Despite the nonstop stream of depressing news, the world is actually getting to be a better place—cleaner, more prosperous, less violent.


Bjorn Lomborg

Examining the latest false alarm on climate

You’ve probably seen the latest alarming headlines: Rising sea levels from climate change could flood 187 million people out of their homes. Don’t believe it. That figure is unrealistic—and it isn’t even new.

The authors of a new study plucked it from a paper published in 2011, which also explained that humans “adapt proactively,” and “such adaptation can greatly reduce the possible impacts.” That means “the problem of environmental refugees almost disappears.”

Realistic assumptions reduce the number to less than 1/600th of the figure in those headlines, as Lomborg explains in Wall Street Journal.

The world is in a better shape than ever

Bjorn Lomborg recently joined Steve Forbes on his brand new podcast "What's Ahead".

During the half hour-long conversation, he presented two key messages:
 (1) Despite the nonstop stream of depressing news, the world is actually getting to be a better place—cleaner, more prosperous, less violent.
(2) By pursuing commonsensical, cost-effective programs to battle the troubles still plaguing our planet, we can achieve a level of prosperity and quality of life for all that would have been deemed utterly unattainable only a few years ago.

Climate hyperbole isn't helpful

The planet faces not just climate change but nothing short of a ‘climate emergency’. That’s according to influential left-wing British newspaper The Guardian which has just declared it will change its language from now on, to talk in terms of a “climate emergency”, “climate crisis” and “climate breakdown.”

Climate change is real, manmade and we need to tackle it. But here’s the problem with the change in language. The politicians and media are going far beyond the science, and by setting out to scare us, they risk making an entire generation over-worried and worse off — while tackling climate change badly.

Read Bjorn Lomborg's latest column for New York Post.

It’s cheaper to talk than to cut emissions

Environmental protesters and politicians around the world are calling for countries to become carbon neutral by 2050, if not sooner. These proposals get a lot of attention, but they would incur far higher costs than almost any electorate is willing to pay.

Read Bjorn Lomborg's new column for Project Syndicate six languages. The article was published by media outlets around the world, including The Australian, Channel News Asia (Singapore), La Nacion (Costa Rica), The Reporter (Ethiopia), The Daily Star (Lebanon), My Republica (Nepal), Jornal de negocios (Portugal), Finmag (Czech Republic), Telegrafi (Albania), and Interest (New Zealand).

Preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS

The prognosis for people living with HIV/AIDS has been transformed through anti-retroviral therapy (ART). This is the use of medicines to treat HIV infection, and it is recommended for everyone who has HIV. ART helps people with HIV live longer, healthier lives and reduces the risk of transmission to others.

New analysis undertaken by India Consensus has established that further investment in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS through ART is one of the twelve best investments that India can make to speed its achievement of the Global Goals.

As Lomborg writes in Deccan Herald, preventing a case of HIV/AIDS, whether through condom provision, community mobilization, counselling, or treating those living with HIV/AIDS at the earliest opportunity, can transform lives and save untold heartache.

Rich countries are breaking their innovation promise

On the sidelines of the 2015 Paris climate summit, 20 world leaders made a promise to double green energy research and development by 2020.  Today, they are on course to break that promise. IEA data shows rich OECD countries are spending just 0.03% of GDP on low-carbon energy R&D – a percentage that has not changed since the vow was made.

In articles for British magazine The Spectator and Australia's largest circulating newspaper Herald Sun, Bjorn Lomborg argues that the promise to fund this research should be more than just empty words, as more innovation is necessary to find cheaper and better alternatives to fossil fuels.

Smart priorities for the new government’s first budget

Since 2015, Copenhagen Consensus and BRAC have collaborated on Bangladesh Priorities to create a bridge between policy and research. This is driven by the belief that, with limited resources and time, it is crucial that decisions are informed by what will do the most good for each taka spent.

New research for Bangladesh Priorities has identified four key priorities for the upcoming budget, which Bjorn Lomborg discusses in the country's largest English-language paper The Daily Star. Each is critical to promoting good governance, economic growth and public welfare, and we commend the Planning Minister for his commitment to scaling up these priorities.

Lomborg on social media:

Average income in GDP/person will increase to 300-500% for 21st century

GM fungus rapidly kills 99% of malaria mosquitoes, study suggests

Solar and wind are NOT taking over the world

The divergence between official and real-world vehicle emission values

We need radical thinking on climate change

Economic impacts of climate are small compared to many other issues

More global articles and interviews:

Spending trillions for what?
2GB Radio (Australia)

"We worry about the wrong things"
Axess TV (Sweden)

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

Women with more socially aware female friends bring up daughters better: World Bank study
The Print (India)

Transport sector fraught with issues
The Hindu (India)

Las promesas rotas de París
El Comercio (Peru)

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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David Lessmann
Communications Manager
Copenhagen Consensus Center
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