Bjorn Lomborg, author of The Skeptical Environmentalist and bête noire of climate change activists around the world, has been told that the incoming Danish government will cut off his £1m a year funding.
It’s not been a good 12 months for the Danish delayer.
About a year ago he flip-flopped his core belief, asserting “Climate change is undoubtedly one of the chief concerns facing the world today.” Presumably he did that to widen his appeal before the launch of his big effort at mass miscommunication, Cool It.
But the documentary still went down as one of the great box office bombs. According to Box Office Mojo, after grossing a whopping $58,179 in its debut month of December, it grossed $4, 534 from 12/1 to 12/24 before it was pulled from theaters. That would be $189 per day, or roughly $24 per theater.
Ouch! You don’t have to be a statistician like Lomborg to figure out that nobody watched and somebody has lost a bundle of money. Still, it managed to be the 435th highest grossing documentary of all time, edging out such classics as “Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired” (444) and “If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front” (439). Hmm. If a documentary film is made and nobody watches it, does it make a sound?
The movie, of course, was just a clever loss leader for Lomborg’s bad ideas, as I noted. A film is a ticket to widespread media attention, far more than even a new book provides. For instance, the movie means that credulous reviewers who don’t follow the energy and climate debate closely will write columns that millions will read (see “Cool It and plausible deniability“), compared to the, uhh, hundreds that flocked to the film.
Lomborg then basically flip-flopped back (see “Now that his movie has bombed, Lomborg is back to telling folks “Go Ahead and Guzzle”).
But after selling out what few principles he had, Lomborg is getting cut off by the new Danish is government. As DeSmogBlog reports:
“Our starting point is that money which is given to people who do not agree that there are climate change problems should be chucked out,” stated Social Democrat environmental spokesperson Mette Gjerskov.
In response to the news, our friends at the Carbon Brief noted about Lomborg’s funding loss, “that’s a lot of tight t-shirts.”