|Date:||12 Apr 2002 15:58:40 -0000|
|Subject:||[CPEO-MEF] Military's environmental spokesperson?|
I attended the Environment Virginia Conference this week at Virginia Military Institute (VMI) in Lexington Virginia. The guest speaker prior to lunch on Wednesday was Bjorn Lomborg from University of Aarhus, Denmark. According to the program, the title of the presentation was "Recommendations for Future Environmental Efforts". Dr. Lomborg is the author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist" and, according to the program, a self described "former left-wing Greenpeace member". His book is a critique of doomsday myths and it questions the environmental policy making world (again from the program as I have not read the book). As of now, you can look at his bio and book at www.environmentva.org While his presentation did point out that, by some measures, things aren't as bad as some would have you believe, he did pick his topics fairly carefully, frequently reverting back to economics as the baseline for decision making. He created several straw-man arguments, such as representing those looking to create a world less burdened by pesticides as proposing to cease all pesticide use immediately. He sidestepped or oversimplified the ecological questions. He was a very charismatic speaker, in jeans and tee-shirt, pacing back and forth on the stage with no notes and I'm sure he's laughing all the way to the bank (imagine how many folks would buy a book by Billy Graham questioning the virgin birth of Christ). I feel that some of the points raised will stimulate discourse (it certainly did at the conference) and self-evaluation of the environmental movement. . What is interesting to note is that Dr. Lomborg was not at the Environmental conference because of the conference. He is a guest lecturer/professor at VMI. Also, what appeared to be the entire Corps of Cadets from VMI filed in and sat through Dr. Lomborg's presentation. This was the only presentation they attended and there were several other speakers at various points in the conference. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately), it did not occur to me until after the Q&A portion to ask Dr. Lomborg's opinion of the recent push by the military to be exempted from federal environmental policy in the name of military preparedness (and his opinion of what roll this played in him being chosen as a guest lecturer at VMI, one of a few schools for future military leadership). Thought you folks on this list might find this interesting. Joe Parrish - Community Co-chair - RAAP RAB
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