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Bjorn Lomborg

Get the facts straight

20 Dec2019

Empty Gestures on Climate Change

Published by Project Syndicate

Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs, wash your clothes in cold water, eat less meat, recycle more, and buy an electric car: we are being bombarded with instructions from climate campaigners, environmentalists, and the media about the everyday steps we all must take to tackle climate change. Unfortunately, these appeals trivialize the challenge of global warming and divert our attention from the huge technological and policy changes that are needed to combat it.

8 Dec2019

Reality check: Drive for rapid ‘net zero’ emissions a guaranteed loser

Published by New York Post

The UN climate summit is underway in Madrid, and activists are sounding their usual calls for world leaders to achieve carbon neutrality as fast as possible. It’s a fool’s errand. From California to France to Chile, environmentalists laud leaders for already making the promise, and sometimes even passing legislation, to stop putting more greenhouse gases into the air than they take out.

21 Nov2019

Humans Can Survive Underwater

Published by Project Syndicate

The latest alarming news about climate change is that huge swaths of densely inhabited land will be underwater by 2050, with their cities “erased.” These reports – which appeared in The New York Times and many other media outlets – are based on a good research paper by scientists at Climate Central, but they get the story wrong. This is part of a damaging pattern. Climate change is a man-made problem that we need to tackle, but many of the news stories about its purported effects are scaring us without justification and misleading us about how to act.

23 Oct2019

Fertility control is an economic bonanza

Published by The Australian

Political crises, scandals and dysfunction dominate the global news agenda. Unsurprisingly, therefore, many people missed Britain’s announcement last month that it would spend £600m ($1.133bn) to provide 20 million more women and girls in the developing world with access to family planning. But the British government’s decision, based on research by the Copenhagen Consensus Centre that shows family planning is one of the smartest possible development investments, is a vitally important one. Hundreds of millions of women are unable to choose the number, timing and spacing of their children —...

21 Oct2019

Why Family Planning Is a Smart Investment

Published by Project Syndicate

Political crises, scandals, and dysfunction continue to dominate the global news agenda. Unsurprisingly, therefore, many people missed the United Kingdom’s announcement last month that it will spend £600 million ($779 million) to provide 20 million more women and girls in the developing world with access to family planning. But the UK government’s decision – based on research by the Copenhagen Consensus Center that shows family planning is one of the smartest possible development investments – is a vitally important one. Currently, hundreds of millions of women are unable to choose the number...

12 Oct2019

Climate change activists are focused on all the wrong solutions

Published by New York Post

As it is becoming obvious that political responses to global warming such as the Paris treaty are not working, environmentalists are urging us to consider the climate impact of our personal actions. Don’t eat meat, don’t drive a gasoline-powered car and don’t fly, they say. But these individual actions won’t make a substantial difference to our planet, and such demands divert attention away from the solutions that are needed. Even if all 4.5 billion flights this year were stopped from taking off, and the same happened every year until 2100, temperatures would be reduced by just 0.054 degrees...

11 Oct2019

The Limits Of ‘Leapfrogging’

Published by Forbes

Many western donors love the idea that instead of dirty, coal-fired power-plants, poor nations should ‘leapfrog’ straight to cleaner energy sources such as off-grid solar technology. The World Bank is at the forefront of these efforts, no longer funding coal energy projects. Off-grid solar projects begin with grand intentions, but too often end with recipients barely better off. We can see this in the small Pacific island nation of Fiji, where the government – advocates of strong global climate policy – teamed up with a Japanese technology company to deliver off-grid solar power.

26 Sep2019

On climate change, humanity is not ‘evil’

Published by Globe and Mail

Speaking at the United Nations, 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg said that if humanity really understands the science of climate change and still fails to act, we’re “evil.” This is because climate change means “people are dying.” Helpfully, she also told us what we must do to act correctly: In a bit more than eight years, we will have exhausted our remaining allowance for carbon emissions, so we must shut down everything running on fossil fuels by 2028. While this claim is not uncommon, it is fundamentally misguided. Yes, global warming is real and human-caused, but her vision of...

26 Sep2019

How Climate Policies Hurt the Poor

Published by Project Syndicate

Over the past 25 years, nearly 1.2 billion people around the world have been lifted out of poverty, while both malnutrition and the risk of death from air pollution have decreased. Taken together, these achievements are nothing short of a miracle. But two global trends now threaten to slow the momentum in reducing poverty. The first is nationalist opposition to free trade. Rising protectionism is imperilling economic growth – including in the world’s poorest countries, which would benefit most from a more open global trading system. Concluding the long-stalled Doha Round of global trade talks...

21 Sep2019

A climate of burning money

Published by The Australian

World leaders will soon arrive in New York for a climate summit likely to do little more than add to the hysteria drowning out any sober talk on climate policy. Amid warnings that we have days left to act, politicians will jostle to share the spotlight with celebrity activists such as 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, who came from Europe by wind-powered boat. Hurricane Dorian looms large over proceedings as a harbinger of doom. After 30 years of failed climate policy, more of the same is not the answer. Since the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit, our use of renewable energy has increased by only 1...

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