If we focus on the 40 smartest targets, instead of all 169 sustainable development targets, we could triple the amount of good we do per dollar spent.


Bjorn Lomborg

Let's have more constructive conversations on climate

Influential podcaster Lex Fridman has 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.

Another missed opportunity at COP27

Another global climate summit has ended in disappointment – this is hardly surprising, given that global leaders at COP27 in Egypt once again pursed the failed policies of the past decades instead of unleashing green energy innovation.

Bjorn Lomborg wrote a long essay with Jordan Peterson for The Telegraph (also available here), which was published right before the start of the conference.

If we care about fixing climate change, we need to change course. Pretending that the proper technological answer currently exists, and is not being implemented because we lack conviction and willpower is reckless and misleading. They argue we should dramatically increase funding for green R&D to $100 billion a year (still much cheaper than current climate spending beyond $600 billion a year).

Moreover, our excessive focus on climate change and climate solutions takes away attention from pursuing effective solutions across all the problems that confront us – only one of which is climate change.

An audio version of the essay - read by the two authors - is available on Peterson's YouTube channel.

The SDGs need priorities to deliver effective results

The world is way behind its 2030 targets. As governments face too many demands and have too few resources, it would be prudent to focus on the most effective policies first. Therefore, it is vital for governments to have a segmented goal-setting process, prioritizing those solutions that yield the highest social benefits.

Lomborg writes in Mint with Bibek Debroy, the chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Together with Aditya Sinha they present a new research paper by Lomborg and Debroy. It argues for a number of amazing public policies for India, and they highlight four specific solutions that promise phenomenal benefits for every rupee spent: (1) Nutritional and health counseling, (2) family planning, (3) immunizations, and (4) agricultural R&D and certified seed production.

Implementing effective policies first is an obvious choice for a rapidly-growing developing country like India, where smart policies can deliver enormous benefits. But India can also help establish this agenda across the world, as it takes the G20 helm for the next year. 

Poor nations should have the right to develop

Every year, global climate summits feature a parade of hypocrisy, as the world’s elite arrive on private jets to lecture humanity on cutting carbon emissions. The just concluded UN climate summit in Egypt offered more breathtaking hypocrisy than usual, because the world’s rich are zealously lecturing poor countries about the dangers of fossil fuels—after themselves devouring massive amounts of new gas, coal, and oil.

Read Lomborg's globally syndicated column in Globe and Mail (Canada), Forbes (USA), The Australian, The Inquirer (Philippines), Business Day (South Africa), Milenio (Mexico), El Tiempo (Colombia), de Telegraaf (Netherlands), Addis Fortune (Ethiopia), Libertad Digital (Spain), Tempi (Italy), Morgunbladid (Iceland), Chiang Rai Times (Thailand), El Periodico (Guatemala), La Tercera (Chile), La Prensa (Nicaragua), Listin Diario (Dominican Republic), and multiple American newspapers including Los Angeles Daily News, Orange County Register, Press Telegram, Pasadena Star-News, Whittier Daily News, and Daily Camera.

The Lancet’s heat death deception

It’s important to look with skepticism at the academic reports many news outlets cite as evidence supporting radical climate policies. Too often, they use highly skewed data that seem to have been carefully selected to support aggressive environmental regulations. One recent and much-cited Lancet report appears deliberately deceptive.

The report caused alarmist headlines around the world, reporting that rapidly rising temperatures have increased annual global heat deaths among older people by 68% in less than two decades. However, it failed to mention that this is almost entirely because there are so many more older people today than there were 20 years ago, as Bjorn Lomborg explains in Wall Street Journal (also available here) and Britain's The Times (also available here).

When corrected for population, the real heat death increase is 5% or 17,000 more people on current population. The paper also entirely ignores the well-documented reduction in cold deaths (in the graphic from Global Burden of Disease), which over the same period went down 26%. Since the reduction is of a much larger death risk, this is equivalent of more than half a million fewer cold deaths. We should hear both of these numbers, correctly presented.

The Lancet editors wrote a surprisingly weak letter in response, where they talked about much else but offered no numerical defense of their central 68% claim. As Lomborg points out in his reply, their failure to even remotely defend—or apologize for—misleading the public indicates this isn't an innocent mistake and even suggests that it intended to deceive.

Lomborg also wrote about the Lancet's specific and highly miseleading findings for India together with Prime Minister Modi's chief economic advisor. Their article was published in India's leading business paper, Economic Times.

Helping Malawi pursue the most effective policies

A book summarizing the findings of our Malawi Priorities project was released in the African nation's capital last week. Agnes Nyalonje, Minister of Education, said that the book "is a seminal document that clearly shows where we should invest our scarce resources in order to realize the greatest benefits."

The book offers a precise and easy to comprehend overview of cost-benefit analyses applied to more than twenty research questions drawn from the National Planning Commission’s research agenda and extensive consultations with academics, think tanks, the private sector and government.

You can watch the full book launch event here.

The world is getting better. We just don't hear about it.

With a torrent of doom and gloom about climate change and the environment in the news, it’s understandable why many people — especially the young — genuinely believe the world is about to end. The fact is that while significant problems remain, many indicators, even environmental, are in fact getting better. We just rarely hear it.

Bjorn Lomborg's op-ed on the good news we rarely hear about was published in newspapers around the world, including New York Post, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Press of Atlantic City and The Daily Courier (all USA) as well as Jakarta Post (Indonesia), Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Switzerland), Svenska Dagbladet (Sweden), Postimees (Estonia), Portfolio (Hungary), Financial Post (Canada), The Herald (United Kingdom), Business Day (South Africa), Berlingske (Denmark), Listy z naszego sadu (Poland), Addis Fortune (Ethiopia) and Voinamir (Bulgaria).

Lomborg on social media:

Global income distribution is *less* unequal

Climate negotiations increasingly about $ from rich countries to poor

Africa's leaders are pro-fossil fuels for Africa

Coal largest source of electricity generation in Germany

Barcelona students must take mandatory climate crisis module

We need a better, smarter climate conversation

More global articles and interviews:

We are being ‘misled’ on the climate change crisis
Sky News (Australia)

Climate expert Bjorn Lomborg debunks green energy elites' doomsday warnings
FOX News (USA)

'Panic is unwarranted' when it comes to climate change
Duluth News Tribune (USA)

Good News: The World Is Getting Better
Chicago's Morning Answer (USA)

Klimawandel ist ein Problem, aber nicht der Untergang der Welt
Nebelspalter (Switzerland)

Die Klimapanik macht die Welt zu einem 'viel schlechteren Ort'
kath.net (Germany)

Los gobiernos tendrán que elegir entre los ecologistas y las familias trabajadoras: la realidad podría llevarnos al caos
Libre Mercado (Spain)

Crise mais urgente que a climática
O Globo (Brazil)

Así avanza el país hacia su futuro energético
El Colombiano (Colombia)

'Leugenachtig klimaatrapport stelt dat 68% meer ouderen sterven door hitte. Maar er zijn 60% meer ouderen!'
De Dagelijkse Standaard (Netherlands)

Politiky presadzujúce elektromobily ukazujú, prečo ich chce tak málo ľudí
Standard (Slovakia)

Los 5 expertos que tumban los mensajes alarmistas y anticapitalistas de la Cumbre del Clima
Libre Mercado (Spain)

As COP27 meets, the world's energy plans are incoherent, misguided and ineffective
Calgary Herald (Canada)

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.
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