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Bjorn Lomborg

Get the facts straight

15 Jun2016

Which Policies Should Have Priority?

Published by Project Syndicate

Every day, policymakers around the world face a dizzying array of choices. The more they spend on, say, education, the less there is to run hospitals, fight pollution, or boost agricultural productivity. Lobby groups, activists, and the media promote certain causes – solar panels, the Zika virus, closing tax loopholes immediately – while less fashionable issues, like nutrition or non-communicable diseases, can slip beneath the radar. And most countries’ politics have proverbial “third rail” issues – policies or programs (say, state pensions) that are so...

12 Jun2016

Think organic food is better for your, animals and the planet? Think again.

Published by The Telegraph

What we eat is seen as more important than ever. And everywhere we are urged to go organic: we are told it is more nutritious, it improves animal welfare and helps the environment. In reality, that is mostly marketing hype. In 2012 Stanford University’s Centre for Health Policy did the biggest comparison of organic and conventional foods and found no robust evidence for organics being more nutritious. A brand-new review has just repeated its finding: “Scientific studies do not show that organic products are more nutritious and safer than conventional foods...

8 Jun2016

Pitfalls of adding technology to classrooms

Published by Shanghai Daily

IT is almost universally agreed that more education is good for society. But it turns out that some popular educational policies achieve very little, while others that are often overlooked can make a huge difference. Reducing class sizes would seem to be an obvious improvement, but by itself, smaller class size has not been shown to boost educational performance.

6 Jun2016

Golden rice: The malnutrition fighting crop

Published by The Daily Star

Over the past two decades, Bangladesh has remarkably managed to feed an increasing population better - the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization estimates that in 1993, the average Bangladeshi had access to just 2,000 calories per day, whereas today that number has increased to 2,450 calories per day. To a large extent, this success comes on the back of ever-higher rice production - rice makes up 70 percent of the average daily calorie intake. Unfortunately, rice may make an empty stomach feel full, but it lacks many vital micronutrients. The latest survey shows three-quarters of all...

1 Jun2016

Liberal trade policies to boost the best

Published by The Daily Star

Like many places around the globe, Bangladesh has made great strides in liberalising trade over recent decades. 25 ago, the protection rate, which takes into account tariffs and other trade barriers, was 74 percent. Today, that rate is just 27 percent. Slashing high tariffs and opening up the economy has produced great benefits for the country, because consumers can buy products where they can be produced the cheapest. Largely thanks to such reforms and related export incentives, Bangladesh's export sector has boomed, particularly in apparel. But costs from some aspects of trade policies...

30 May2016

RMG: Smartest Strategies

Published by The Daily Star

Bangladesh's manufacturing sector has grown steadily as the country has industrialised. Manufacturing now accounts for 30 percent of GDP, nearly double the share of agriculture. That industry is largely driven by the readymade garment (RMG) sector, which represents a whopping 85 percent of all export earnings and employs 4 million people, 80 percent of whom are women. While global demand for RMG products is expected to surge in coming years, Bangladesh's sector must continue to progress and evolve in order to take advantage of it. Some of the RMG industry's most pressing current...

25 May2016

Bringing electricity to more Bangladeshis

Published by The Daily Star

Tens of millions of Bangladeshis have gained access to electricity over recent years. In 2000, just 32 percent of the population had electricity access; today that figure stands at nearly 60 percent, according to the World Bank. Yet the national energy sector still lags behind many of its neighbours, and the power Bangladesh manages to generate is unreliable - blackouts and shortages cost an estimated 0.5 percent of GDP annually. What are the smartest ways to bring reliable energy to more Bangladeshis?

18 May2016

Best strategies to empower girls

Published by The Daily Star

Between 2011 and 2020, more than 140 million girls worldwide will become child brides - defined by the United Nations as marriage before age 18. The effects from such early marriage can be devastating and long-lasting for women: lower education levels and lower lifetime earnings, higher rates of domestic violence, greater risk of dying from pregnancy complications, and increased mortality rates for the children of these young brides. Even though Bangladesh's legal age of marriage is 18, the country has the second-highest rate of child marriage globally: the Bangladesh Demographic and...

17 May2016

The Evidence on Education Reforms

Published by Project Syndicate

It is almost universally agreed that more education is good for society. But it turns out that some popular educational policies achieve very little, while others that are often overlooked can make a huge difference. Reducing class sizes would seem to be an obvious improvement; but by itself, smaller class size has not been shown to boost educational performance. Likewise, extending the school day seems an easy way to ensure that pupils learn more; but research finds that time spent in school matters considerably less than what happens there.

16 May2016

Healthier mothers for a brighter future

Published by The Daily Star

Bangladesh has had incredible success fighting hunger. In 1990, almost two-thirds of children younger than five were underweight, but less than one-third are today. Recently, Bangladesh even received a “special recognition” award from the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation for outstanding progress in fighting hunger and poverty. National rates of malnutrition, however, are still very high, and stunting is a particular concern. When children are chronically undernourished or have to fight many infections early in life, they can become shorter than normal for their age...

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