Good article by Reason's Ron Bailey on Tech Central Station (thanks to Instapundit) about the smear campaign on Bjorn Lomberg. Lomberg is a ex-Greenpeacer statistician from Aarhus University who set out to show that there was something wrong with Julian Simon's anti-enviro-gloom research, only to find that most of it was right.
I went to see Lomberg speak on Capitol Hill a couple months back (it started late because the caterers were caught in post 9/11 security). It's clear why he's perceived by the enviro-left as a threat. He's a charming, articulate, attractive, liberal, gay, environmentally concerned, Scandanavian intellectual. By all indications, he should be on their side. But he's not. Instead, he's curious and intellectually honest.
For a long-time fan of Simon (God bless him), there was very little news in Lomberg's lecture. But messengers matter, and Lomberg is great messenger for those who don't think the world is falling apart. Simon was iconoclastic and could be dismissed as a crank (the left loved to mention that he wrote books on running mail a mail order business, as though grass roots capitalism is tantamount to Satan worship). But Lomberg, in his jeans and too-small black t-shirt, making a Simon-like case with mathematical competence, a young winning smile and charming Euro-cadences… that's just too much to take. The delight of the largely conservative and libertarian crowd is a sure indicator of left consternation.