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Bjorn Lomborg

Get the facts straight

14 Feb2017

Learning from Bill Gates

Published by Project Syndicate

Everyone – from elected officials and bureaucrats to voters and taxpayers – can learn from the world’s largest charitable foundation about effective development spending. And these lessons are particularly relevant at a time when 56% of Europeans believe their governments should focus solely on domestic issues and let recipient countries deal with problems as best they can (opposition to aid is even higher in France, Poland, Italy, Hungary, and Greece). The United Kingdom’s largest-circulation Sunday newspaper recently launched a petition calling for an end to ring-...

2 Feb2017

A ‘Green Leap Forward’ in China? What a Load of Biomass

Published by Wall Street Journal

Excitement crackled through the environmental movement when China’s National Energy Administration announced last month that the country will spend at least $360 billion on green energy through 2020. Green elites are now toasting the communist country: While President Trump threatens to end costly climate policies, Chinese President Xi Jinping promises his nation will continue to fight climate change. It’s an interesting narrative, but the facts tell a different story. China’s announced investment works out to around $72 billion a year, much less than the $103 billion the...

26 Jan2017

The tragedy of killing TPP

Published by Boston Globe

With a stroke of the pen, President Trump has eliminated one of the most significant poverty-reduction measures that would have been enacted this decade. Negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership took half a decade and covered 40 percent of the world’s economy. While the agreement was already on death row thanks to a lack of support from Congress, President Trump’s executive order withdrawing US involvement sends a clarion signal about his administration’s outlook on trade. Supported by Presidents Obama and George W. Bush, the TPP would have been overwhelmingly positive...

18 Jan2017

Geoengineering Climate Change

Published by Project Syndicate

Even climate activists increasingly recognize that the lofty rhetoric of the global agreement to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, concluded in Paris just over a year ago, will not be matched by its promises’ actual impact on temperatures. This should make us think about smart, alternative solutions. But one such alternative, geoengineering, is a solution that many people refuse to entertain. Geoengineering means deliberately manipulating the Earth’s climate. It seems like something from science fiction. But it makes sense to think of it as a prudent and affordable insurance policy...

17 Jan2017

Oxfam's upside down inequality study

Published by USA Today

Today there is a commonplace — and wrong — impression that inequality is inexorably rising. Oxfam just contributed to the misunderstanding by claiming that the richest eight people own the same amount as half the world’s population. Oxfam measures net wealth, not income. Crucially, it includes ‘negative’ wealth, meaning the 5% of Americans with student loans or negative equity in their houses are considered among the world’s poorest — poorer than three-quarters of all Africans. This means that even the most impoverished soul you could imagine —...

10 Jan2017

A Digital Strategy for Bangladesh’s Biggest Problems

Published by Wall Street Journal

Bangladesh halved its poverty rate and grew its economy by as much as 7% in recent years. Yet many challenges remain, from malnourishment in rural districts to air pollution in the capital Dhaka. To help the government tackle the nation’s biggest problems, the Bangladesh Priorities Project asked scores of economists how best to respond. This collaboration between the Copenhagen Consensus Center think tank and BRAC, the world’s largest nongovernmental organization, saw an eminent panel of Bangladeshi thought leaders and a Nobel laureate economist rank 76 proposals. The list...

30 Dec2016

Feeding infants well starts a virtuous circle

Published by Hindustan Times

The first-ever national survey to measure child nutrition levels is an excellent and timely endeavour that will help India to tackle one of its biggest challenges to development. The survey by UNICEF and the government will quantify micronutrient deficiencies as well as worm infestation. Both children and adults need a high quality diet, but feeding young children well makes a big difference for their lives. The first 1,000 days of a child’s life – from conception to the age of two – are vital for proper development...

26 Dec2016

Was 2016 the Best Year Ever?

Published by Project Syndicate

According to popular wisdom, 2016 was a terrible year. Horrific terror attacks struck many countries. The Syrian crisis claimed tens of thousands of lives. Turkey withstood suicide bombings and a failed coup. More than 70 countries experienced a decline in freedom. Political shocks included Brexit and Donald Trump’s victory in the United States’ presidential election – both unforeseen by the media or political elite. Zika was declared an international public-health emergency. The year is likely to be the warmest ever measured. Reading the opinion pages, there is a sense that...

23 Dec2016

China’s thriving pandas are proof that economic growth is good for the environment

Published by South China Morning Post

Giant pandas are among the world’s favourite creatures, becoming viral video sensations simply for sneezing or rolling around cutely. In a year with seemingly little cheer at times, there was good news for all who love the bears. That came when the International Union for Conservation of Nature ­removed them from the endangered species list – reducing their threat status to “vulnerable”. Perils facing iconic animals like these have often been used by environmental campaigners to deliver an alarming message: the planet is going to hell in a handbasket. We shouldn...

12 Dec2016

Don’t blame climate change for extreme weather

Published by Boston Globe

Climate change means more extreme weather: This is a simple, powerful claim that has been pounded into our consciousness for a decade. From Greenpeace to President Obama to Scientific American, scarcely a weather event happens without someone pointing the finger at global warming and calling for action. But there are big problems with this simple statement, which are exposed starkly in recent peer-reviewed analysis in the journal Weather, Climate and Society by University of Manchester scientists Vladimir Jankovic and David M. Schultz.

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