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Bjorn Lomborg

Get the facts straight

18 Sep2017

Empowering Girls

Published by Project Syndicate

In the lottery of life, being born female in a poor country places one at a double disadvantage. Women in poor countries have the highest global incidence of poverty of any demographic group, along with the worst health conditions, the least access to education, and the highest likelihood of being victims of violence. Gender inequality – through workplace exclusion and lower pay – costs the world a staggering 15.5% of GDP. Denying women opportunities to develop their potential means that societies forego their contribution. Yet the frustrating reality is that effective solutions to address...

7 Sep2017

The Climate-Change Distraction

Published by The Wall Street Journal

Climate change has been blamed for a dizzying array of absurd woes, from the dwindling number of customers at Bulgarian brothels to the death of the Loch Ness monster. Most of us can see through these silly headlines, but it’s far harder to parse the more serious claims when they’re repeated in good faith by well-meaning campaigners. Consider the recent assertion by Unicef’s Bangladesh head of mission that climate change leads to an increase in child marriages. Between 2011 and 2020 globally, more than 140 million girls under the age of 18 will become brides, leading to curtailed education...

30 Aug2017

After Harvey: Are record-breaking storms the new normal?

Published by France 24

In order to help future victims of hurricanes, focusing on climate change is the most expensive way to help the fewest people. Instead, we should focus on better infrastructure, porous surfaces, drainage, levees and dams, better building codes, and better zoning, as Lomborg explains on France24.

30 Aug2017

The Economist asks: Bjorn Lomborg

Published by The Economist Asks

Bjorn Lomborg joined The Economist's podcast The Economist asks to discuss the question: "Poverty, health, education or climate change: where should governments spend their money?" Within each of these areas, some solutions are better than others: shouldn't we do the smart ones first?

26 Aug2017

How alarmist rhetoric warps climate policy

Published by The Australian

Promoting his climate change film An Inconvenient Sequel, former US vice-president Al Gore likes to say that the nightly news has become “a nature hike through the Book of Revelations”. He’s not the only one touting an apocalypse. In a much-shared story, New York magazine warned that famine, economic collapse and “a sun that cooks us” will happen as soon as the end of this century, as “parts of the Earth will likely become uninhabitable, and other parts horrifically inhospitable”.

17 Aug2017

A Development Investment for the Ages

Published by Project Syndicate

Malnutrition receives less attention than most of the world’s other major challenges. Yet it is one area where a relatively small investment can have the most powerful impact. An estimated two billion people do not receive the essential vitamins and minerals they need to grow and thrive – notably, iron, iodine, vitamin A, and zinc. Worse, malnutrition and undernutrition are part of a cruel cycle, in that they are both causes and effects of poverty. This cycle disproportionately affects infants and young children, who suffer devastating consequences from malnutrition, including mental...

15 Aug2017

Making Government Smarter

Published by Foreign Affairs

These days, people for the most part believe that governments should try to promote the general welfare of the populations they serve. The disagreements come over how to do that—what goals to focus on, what policies to adopt, and so on. These questions are usually approached through broad intellectual frameworks, such as political ideology or religion, and much time is spent debating the finer points of various doctrines. Often overlooked, however, is a simple and easy way to make lives better: use routine cost-benefit analysis to compare the expected returns from alternative policies and...

2 Aug2017

Earth Overshoot Day: How Can We Create a Sustainable Future?

Published by France 24

As Lomborg explains in an TV interview with France24, that instead of panicking over unrealistic prophecies of unsustainable footprints, we should focus on pulling millions more out of poverty while funding the sort of innovation that will eliminate future risks of pollution and make our land more productive.

2 Aug2017

One Planet Is Enough

Published by Forbes

We often hear the story of humans voraciously exploiting the world’s resources and living way beyond Earth’s means. On “Earth Overshoot Day”, campaigners such as the Global Footprint Network claim that, by August 2, we have already exhausted this year’s supply of natural resources and Earth is now sliding into “ecological debt” for the rest of 2017. For more than a decade, the World Wildlife Fund and other conservation organizations have performed complicated calculations to determine our total “ecological footprint” on the planet. In their narrative, population growth and higher standards of...

27 Jul2017

A tighter aid budget in Haiti means Canada must do more with less

Published by The Globe and Mail

Host to a large diaspora population, Canada has long focused much of its official and private aid toward Haiti – the hemisphere’s poorest country. Recently though, it has pulled back: Haiti fell from top recipient of aid in 2010 to 16th place in 2015. The Canadian government has set out to examine different ways of making money spent in Haiti achieve more – whether by foreign governments, philanthropists, or Haiti itself, which has an annual budget of $2.5-billion. Canada funded a project led by my think tank, the Copenhagen Consensus, to generate data about ways to boost prosperity and...

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