Teaching children at the right level delivers $65 in long-term benefits per dollar spent. Why in the world don't we do that?


Bjorn Lomborg
Dear <<First Name>>,

I want to wish you and your family all the best for 2023. Let me also encourage you to join us to get the world spend smarter next year.

With your support, we can continue to focus global attention on rational, evidence-led policy choices that are shaped by economic prioritization (see for example the first item in this newsletter).

As 2022 is closing, I would love to encourage you to make a year-end donation to help Copenhagen Consensus Center's important mission. We are a philanthropic investment with a huge social return on investment, as well as a public 501(c)(3) charity eligible for US tax deduction. Here is our PayPal donation page.

Thank you for your support, and I wish you the very best for the new year.

All the best,

It's time to rethink our New Year's resolutions

2023 marks the halfway point of the world's Sustainable Development Goals that have been set for 2016 to 2030. Unfortunately, we will be far from halfway towards hitting our putative targets. Given current trends we will achieve them half a century late. What is the primary cause of our failure? Our inability to prioritize. There is little difference between having 169 goals, and having none.
In an essay for New York Post and newspapers around the world, Bjorn Lomborg together with Jordan Peterson argues that "the moral imperative is clear: we must do the best things first." New research which Copenhagen Consensus will release in the new year shows that great strides could be made in the areas of nutrition and education, for example.

The article is currently being syndicated globally; so far publications include New York Post, The Telegraph (UK, also available here), National Post (Canada), The Australian, Business Day (South Africa), Daily Graphic (Ghana), Jakarta Post (Indonesia, print only), The Philippine Daily InquirerThe Punch (Nigeria), Morgunbladid (Iceland), Standard (Slovakia) and Portfolio (Hungary).

Climate reparations could end up hurting the poor

At the recently concluded UN climate summit, wealthy nations agreed to pay climate reparations to poor countries. Unfortunately, this could ultimately be a bad deal even for the recipients, if the West expects developing nations to forego fossil fuels that would help them to develop and get more resilient towards natural disasters.

The Washington Post published an article in which the writer repeately cites Lomborg, arguing: "The way to help poor nations such as Pakistan become less vulnerable to disasters is to lift them out of poverty. The anti-growth policies of climate activists would have the opposite effect." Indeed, the Paris climate accord is forecast to keep an additional 11 million people in poverty by 2030 than would otherwise be. That number would rise to 80 million additional people in poverty if the world adopts much stronger climate measures.

Lomborg also discussed the topic on The Journal Editorial Report with Wall Street Journal editor Paul Gigot.

The world is not ending

Bjorn Lomborg joins Jordan Peterson on his podcast to explore the idea of how we do good in the world most effectively.

In order to get to a point where we can discuss investing in better education and nutrition, we also need to confront the sense of impending doom that has swept the western world and specifically today's young people. Together, Peterson and Lomborg break down the ideas of social credit and easy activism, and paint the picture of a world we can strive for, without the demonization and destruction of the one we currently inhabit.

Lomborg points out that we're not going to solve climate change by throwing paint at art or telling people to forego things they enjoy. We're going to solve it by developing the technology that delivers cleaner energy at a much lower cost.

The muddled reality of electric cars

Climate activists and politicians constantly tell us electric cars are cleaner, cheaper, and better. Many countries, including the U.K., Germany, and Japan, will even prohibit the sale of new gas and diesel cars within a decade or two.

But if electric cars are really so good, why do we need to ban the alternatives? And why do we need to subsidize electric cars to the tune of $30 billion per year?

You can actually buy the same CO2 reduction an electric car offers compared to a gas car on America's longest-established carbon trading system for about $300, making electric car subsidies one of the least effective and most expensive ways to cut emissions.

Read Lomborg's article for multiple newspapers around the world, including Financial Post (Canada), The Australian, de Telegraaf (Netherlands), Berlingske (Denmark), Denik (Czech Republic), Portfolio (Hungary) and Tempi (Italy).

He also discussed the topic on Sky News (Australia).

Helping governments get the biggest bang for their buck

The Copenhagen Consensus approach has successfully introduced a rational, data-driven input to national priority-setting in many countries, including Bangladesh, Haiti, India, Ghana and Malawi in recent years.

With the UN's Sustainable Development Goals reaching their halfway mark by the end of this year, it is time to assess how much progress countries have made towards the goals, and what they should focus on over the following eight years to create the largest-possible benefits for their societies.

One of the leading newspapers in Panama, La Estrella, reports that data from economic science can help politicians and their officials pick more of the really effective programs and slightly fewer of the less so, to maximize social returns for every dollar spent.

Let's have more constructive conversations on climate

Influential podcaster Lex Fridman recently released a great conversation with Bjorn Lomborg and veteran climate journalist Andrew Revkin (the New York Times' first climate reporter). They discuss both the impacts of climate change and how best to respond to it.

It says "debate" but it is actually an idea-rich, long-format conversation focused on smart solutions.

One listener aptly described it as "The most thought-provoking, kind, and cooperative discussion I’ve heard on the topic. When we lose the mentality that every conversation about hard topics is a win-lose proposition, we can actually find lots of common ground together."

You can watch the full podcast here. You can also see 19 shorter clips from the conversation on topics including Greta Thunberg, energy innovation, and which other solutions we should focus on to make the world a better place.

Lomborg on The Joe Rogan Experience

Bjorn Lomborg was recently a guest on The Joe Rogan Experience, the most listened-to podcast in the world.

He and Rogan discussed a host of topics related to climate change and environmental protection, as well as many other areas where we could do a lot of good in the world for surprisingly modest investments.

You can listen to the full episode on Spotify and see a short clip here.

Lomborg on social media:

Polar bear population increasing - Doesn't fit narrative, so info cancelled

Cold kills much more than heat

The Paris Agreement will barely cut 1% of what’s needed to get to 1.5°C

Each dollar fighting TB delivers $43 of benefits to society

Higher energy costs will kill 147k more Europeans this winter

Germany remains highly reliant on fossil fuels after 20 years of "Energiewende"

More global articles and interviews:

Climate summit hypocrisy for the world's poor nations
Press of Atlantic City (USA)

Interview with John Catsimatidis
WABC Radio (USA)

A pesar del relato catastrófico, los datos revelan que el mundo es un lugar mejor
Milenio (Mexico)

Kein Ausstieg ohne Alternative
Schweizer Monat (Switzerland)

Prehliadka klimatického pokrytectva
Standard (Slovakia)

Polar bear population booms amid global warming hysteria
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Japan macht es vor
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany)

Hahó, itt a világvége!
Index (Hungary)

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 Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and he has worked with many hundreds of the world’s top economists, including seven Nobel Laureates.

Lomborg is a frequent commentator in print and broadcast media, for outlets including the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Times of India and China Daily. His monthly columns are published in dozens of newspapers across all continents. 

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.
Thank you for your continued interest and we hope you enjoy these occasional updates, if you do not wish to receive news about Bjorn Lomborg and the Copenhagen Consensus in the future, you can easily remove your email from our mailing list (click unsubscribe below).

Best wishes,
David Lessmann
Communications Manager
Copenhagen Consensus Center
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