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Bjorn Lomborg

Get the facts straight

19 Oct2017

The Mis-Measure of Development

Published by Project Syndicate

A new scorecard that purports to grade countries on development progress tells us little about how we are faring against humanity’s biggest challenges. Instead, it highlights the shortcomings of today’s unfocused global development agenda. The major new report, led by Jeffrey D. Sachs and issued by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Germany’s Bertelsmann Stiftung, provides a color-coded dashboard to demonstrate how well every country is doing at implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the hugely important agenda that succeeded the highly...

16 Oct2017

The youth prioritizes agriculture

Published by The Daily Star

Discussions about development spending and reducing Bangladesh's climate vulnerability are often dominated—understandably—by politicians and donors. These are the decision-makers who affect how funds are spent. By way of example, the Danish government recently announced it has earmarked Tk 383 million (30 million kroner) to help Bangladesh face climate change. The lion's share, Tk 255 million (20 million kroner), will support roadworks in the district of Noakhali, while Tk 64 million (five million kroner) will go to protecting water sources, toilets and latrines from flooding. Another five...

14 Oct2017

Climate change: Paris Agreement makes too little difference

Published by The Australian

Recent weather disasters — flooding across Asia and hurricanes hitting the US and Caribbean — have only increased the volume from commentators and politicians who tell us: “This is what climate change looks like.” The destruction, they say, provides added reason to double down on the Paris Agreement, the climate pact adopted in December 2015. Those who don’t think this way are haters and wreckers, no different from Donald Trump, who cancelled US involvement in the treaty. The US approach to climate change is obviously deeply problematic. The President has failed to even acknowledge that...

12 Oct2017

Now even climate-change believers count as ‘deniers’

Published by New York Post

Al Gore recently had a telling altercation with a journalist. The Spectator’s Ross Clark wanted to ask him about Miami sea-level rises suggested in the new film, “An Inconvenient Sequel.” The reporter started to explain that he had consulted Florida International University sea-level-rise expert Shimon Wdowinski. Gore’s response: “Never heard of him — is he a denier?” Then he asked the journalist, “Are you a denier?” When Clark responded that he was sure climate change is a problem but didn’t know how big, Gore declared, “You are a denier.” I was recently on the receiving end of a similar...

4 Oct2017

Why American Overseas Aid Should Focus on SDGs?

Published by Inter Press Service

The average American believes the US spends a whopping third of its federal budget on foreign aid. Consequently, a majority of people think that too much is spent on foreign aid. That is one reason US President Donald J. Trump, who has campaigned on putting the needs of Americans first, has proposed deep cuts to foreign aid in his 2018 budget. The problem is, this common understanding is very wrong. US foreign aid in 2017 will cost $41.9 billion out of a total federal budget of $4.15 trillion or one percent. When informed of this, support for cutting aid halves, while support for increasing...

22 Sep2017

The Economist Caught Between Climate Deniers and Alarmists

Published by WNYC's The Takeaway

"Climate change has been a key issue at the United Nations General Assembly this week. Meetings at the U.N. about the topic have been taking place during a season of calamitous weather events, including a series of devastating hurricanes. While he believes that world leaders cannot ignore climate change, Bjorn Lomborg, president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, says he is concerned that precious resources are too often squandered on ineffective solutions, and that aid money could be spent on better interventions that do the most social good."

22 Sep2017

Climate change is dangerous. That doesn't mean we have to spend money stupidly.

Published by USA Today

This is what global warming looks like, opinion pieces quickly declared in both Politico and CNN about devastating Hurricane Harvey. A week later, news media around the globe and politicians were saying the exact same thing about Hurricane Irma. Jumping the gun on linking disasters to climate change is dangerous. It points us toward policies that will have little to no effect at reducing future devastation. The science is clear but also nuanced: Climate change will worsen some extreme weather events, and it will improve others.

18 Sep2017

Empowering Girls

Published by Project Syndicate

In the lottery of life, being born female in a poor country places one at a double disadvantage. Women in poor countries have the highest global incidence of poverty of any demographic group, along with the worst health conditions, the least access to education, and the highest likelihood of being victims of violence. Gender inequality – through workplace exclusion and lower pay – costs the world a staggering 15.5% of GDP. Denying women opportunities to develop their potential means that societies forego their contribution. Yet the frustrating reality is that effective solutions to address...

8 Sep2017

Don’t link climate change to increasing costs of disasters

Published by Hindustan Times

While the world focuses on the devastating storms in South Asia and the US, it is timely to ask ourselves two broad, related questions. First, how do we prevent such disasters from being so devastating in the future? And second, how do we best help the vulnerable people who are most affected? When big weather events happen, often the first thing talked about is climate change. Perhaps it’s a matter of trying to pin blame for a natural disaster. “South Asia is also suffering the horrors of climate change” was one recent American headline. This claim has some justification, but ultimately...

7 Sep2017

The Climate-Change Distraction

Published by The Wall Street Journal

Climate change has been blamed for a dizzying array of absurd woes, from the dwindling number of customers at Bulgarian brothels to the death of the Loch Ness monster. Most of us can see through these silly headlines, but it’s far harder to parse the more serious claims when they’re repeated in good faith by well-meaning campaigners. Consider the recent assertion by Unicef’s Bangladesh head of mission that climate change leads to an increase in child marriages. Between 2011 and 2020 globally, more than 140 million girls under the age of 18 will become brides, leading to curtailed education...

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