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Bjorn Lomborg

Get the facts straight

21 Nov2014

The United Nations needs a shorter, stronger game plan for humanity

Published by Washington Post

In a world prone to fickle media attention to short-term crises, we often neglect to consider a long-term game plan for humanity. But right now the world’s 193 governments are gearing up to set our priorities for the next decade and a half at the United Nations’ annual meeting in September 2015. This is a debate worth having, but almost no one has heard anything about it.

16 Oct2014

Feeding people is smart: It's the best investment to do good in the world

Published by Economic Times

2 billion people in the world are still malnourished, and more than 800 million suffer from chronic hunger. Economic research shows that providing adequate nutrition to pre-schoolers is the best way to spend a dollar to do good in the world. Nutrition is not just about avoiding hunger and securing human decency. If you don’t get enough food, you don’t develop – we see this in kids being stunted, that is growing less than they should. Lack of food and micronutrients also affects their muscle and brain growth; it damages spatial navigation and memory formation, leading to loss of cognitive...

14 Oct2014

Dirty Development Money

Published by Project Syndicate

One of the biggest problems affecting the world’s poor is one that few have ever heard about: illicit financial flows. Though such flows cost people in Djibouti, Congo, and Chad more than one-fifth of their incomes every year, they almost never make headlines. With the world preparing to establish the specific targets that will guide global development efforts for the next 15 years, the time to change that is now.

10 Oct2014

Seven value-for-money ways to save the world

Published by The Daily Telegraph

What's the best way for the United Nations to help the developing world? Right now, the organisation is in the process of setting its global development agenda for the next 15 years - and the most important thing to do is to set goals which it can actually achieve, and to work out what the best way to spend its money is. Economics may well show the way.

3 Oct2014

How Indoor Stoves Can Help Solve Global Poverty

Published by TIME.com

World leaders at the U.N. recently began a yearlong conversation about global goals for the next 15 years. Many will rightly talk about poverty, food, water and the environment. Few will mention energy. Yet we should. Access to energy is one the most important drivers of development, e.g. improving living standards during the Industrial Revolution to more recently, helping lift 680 million Chinese out of poverty. Currently almost 3 billion people, mostly in Africa and South-east Asia, live without modern energy, instead using wood and dung as a source of fuel. Societies that live without...

2 Oct2014

Fixing the World, Bang-for-the-Buck Edition: A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast

Published by Freakonomics podcast

"Here’s $2.5 trillion. You have 15 years to spend it. How do you distribute this money in a way that will achieve the most good for the world?" Bjorn Lomborg just did a podcast with Freakonomics on his think tank's "Post-2015" project on the Sustainable Development Goals. It is the podcast for the #1 selling Freakonomics book, a #1-ranked podcast, with more than 5 million monthly downloads. One of the comments the listeners left reads: "FASCINATING Freakonomics podcast this week. With so much bad news lately, it was heartening to hear that people are spending so much time and effort to fix...

24 Sep2014

Cost of gathering data on new development goals could be crippling

Published by The Guardian

When we think about the next development agenda, our focus is usually on the goals and targets themselves. But we don’t often think about how much it will take to measure our progress. Clearly this is important, because there’s limited value in setting goals and targets if we can’t measure them because it’s just too costly or difficult to do so. Right now the UN is making a lot of noise about a ‘data revolution’ where every imaginable development indicator will not only be measurable, accurate and timely but also disaggregated by gender, income, region, village. This is so important that...

22 Sep2014

Forecasts: Hopes and Fears About Climate Change

Published by New York Times

New York Times recently interviewed Lomborg (among two dozen scientists, authors, and world and national figures) about two questions: What is your greatest worry about climate change? What gives you hope? Here's his answer: Global warming is real and a problem, but we need better, more effective solutions. What troubles me most is that we keep focusing on making old-fashioned promises to cut CO2 [even though] these promises have failed to curb emissions rises for more than 20 years. Why don’t they work? Because cheap power is the foundation for economic growth. There is an almost one-to-one...

17 Sep2014

The Economics of Violence

Published by Project Syndicate

What is the biggest source of violence in our world? With the brutal conflicts in Syria, Ukraine, and elsewhere constantly in the news, many people would probably say war. But that turns out to be spectacularly wrong.

17 Sep2014

How to Make the World’s Poor $500 Billion Richer

Published by TIME

There is a way to make the poor of this world $500 billion better off, but this solution is rarely discussed. This matters, because the international community is gearing up to produce the next set of development goals for 2015-2030, to continue the work of the Millennium Development Goals. $2.5 trillion in development aid plus unknown trillions from national budgets hang in the balance of these goals, so getting our priorities right is vital. Spending money on poorly chosen targets is a wasted opportunity to do much more good elsewhere.

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