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Bjorn Lomborg

Get the facts straight

21 Mar2016

How better technology can make city air cleaner and help save lives

Published by The Daily Star

During the dry season, Dhaka is one of the most polluted cities in the world. Air pollution levels during this period of the year reach 13-16 times higher than the international quality standard, and that outdoor air pollution kills 14,000of the city's residents annually. The need to reduce air pollution in the capital may seem obvious. But using scarce resources to fight outdoor air pollution means less funding will be available from the national budget, international donors, or private citizens for other proposals that can do good. Bangladesh Priorities, a cooperation with BRAC and...

17 Mar2016

The Right Targets for Global Health Investment

Published by Project Syndicate

If the global media were your only source of information, you could be forgiven for thinking that the world’s biggest health concern right now is the Zika virus, or that last year it was Ebola – or SARS and the Avian Flu before that. Panic about these contagions has spread far more rapidly than the diseases. In reality, the global death toll from all of them, combined, is tiny compared to that from major infectious diseases that we hear much less about: diarrhea, tuberculosis, AIDS, malaria, tetanus, or measles. The death toll from non-communicable diseases like strokes and heart...

16 Mar2016

Using smarter stoves to combat household air pollution

Published by The Daily Star

When it comes to cooking indoors over open fires, the harmful health effects can be equal to smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. This indoor air pollution plagues nearly nine out of every 10 Bangladeshi households, which use wood and other biofuels to cook inside. Over time, exposure to smoke from indoor cooking leads to deadly diseases such as lung cancer, stroke, and heart disease. This is why it's the most deadly environmental problem in the world. In Bangladesh, such indoor air pollution is responsible for 10-15 percent of all deaths. It may seem obvious to say that we need to...

14 Mar2016

Fighting Poverty

Published by The Daily Star

When it comes to the biggest challenges facing Bangladesh, surely poverty is one of the most crucial. And there is still much work to be done. Despite cutting the rate of extreme poverty from 34 percent in 2000 to just 13 percent today, 20 million Bangladeshis still live in conditions considered to be ultra poor. Living on less than Tk. 43 per day can be immensely difficult, and for some, it can create a trap that's almost impossible to escape. The ultra poor generally do not own land and are caught in the low-wage activities of day labourers. They are on the brink of subsistence. And...

11 Mar2016

Bangladesh needs clear priorities for the future

Published by Daily Star

Bangladesh has big plans for the next five years. By the time the 50th anniversary of independence arrives, and as part of its Vision 2021 plan, the nation aspires to achieve middle-income status. Along with the economic aim, other ambitious goals include slashing poverty drastically, safeguarding basic rights for all citizens, ensuring ubiquitous access to adequate nutrition, clothing, housing, and health care - and doing it all while protecting the environment. The country has made spectacular progress over recent years, halving poverty and growing the economy by about6 percent each year...

23 Feb2016

The Paris climate deal won’t even dent global warming

Published by New York Post

Two months after the Paris climate-treaty negotiations concluded with fanfare, the world is figuring out it was sold a lemon. In December, global leaders patted each other on the back and declared a job well done. The treaty will come into force later this year after it has been signed by representatives of at least 55 nations representing 55 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions. This will provide “a turning point for the world,” according to President Obama. “Our children and grandchildren will see that we did our duty,” says UK Prime Minister David Cameron...

16 Feb2016

When is Fighting Corruption Worth It?

Published by Project Syndicate

Some $1 trillion was lost to corruption last year. This is money that was not available for expanding health care, broadening access to education, improving nutrition, or cleaning up the environment. According to Transparency International, 68% of the world’s countries have a serious corruption problem, and no country is completely immune. Corruption is one facet of poor governance; indeed, it correlates with ineffective public administration, weak accountability, low transparency, and inconsistent implementation of the rule of law. So it is little wonder that the United Nations’...

25 Jan2016

Why Africa Needs Fossil Fuels

Published by Project Syndicate

SANTIAGO – Africa is the world’s most “renewable” continent when it comes to energy. In the rich world, renewables account for less than a tenth of total energy supplies. The 900 million people of Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) get 80% of their energy from renewables. While a person in Europe or North America uses 11,000 kWh per year on average (much of it through industrial processes), a person in Sub-Sahara Africa uses only 137kWh – less than a typical American refrigerator uses in four months. More than 600 million people in Africa have no access...

18 Dec2015

A Climate Agreement Powered by Hypocrisy

Published by Project Syndicate

PARIS – The beautiful Champs-Élysées is lit with millions of sparkling lights. This year, they are powered by renewable energy. There is a wind turbine as tall as the Arc de Triomphe, and 440 solar panels take up much of the Champs-Élysées roundabout. One evening during the COP21 climate change conference this month, there was neither sunlight nor wind, so organizers asked those of us strolling down the avenue to power the lights via stationary bikes and hamster wheels. “Pedal power” delivered great images for the television crews that were here to cover the summit. But...

16 Dec2015

The trillion pound bill: That's what this respected expert says the climate summit may cost the world each year. And yet, he argues, it will hardly change a thing

Published by Daily Mail

As you might expect, the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, which reached an agreement yesterday to limit the rise in global temperature to less than 2C, has been an international festival of hot air. The bland, suburban conference centre hosting the two weeks of talks is populated by oversized animal cut-outs – a blue giraffe, a red camel – that we attendees use as landmarks to find our way around. You hear people shouting into their phone, ‘I’m waiting by the pink kangaroo!’ But the outwardly cheerful menagerie is actually a Noah’s Ark installation...

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