manna from Heaven?

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Science  09 Nov 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5545, pp. 1285-1287
DOI: 10.1126/science.1066014

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The Skeptical Environmentalist Measuring the Real State of the World. Bjørn Lomborg. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2001. 539 pp. $69.95, £47.50. ISBN 0-521-80447-7. Paper, $27.95, £17.95. ISBN 0-521-01068-3.

Lomborg marshals a large amount of data to argue that the important aspects of the environment are improving, that technology will solve the remaining problems, and that we therefore should not turn to governmental policy to improve the state of the world. But his rather selective use of the literature and his failure to examine possible links between previous legislation and the improvements he emphasizes undermine the claims the author and many commentators have made for the book.