Like most great challenges humanity has faced, we solve them not by pushing for endless sacrifices but through innovation.


Bjorn Lomborg

We need to hear the full story on heat and cold deaths

Headlines from around the world tell us of hundreds of deaths caused by recent heat waves. The stories invariably blame climate change and admonish us to tackle it urgently. But they mostly reveal how one-sided climate-alarmist reporting leaves us badly informed.

The information we receive about temperature-related deaths is very incomplete, as far more people die from cold than heat - even in warm countries. And heat deaths are a lot easier to prevent than cold deaths. Making energy more expensive, however, will make cold deaths even more prevalent. In the US, lower gas prices meant better heating, and 11,000 avoided cold deaths annually. Higher energy costs reverse that.

For now, rising temperatures likely save lives. A landmark study found that climate change over the past decades has across every region averted more cold deaths than it has caused additional heat deaths. On average, it saves upwards of 100,000 lives each year.

Lomborg's new column is being syndicated around the globe, with publications so far including New York Post (USA), Financial Post (Canada), Berlingske (Denmark), Milenio (Mexico), El Universo (Ecuador), Los Tiempos (Bolivia) and Portfolio (Hungary).

Technology is the answer

In a related article for USA Today (and syndicated in local newspapers throughout the US), Lomborg points out that almost everywhere cold deaths outweigh heat deaths. Fortunately, heat deaths are declining in countries with good data, likely because of ever more air conditioning. This is abundantly clear for the United States, which has seen increasing hot days since 1960 affecting a much greater population. Yet, the number of heat deaths has more than halved.

The rest of the world needs access to the same simple technologies to drastically reduce heat deaths. And we should also focus on technological solutions in the fight against global warming, which requires much greater investment in innovation to make green energy so cheap everyone will want to switch.

Bjorn Lomborg appointed to global tuberculosis task force

Bjorn Lomborg has been appointed to the "Task Force for development of the Global Plan to End TB 2023-2030" by the international Stop TB Partnership.

The fight against tuberculosis has consistently been highlighted as one of the most cost-effective options to do good in the world in multiple Copenhagen Consensus projects both globally and at national level.

TB has caused more deaths the past 200 years than smallpox, malaria, the plague, influenza, cholera and AIDS combined. Affordable and effective drugs are available, but investments are needed to properly diagnose and treat the most disadvantaged, often young parents. Every dollar spent on TB control will make societies burdened by TB $43 better off.

You can read more in the 2018 article by Lomborg and Aaron Motsoaledi, South Africa’s then Minister of Health, published in newspapers around the world. Here's the link to Canada's newspaper of record Globe and Mail.

The net-zero debate turns Orwellian

We often hear that going net-zero will be one of the greatest challenges humankind has ever faced. At the same time, politicians assure us that "no one is being asked for a sacrifice." George Orwell called this willingness to espouse contradictory claims doublethink. It is politically expedient and gets climate-alarmed politicians reelected. But fixing climate change requires honesty.

Today's promised climate policies will be incredibly expensive and we will have to make a lot of sacrifices to reduce our emissions using currently available technologies. But like most great challenges humanity has faced, we solve them not by pushing for endless sacrifices but through innovation. Covid is fixed with vaccines, not unending lockdowns.

To tackle climate, world leaders should stop the doublethink and ramp up investments in green energy innovation dramatically.
Lomborg's column was published worldwide, across local newspapers in the USA and Forbes, Financial Post (Canada), Handelsblatt (Germany), The Australian, Berlingske (Denmark), Perfil (Argentina), Milenio (Mexico), El Universo (Ecuador), La Prensa (Nicaragua), Los Tiempos (Bolivia), El Periodico (Guatemala), El Pais (Uruguay), La Prensa Grafica (El Salvador), The Punch (Nigeria), Addis Fortune (Ethiopia), Business Day (South Africa), Portfolio (Hungary) and Jakarta Post (Indonesia).

Finding the best policies for Malawi

Copenhagen Consensus is partnering with the National Planning Commission of Malawi and the African Institute for Development Policy (AFIDEP) to find the most effective policy solutions for Malawi. Malawi Priorities will facilitate a prioritization of policy options for the country based on cost-benefit analyses. It will also seek to identify interventions that will enable the government to generate more financial resources to finance its development agenda.

New policy briefs and research papers are being released on a regular basis, with the most recent publications focussing on topics such as malaria, land titling, education and child marriage. The findings are presented to decision makers, the media and the general public across multiple channels, including panel debates with high-ranking officials and academics.

Lomborg on social media:

EU citizens will each have to pay >€10,000 to reduce global temps by 0.004°C

Floods are tragic but deaths from European floods actually down dramatically

Understanding hurricane damage

Global burning has declined sharply since 1870

Cost of climate change is probably smaller than you think — and possibly even smaller

Climate campaigners worry people won't support net-zero when the bill arrives

More global articles and interviews:

Climate change campaigners are undermining democracy
The Herald (United Kingdom)

Beware of the ‘economic transformation’ John Kerry is promising
New York Post

Renewables must be more cost-effective
Magic Radio (New Zealand)

Kohtuvõitlused ei aita kliimat
Postimees (Estonia)

Interview with Michael Medved (starts at 19:30 mark)
Michael Medved Show (USA)

Interview with Dennis Prager (starts at 21 minute mark)
Dennis Prager Show (USA)

Interview with Sergio Sarmiento
ADN40 (Mexico)

Family planning key to unlocking sustainable development goals
The Star (Kenya)

About Bjorn Lomborg and the Copenhagen Consensus 

Dr. Bjorn Lomborg researches the smartest ways to do good in the world, and has repeatedly been named one of Foreign Policy’s top 100 public intellectuals.

He is the author of several best-selling books, Visiting Professor at Copenhagen Business School, Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and works regularly with many of the world’s top economists, including seven Nobel Laureates.

His think tank, the Copenhagen Consensus Center, was named Think Tank of the Year in International Affairs by Prospect Magazine. It has repeatedly been top-ranked by University of Pennsylvania in its global overview of think tanks.

Lomborg is a frequent commentator in print and broadcast media, for outlets including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, CNN, FOX, and the BBC. His monthly column is published in dozens of newspapers across all continents.
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David Lessmann
Communications Manager
Copenhagen Consensus Center
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