Document Type


Publication Date



Bjorn Lomborg, The Skeptical Environmentalist, Adversarial policy making, Group polarization, Eco-pragmatic approach, Cost benefit analysis, Kyoto Protocol


Environmental Law


Recent writings by Dan Farber and J.B. Ruhl have put forward a strong case for "eco-pragmatic" and "radical middle" approaches to environmental policymaking. Rather than debate the merits of such an approach, in this Article we examine whether eco-pragmatic policy development is likely in practice and where it might occur, given the tribal nature of public environmental advocacy. We use the remarkably polarized reaction to Bjorn Lomborg's book, "The Skeptical Environmentalist," as a vehicle to explore the seemingly fundamental divide that exists between warring parties within the environmental law and policy communities. By offering a more complete understanding of why parties involved in environmental policymaking exhibit such stark bipolarism, we seek to help proponents of pragmatic, inclusive approaches to environmental law and policy overcome the field's tribal dynamics.

Publication Citation

Douglas A. Kysar & James Salzman, 87 Minnesota Law Review ( 2003)