February 25, 2010

Did CEPOS Lie or are they Incompetent?

After the American Century

The Danish "liberal Think Tank" Cepos has been spending time and money in the United States spreading dis-information about the Danish wind industry. They falsely claim that less than 10 percent of Danish electricity comes from wind power. The real figure is about double that. Other statements made by Cepos suggest they do not have a good grasp of the history of energy development and that they may not understand how energy markets work.

Readers should not trust the "facts and figures" that Cepos is distributing. Are they lying, or they are incompetent? Possibly they do not know the answer to this question themselves. Their "expert" on energy did not bother to present his argument to univestiy experts to get feedback. This is what people with respect for the truth usually do. But Cepos rushed their misinformation to the American news media. The goal apparently was to show that President Obama was wrong to praise Danish achievements in wind energy. (If Cepos really believed in the free market, they would not need to use their resources to attack windmills, because if they are right then wind power would lose out in competition with other alternatives.)

Why did Cepos take such an interest in attacking wind energy? What is their purpose? Why did they think they should spread misinformation about Denmark in the United States? Who are they really working for? This campaign of falsehoods would please Saudi Arabia, and it would be music in the ears of Fox News. Who is donating money to support Cepos? Any oil companies on the list?

If I were running Vestas, I would sue Cepos for willfully spreading false information about my business. If I were running the Paul Due Jensen Foundation, I might wonder if it was a good idea to give Cepos 1.875.000 kroner in 2007. I doubt that this foundation had any involvement with the Cepos smear campaign against wind power, but their annual report shows that they are a donor.

Another question is whether the Danish government, which often listens to policy ideas from Cepos, will distance themselves from this organization. The Danish government already has a poor record on global warming. after its poor handling of the Climate Summit in December. It has for years directly sponsored Bjorn Lomborg (not a scientist) and his Copenhagen Consensus, spending millions to undercut the work of scientists. Cepos attacks the wind industry; Lomborg attacks those worried about global warming.Is there a pattern here?

Something is rotten in Denmark, and it is not far from the political parties in power. Either they must publlically disagree with what Cepos  has done or they must appear to agree with them.
[If there was a public comment from the (now former) government, it failed to reach my ears.]

Additional comment January 7, 2012: Vestas has had poor sales in the 18 months after this campaign of disinformation, and its stock has fallen precipitously. Presumably CEPOS is delighted that it has done its part to weaken Danish exports and destroy the reputation of what had been a leading Danish company.