On his Fox Business show yesterday Stuart Varney hosted Bjorn Lomborg to denounce the 2007 light bulb efficiency standards, which House Republicans are currently attempting to repeal. Varney introduced Lomborg as “our favorite rational environmentalist and a real scientist.” Moments later, Varney added: “You're a scientist. What do you make of this?”
But Lomborg, who is known for opposing large-scale efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, is not a scientist but a business school professor with a PhD in political science.
It appears the mistaken notion that Lomborg is a scientist is widely held among conservative media figures. In 2007 Glenn Beck hosted Lomborg on his HLN show to discuss climate change and introduced him by stating: “Bjorn Lomborg, he is a scientist” :
Appearing on Fox in May 2007, Jason Mattera, now editor of Human Events, cited “Richard Lindzen of MIT and Bjorn Lomborg” to support his claim that “there's many scientists” who disagree with the scientific consensus on global warming.
And in March 2009, Fox News' Sean Hannity promoted Lomborg to “world renowned scientist” :
HANNITY: Al Gore is confronted by a world renowned scientist and challenged to debate global warming. So did Mr. Nobel Prize accept?
HANNITY: Now one of the people who was not prepared to hear Mr. Gore in an accepting way was an actual scientist, Bjorn Lomborg, who was in the audience. Now he challenged Mr. Gore to a debate about the existence of manmade global warming.
As you might imagine, the vanquished vice president doesn't really like debates. According to the Wall Street Journal Mr. Gore said it's, quote, “Well, kind of silly to keep debating the science.” Now I'm sure the scientist was surprised to hear that. [Fox News, Hannity, 3/6/09, transcript via Nexis]
Fox's misidentification of Lomborg is the latest indication of just how far away from the scientific world Fox really is.