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Bjorn Lomborg

Get the facts straight

20 Jul2016

We must focus on the UN goals that are the best value for money

Published by The Guardian

Ten months ago, world leaders gathered at the United Nations to adopt 169 targets that will shape much of the $2.5tn expected to be spent on development assistance over the next 15 years, along with many trillions of dollars of national budgets. This week government ministers return to discuss the implementation of the sustainable development goals, amid growing recognition of the challenges of pursuing so many well-meaning ambitions at once. During the drawn-out process in which donor and recipient nations, NGOs and advocacy groups struggled over which development goals would be given the UN...

14 Jul2016

Greenpeace’s deadly war on science

Published by New York Post

Is Greenpeace committing a crime against humanity? A letter from 110 Nobel laureates suggests as much. It urges the environmental group to drop its campaign against genetically modified foods, particularly so-called “Golden Rice,” which could help prevent millions of deaths in the developing world. Calling GMOs food “Frankenfood” is a brilliant scare-mongering term, heavily promoted by Greenpeace. But it has no basis in reality. Just a couple of months ago, the National Academies of Sciences found in its latest report that GMOs “are as safe as” non-GMOs...

13 Jul2016

Setting smarter development goals

Published by Boston Globe

OVER THE NEXT 15 years, a rough calculation suggests that at least $2.5 trillion will be spent on development assistance. Where this spending goes will largely be dictated by 169 development targets that the United Nations has endorsed for the next decade and a half. Next week, government ministers will return to New York to discuss the implementation of the Sustainable Development Agenda, amid growing recognition of the headache of trying to pursue so many different well-meaning ambitions at once. This situation was inevitable. The Sustainable Development Agenda was the result of a painfully...

30 Jun2016

Wishful thinking won’t help us achieve our climate goals

Published by Wall Street Journal

When President Obama flew to Ottawa, Canada, on Wednesday to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, promoting their climate-change policies was near the top of the agenda. “The Paris Agreement was a turning point for our planet,” the leaders’ joint statement said, referring to the climate pact signed with fanfare in April by nearly 200 nations. “North America has the capacity, resources and the moral imperative to show strong leadership building on the Paris Agreement and promoting its early entry into force.”...

17 Jun2016

Why Bangladesh does better on TB than cancer

Published by The Australian

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, such as 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...

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...

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