There are many other issues besides climate that people want fixed more urgently.


Bjorn Lomborg

The nutrition challenge

A new report from the United Nations warns that the number of hungry people worldwide increased for a third consecutive year in 2018, and now exceeds 820 million. And some two billion people – over one-quarter of the world’s population – lack regular access to safe, nutritious, and sufficient food.

These quiet deaths and silent suffering don’t seize the world’s attention like past famines did. But they should. Additional investments in early childhood nutrition are crucial, and should be a high priority for donor and recipient governments, multilateral development organizations, and philanthropic foundations. Every dollar spent on child nutrition will create $45 of benefits for society, making it an extremely valuable investment.

Read Bjorn Lomborg's new column for Project Syndicate in five languages. The article was published by media outlets around the world, including Shanghai Daily (China, print), Jakarta Post (Indonesia, print), Jordan Times, La Nacion (Costa Rica), My Republica (Nepal), Khaleej Times (UAE) and The Daily Star (Lebanon).

Climate change as a wedge issue in the USA

A year ahead of the US presidential election, exaggeration about global warming is greater than ever. While some politicians continue (incorrectly) to insist it’s made up, far more insist (also incorrectly) that we face an imminent climate crisis threatening civilization.

Using climate to energize the base may make short-term political sense, but adding to polarization on the topic just makes it impossible to engage in sensible policy discussion.

In New York Post, Lomborg argues that we can only reclaim the pragmatic center of the debate if we stop accepting relentless climate exaggerations and focus on smart and cost-conscious solutions.

Don't let climate scientists spoil your summer BBQ

British scientists recently proposed to replace meat with vegetarian alternatives, using the catchy title "How much is your summer BBQ damaging the environment?"
What they failed to communicate is the reality that in an industrial world setting going entirely vegetarian for the rest of your life means you reduce your emissions by about 2% only.

Writing for USA Today, Lomborg points out that going vegetarian can help the climate a little bit, but it's both an unrealistic and inefficient policy to push on people across the world. We should focus on research to develop cleaner, maybe artificial, meat and cheaper clean energy. And while we do so, we can have our summer barbecues without being told they destroy the planet.

Voters don't want extreme climate policies

Green activists commonly make the claim that the electorate wants strong climate action. But again and again, voters reject expensive climate policies, as recently seen in Australia, the US, Brazil and many other places.

In Britain's largest broadsheet newspaper The Telegraph (here without paywall), Lomborg writes that rather than wishing for an electorate that shares the views of the elite, global warming campaigners need to stop and listen.

How to spend $162bn to fix climate – and everything else

This year, the world will spend $162 billion subsidizing renewable energy. Unfortunately, this massive investment won't have any measurable impact on temperatures by the end of the century.
We could use the same amount of money instead to fund the green innovation needed for renewables to eventually outcompete fossil fuels, and would still have enough money left to fund solutions to urgent global problems such as malnutrition and hunger, infectious diseases, access to family planning, and loss of biodiversity.

In a new essay for The Australian, Lomborg writes:
The choice really is clear. Do we want to be remembered in the future for being the generation that overreacted and spent a fortune feeling good about ourselves but doing very little, subsidising inefficient solar panels and promising slight carbon cuts — or do we want to be remembered for fundamentally helping to fix both climate and all the other challenges facing the world?

A case for nutrition counselling

A new study for India Consensus suggests that nutrition and health counselling is one of the best possible investments in India.
As a behavioural change intervention, nutrition and health counselling is relatively low cost for every person that is reached. While this program does not provide food, it instead provides information to the mother, making it more likely that the child will receive more and better food. And that in turn leads to lifelong benefits, generating returns to society worth ₹61 in Andhra Pradesh and ₹43 in Rajasthan for every rupee spent.

Together with Shireen Vakil of The TATA Trusts, Lomborg points out the enormous potentials of nutrition counselling in South India's leading newspaper, The Hindu.

Spending on agriculture for bigger, better gains

There are many different and sometimes competing visions of how best to reduce rural poverty and boost farmer income in India.

A new analysis for India Consensus highlights agricultural R&D and certified seed production and distribution as two policies that everyone should be able to support. With the right settings in place including good irrigation, every rupee spent on these solutions can generate social returns of 22 rupees and 15 rupees respectively, making them amazing investments.

Read Lomborg's article in Deccan Herald.

Prioritising e-government procurement for Bangladesh

Transparency, fair competition and accountability are three defining features of an efficient public procurement system. Until 2011, the Bangladesh procurement process was paper-based and plagued by corruption and malpractices. A new e-Government Procurement (e-GP) system, implemented in 2011, has largely eliminated such mismanagement. At present, e-GP is being used by 50 percent of procuring agencies and procuring entities. The time required from tender opening to contract awarding declined from 51 days in 2012 to 29 days in 2015, which has significantly reduced the cost of doing business. 

New research evidence for Bangladesh Priorities by Copenhagen Consensus and the BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD), BRAC University, indicates that for each and every taka spent towards scaling up e-GP, benefits worth Tk 755 can be generated. Such returns are anticipated as a result of increased competition and transparency in public procurement.

Read the article by Lomborg and Bangladesh Priorities Outreach Manager Hasanuzzaman in The Daily Star.

Lomborg on social media:

Paris climate agreement means 3.4m more poor

Record harvest of coffee beans challenges yet another climate scare

Cold temperatures are much more deadly than heat

2 million babies were at risk of missing lifesaving vaccine

No, climate change is not the Third World War

How do populists win?

More global articles and interviews:

“It’s Not the End of the World”
Hoover Digest (USA)

Bill Gates: Best Investment Made
Harvard University (USA)

Interview with Alex Marlow
SiriusXM Satellite Radio (USA)

Interview on "Chicago's Morning Answer"
Radio AM560 (USA)

Es gibt wichtigere Sorgen
Die Weltwoche (Switzerland)

Das BIP spielt doch eine Rolle: Warum der Indikator wichtig ist
Euro am Sonntag (Germany)

Eliminar los plásticos desechables no acabará con la contaminación en océanos
Milenio (Mexico)

Caldo, freddo e le strategie energetiche da adottare
Il Sole 24 Ore (Italy)

Por que é que o PIB ainda importa
Jornal de Negocios (Portugal)

Listy z naszego sadu (Poland)

About Bjorn Lomborg and the Copenhagen Consensus 

Dr. Bjorn Lomborg researches the smartest ways to improve the environment and 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, an adjunct professor at Copenhagen Business School 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 by Prospect Magazine, in US International Affairs. 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 19 languages, in 30+ newspapers with more than 30 million readers globally.
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