2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: parrish@andassoc.com
Date: 12 Apr 2002 15:58:40 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
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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