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Bjorn Lomborg

Get the facts straight

20 Mar2017

Tackling one-tenth of Haitian deaths and helping the environment

Published by The Huffington Post

It sounds almost too good to be true: a single development investment that tackles one of Haiti’s biggest death-tolls and at the same time combats deforestation and pollution. That is what one contribution to the Haiti Priorise project suggests. While some depictions show Haiti to be almost entirely deforested, recent work finds that up to one-third of land is covered in trees. In any case, having more trees can help Haiti, because it can prevent erosion, aid pollination, and improve water-flow.

17 Mar2017

From Feel-Good to High-Yield Good: How to Improve Philanthropy and Aid

Published by Long Now Foundation

Most aid and philanthropy decisions are made based on persuasive sounding narratives, and we relish taking part in those stories, even if the actual results are mixed. But the results of the most pragmatic approach, built on statistics and economic analysis rather than narrative, can be stunning. Bjorn Lomborg discusses as part of his talk for the Long Now Foundation.

15 Mar2017

E-Voting – improving the election process?

Published by The Huffington Post

The participation rate in Haitian elections is low. In last October’s election, less than one-quarter of eligible voters participated. The process is long and complex, leaving opportunities for error and fraud, while the costs of holding an election have climbed more than 400% in 25 years. With apparent broad public support, electronic voting has been suggested as one way of reducing the cost, cutting the opportunities for error and fraud, and re-establishing public trust.

3 Mar2017

If our foreign aid is to work, we have to stop throwing money around blindly

Published by The Telegraph

A new report by spending watchdog the National Audit Office has generated concern about UK foreign aid by revealing that allegations of fraud have risen more than four-fold in five years. Aid always has an element of risk, which agencies such as the Department for International Development (DfID) strive to keep to acceptable levels. But there is a broader problem globally with the way that development funds are allocated. Priorities are set based on a myriad of inputs, including a nation’s diplomatic, economic and even military objectives, and political reality. Things that look bad in...

2 Mar2017

An Alternative Plan for Development in Haiti

Published by LinkedIn Pulse

In every country, considerable resources are spent by the government and businesses, various national agencies, and often local and foreign NGOs, to improve the standard of living. Haiti is no exception. The national budget is 203 billion Gourdes (USD$3 billion) annually, and another 67 billion Gourdes (USD$1 billion) is received in aid each year. On top of this, there are earthquake recovery resources and the money that is spent by private industry, donors, or sent home by the Haitian Diaspora.

27 Feb2017

Making the SDGs smarter

Published by The Daily Star

Over the next 15 years, the Sustainable Development Goals will influence more than USD 2.5 trillion of money in development aid and trillions more meant to help reduce poverty, hunger and disease, and improve education and the environment. Bangladesh, along with all other nations, now has to decide where to spend scarce resources to do the most good. And clearly not all of the many, many UN targets are equally good, smart or effective. Since its inception, the UN has had a lot of well-meaning targets, goals and declarations that have made very little impact. At the turn of this century,...

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...

27 Jan2017

Funding Wind and Solar Energy Is Inefficient

Published by The Huffington Post

We constantly hear how solar and wind energy is already cheaper than fossil fuels. A few months ago, Bloomberg Business declared that “wind power is now the cheapest electricity to produce in both Germany and the U.K., even without government subsidies.” If renewable energy is cheaper than dirty fossil fuels, why isn’t everyone adopting them? Are we so irrationally addicted to polluting energy sources that we won’t even embrace cheaper and cleaner alternatives?

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...

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