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Bjorn Lomborg

Get the facts straight

17 Aug2017

A Development Investment for the Ages

Published by Project Syndicate

Malnutrition receives less attention than most of the world’s other major challenges. Yet it is one area where a relatively small investment can have the most powerful impact. An estimated two billion people do not receive the essential vitamins and minerals they need to grow and thrive – notably, iron, iodine, vitamin A, and zinc. Worse, malnutrition and undernutrition are part of a cruel cycle, in that they are both causes and effects of poverty. This cycle disproportionately affects infants and young children, who suffer devastating consequences from malnutrition, including mental...

15 Aug2017

Making Government Smarter

Published by Foreign Affairs

These days, people for the most part believe that governments should try to promote the general welfare of the populations they serve. The disagreements come over how to do that—what goals to focus on, what policies to adopt, and so on. These questions are usually approached through broad intellectual frameworks, such as political ideology or religion, and much time is spent debating the finer points of various doctrines. Often overlooked, however, is a simple and easy way to make lives better: use routine cost-benefit analysis to compare the expected returns from alternative policies and...

27 Jul2017

A tighter aid budget in Haiti means Canada must do more with less

Published by The Globe and Mail

Host to a large diaspora population, Canada has long focused much of its official and private aid toward Haiti – the hemisphere’s poorest country. Recently though, it has pulled back: Haiti fell from top recipient of aid in 2010 to 16th place in 2015. The Canadian government has set out to examine different ways of making money spent in Haiti achieve more – whether by foreign governments, philanthropists, or Haiti itself, which has an annual budget of $2.5-billion. Canada funded a project led by my think tank, the Copenhagen Consensus, to generate data about ways to boost prosperity and...

27 Jul2017

Al Gore’s Climate Sequel Misses a Few Inconvenient Facts

Published by The Wall Street Journal

They say the sequel is always worse than the original, but Al Gore’s first film set the bar pretty low. Eleven years ago, “An Inconvenient Truth” hyped global warming by relying more on scare tactics than science. This weekend Mr. Gore is back with “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.” If the trailer is any indication, it promises to be more of the same.

20 Jul2017

California is handling climate change all wrong

Published by Los Angeles Times

Gov. Jerry Brown has won praise for promising that California will live up to the Paris accord despite President Trump’s withdrawal from the treaty. He also signed a climate deal with China last month, and has unveiled plans for a global climate summit in San Francisco next year. Earlier this week, California lawmakers voted to extend the state’s cap-and-trade program for another 10 years. The message is clear: With a few other states, California is going it alone — an approach that is popular locally and resonates with much of the world. But, while Brown should be commended for showing...

19 Jul2017

The pure cruelty of food aid cuts

Published by New York Daily News

Proposed cutbacks to nearly all nonmilitary spending in the Trump administration’s budget proposal have generated strong opposition from a range of groups. Cuts to teacher training and education grants agitate teacher unions; decreases to agricultural subsidies are criticized by congressmen representing farmers; disability advocates decry plans to tighten insurance criteria. One proposed cut does not have a powerful U.S. advocacy group fighting against it — yet the money is one of the best ways of helping improve the lot of humanity.

18 Jul2017

Learning from Malaria

Published by Project Syndicate

It is one of the best untold stories in the annals of development: great strides have been made against malaria, a disease that was once endemic across the world and, more recently, has remained the scourge of developing countries. Over the last 15 years, more than six million lives have been saved. Even better, the lessons of that success can – and therefore should – be applied to other great development challenges. Malaria is caused by a mosquito-transmitted parasite. Even in a mild case, the result can be fever, chills, flu-like symptoms, and anemia – especially dangerous for pregnant...

10 Jul2017

Heat-death hysteria: the wrong reason to fight climate change

Published by New York Post

Politically tinged coverage of summer temperatures offers a lot of heat but not much light. “Deadly heat waves becoming more common due to climate change,” declares CNN. “Extreme heat waves will change how we live. We’re not ready,” warns TIME. Some stories are more sensationalist than others, but there is a common theme: Dangerous heat waves will increase in frequency and ferocity because of global warming. This isn’t fake news. In fact, it’s perfectly true. But these stories reveal a peculiar blind spot in the media’s climate reporting. While “deadly,” “killer,” “extreme” heat waves gain a...

6 Jul2017

Why Trump shouldn’t slash R&D funding

Published by The Boston Globe

President Trump recently hosted “Technology Week” at the White House, focusing on “modernizing government technology and stimulating the technology sector.” Behind this string of photo-ops is the unfortunate reality that Trump’s 2018 budget request has proposed the steepest funding cuts for federal research and development in US history. The proposed budget would reduce funding for the Agricultural Research Service in the Department of Agriculture by 26 percent, which would lead to the closure of 17 research centers.

3 Jul2017

Helping Haitian Children When It Matters the Most

Published by The Huffington Post

When a child is born, a clock starts ticking. Scientists have shown that half of a child’s intelligence potential is developed by the age of four. Early development makes a huge difference to life-long wellbeing. It is little surprise that distinguished economists who studied responses to Haitian challenges have focused attention on powerful investments that target children in infancy and in the womb. Haïti Priorise is a research project funded by the Government of Canada that has worked with more than 700 sector experts representing government, donors, think-tanks, universities and NGOs, and...

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