Bjorn Lomborg Pulled From Australian Consensus Centre Project

Over the last several weeks we've seen the University of Western Australia accept a $4 million dollar Federal grant to develop a "Consensus Centre" in the mold of Bjorn Lomborg's non profit, with Lomborg as a key player. Lomborg has been heavily criticized for his lack of scholarship and seemingly biased policy related to climate change and related issues. There was heavy opposition in the Australian academic community to this project. Under pressure from peers and colleagues, Vice Chancellor Paul Johnson has announced that the project is cancelled. In a message published on the UWA University News site, the Vice-Chancellor notes:

The mail drop in Massachusetts which apparently fronts for Lomborg's Copenhagen Consensus Institute. The mail drop in Massachusetts which apparently fronts for Lomborg's Copenhagen Consensus Institute.

... it is with great regret and disappointment that I have formed the view that the events of the past few weeks places the Centre in an untenable position as it lacks the support needed across the University and the broader academic community to meet its contractual obligations and deliver value for money for Australian taxpayers.
I have today spoken to the Federal Government and Bjorn Lomborg advising them of the barriers that currently exist to the creation of the Centre and the University’s decision to cancel the contract and return the money to the government.

More here: University of Western Australia Cancels $4 Million Federal Government Contract For Bjorn Lomborg’s Consensus Center

Other posts on Lomborg:

  • Lomborg in Oz
  • Bjorn Lomborg Is Wrong About Bangladesh And Sea Level Rise
  • Bjørn Lomborg WSJ Op Ed Is Stunningly Wrong
  • Are electric cars any good? Lomborg says no, but he’s wrong.
  • More like this

    Bjorn Lomborg has written an Op Ed in the Wall Street Journal lamenting the decision of the University of Western Australia (UWA) to nix previously developed plans to accept a $4 million dollar payment from the conservative Australian government, to be matched by university money, to implement a…
    I don't care that the director or CEO of an advocacy organization concerned with poverty is an active academic. Indeed, my view of active academics is that many are largely incompetent in areas of life other than their specialized field. If that. So really, if you told me there is this great…
    Human caused greenhouse gas pollution is heating the Earth and causing the planet’s polar ice caps and other glacial ice to melt. This, along with simply heating the ocean, has caused measurable sea level rise. Even more worrisome is this: the current elevated level of CO2 in the atmosphere was…
    I've written here about some of Bjorn Lomborg's work, generally critical of it. But the Abbot Government in Australia apparently likes what Lomborg is doing well enough to have earmarked $4 million (in some currency or another) to ensconce a version of his academically questionable enterprise right…

    Paul Johnson sounds just like a prostitute voicing regrets at being unable to accept a high-dollar proposition from a wealthy john due to "unwelcome publicity".

    Poor baby.

    By Brainstorms (not verified) on 08 May 2015 #permalink

    Strange that Vice Chancellor Paul Johnson first downplays the importance of Lomborg: Bjorn Lomborg would not be involved in its day-to-day operations. This quote seems to be there to make it less bad that Lomborg has been spreading so much misinformation.

    And then he writes, as you report: I have today spoken to the Federal Government and Bjorn Lomborg advising them of the barriers that currently exist to the creation of the Centre. This quote suggests the reverse: that Lomborg is the most important person of the Consensus Centre, which everyone expect for the Vice Chancellor thought in the first place.

    By Victor Venema … (not verified) on 08 May 2015 #permalink

    Lomborg wasn't involved in the day-to-day operations in Massachusetts either ... but he did get $975K in compensation for 2012-2013 and CCC said he traveled 200 days/year already.
    Perth is a long way from anything, so indeed I suspect he wouldn't have been there much.

    By John Mashey (not verified) on 08 May 2015 #permalink

    Victor, I found the VC's press release quite strange. Very mixed messages. Your point is a good one. Why, if Bjorn isn't going to be around, isn't going to get paid, shouldn't a centre be able to manage without him? Sure, they'd have to build new methods and models and couldn't use the Lomborg ones - but that would be a good thing. (I expect Bjorn probably opted not to get paid by the University - it would seriously reduce his income, assuming UWA has limits on personal benefits from outside consultancies and contracts, like most Australian Unis these days.)

    #5 Much is made by the awful Christopher Pyne of the need to get Lomborg's 'consensus methodology' its rightful place in Australia. This is of course nonsense; there is nothing patent, unique or indeed very interesting about Lomborg's, of course the center could have functioned without him.

    I think the Vice Chancellor will be feeling a little had, the more he reflects on Lomborg's insertion into his space. I think Johnson was seduced by profile. Now he knows more...

    In a month of numerous articles, I don't know of many that Lomborg actually responded to, but I know of one: Andrew P. Street's View from the Street: So, is Copenhagen Consensus Centre just a US postbox?

    See dissection of Lomborg's error-filled response" claiming Street in error, plus another to add to my list of fun quotes:

    "Most sinister is Street's allegation – apparently copied from a climate change activists' blog – that the Center is a “foreign conduit” designed to avoid taxation. This malicious claim is unsupported by facts."

    Actually, I'm not an activist for climate change, I was happy with California's climate when I moved here 30+ years ago. Too bad it's changing.

    By John Mashey (not verified) on 09 May 2015 #permalink