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Bjorn Lomborg: Will the World Bank Choose Climate Change Over Poverty?
Posted: October 6, 2023 at 06:10 PM (Friday)

A new G-20 report calls for raising $3 trillion and spending only a fraction of it to help the poor. Well-off nations seem to have forgotten that while they’re no longer plagued by poverty-related ills such as hunger and illiteracy, most people in the world still are. Increasingly, the Biden administration and leaders of other ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Climate Change Hasn’t Set the World on Fire
Posted: July 31, 2023 at 05:35 PM (Monday)

It turns out the percentage of the globe that burns each year has been declining since 2001. One of the most common tropes in our increasingly alarmist climate debate is that global warming has set the world on fire. But it hasn’t. For more than two decades, satellites have recorded fires across the planet’s surface. The data are ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Prioritizing The Best Solutions For Sustainable Development
Posted: February 13, 2023 at 02:27 PM (Monday)

In the year 2000, something remarkable happened: the world came together and committed to a short list of ambitious targets which became known as the Millennium Development Goals. The objectives–to reduce poverty, fight disease, keep kids in school, and so on–essentially boiled down to eight specific, verifiable goals, subject to a hard ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Partisan ‘Fact Checkers’ Spread Climate-Change Misinformation
Posted: January 26, 2023 at 06:10 PM (Thursday)

I posted sound statistics on polar-bear populations, and Agence France-Presse called them ‘misleading.’ Partisan “fact checks” are undermining open discourse about important issues, including climate change. Earlier this month I wrote an accurate post on Facebook about the growing polar-bear population. The post undercut alarmist ...

Bjorn Lomborg and Jordan Peterson: Leaders try to fix every problem — like poverty and education — but end up getting nothing done
Posted: December 8, 2022 at 11:18 PM (Thursday)

In 2015, the world's leaders attempted to address the major problems facing mankind by setting the Sustainable Development Goals – a compilation of 169 targets to be hit by 2030. Every admirable pursuit imaginable, in some real sense, made the list: eradicating poverty and disease; stopping war; protecting biodiversity; improving education – ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Hypocrisy Abounds at Climate Summit
Posted: November 26, 2022 at 03:01 PM (Saturday)

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 current U.N. climate summit in Egypt offers more breathtaking hypocrisy than usual because the world's rich are zealously lecturing poor countries about the dangers of fossil fuels ...

Bjorn Lomborg: COP27: A Parade Of Climate Hypocrisy
Posted: November 10, 2022 at 11:34 AM (Thursday)

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 current UN climate summit in Egypt offers more breathtaking hypocrisy than usual, because the world's rich are zealously lecturing poor countries about the dangers of fossil ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Climate Change and the Lancet’s ‘Heat Death’ Deception
Posted: November 4, 2022 at 02:12 PM (Friday)

With COP27 approaching, the journal claims rising temperatures have killed people but ignores that they appear to have saved far more. As the United Nations’ annual global climate summit, COP27, nears, it’s important to look with skepticism at the academic reports many news outlets cite as evidence supporting radical climate policies. Too ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Good News, the World Is Getting Better
Posted: October 17, 2022 at 02:20 AM (Monday)

It's easy to believe that life on Earth is getting ever worse. The media constantly highlight one catastrophe after another and make terrifying predictions. With a torrent of doom and gloom about climate change and the environment, it's understandable why many people – especially the young – genuinely believe the world is about to end. The fact ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Facts On Hurricanes And Climate Are Blowing In The Wind
Posted: October 4, 2022 at 10:37 AM (Tuesday)

We are exposed to an ever-increasing torrent of alarming climate news, with pictures of extreme weather events and destruction delivered on an hourly basis. We should still pay attention – clearly, the warnings on hurricanes like Ian need to be heard. But it doesn't mean hurricanes are battering American coasts more frequently, as is often ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Net-zero climate policy offers much pain, little gain
Posted: October 2, 2022 at 05:07 PM (Sunday)

The world is waking up to the fact the climate-policy goal of achieving "net-zero" CO2 emissions brings crippling economic pain. Fossil-fuel prices shot up 26% across industrialized economies last year and will rise globally by another 50% this year. Politicians blame Russia's invasion of Ukraine, but the long-term trend stems mostly ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Policies Pushing Electric Vehicles Show Why Few People Want One
Posted: September 9, 2022 at 02:56 PM (Friday)

They wouldn’t need huge subsidies to sell if they really were a good choice, and consumers know that. We constantly hear that electric cars are the future—cleaner, cheaper and better. But if they’re so good, why does California need to ban gasoline-powered cars? Why does the world spend $30 billion a year subsidizing electric ones?In ...

Bjorn Lomborg: There's plenty of good news about the environment
Posted: September 6, 2022 at 08:49 PM (Tuesday)

It's easy to believe that life on Earth is getting ever-worse. The media highlight one catastrophe after another and make terrifying predictions. With a torrent of doom and gloom about climate change and the environment, it's understandable why many people – especially the young – genuinely believe the world is about to end. The fact is that ...

Bjorn Lomborg: The Inflation Reduction Act Does Little to Reduce Climate Change
Posted: August 23, 2022 at 06:11 PM (Tuesday)

Democrats are cheering, but by 2100 it’ll likely cut the temperature by only 0.0009 degree Fahrenheit. Top administration officials are fanning out across the U.S. in a victory lap for the new Inflation Reduction Act, which President Biden calls “the most significant legislation in history to tackle the climate crisis.” America, we are told, is ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Energy Hypocrisy as Rich Countries Denying the Poor the Power to Develop
Posted: August 11, 2022 at 09:56 AM (Thursday)

The rich world's fossil fuel hypocrisy is on full display in its response to the global energy crisis after Russia's invasion of Ukraine. While the wealthy G7 countries admonish the world's poor to use only renewables because of climate concerns, Europe and the United States are begging Arab nations to expand oil production. Germany is ...

Bjorn Lomborg: How the Climate Elite Spread Misery
Posted: July 21, 2022 at 06:36 PM (Thursday)

Most people are more worried about high gas and food prices, which green policies make worse. The chattering classes who jet to conferences at Davos or Aspen have for years been telling the rest of us that our biggest immediate threats are climate change, environmental disasters and biodiversity loss. They point to the current heat waves ...

Bjorn Lomborg: The Rich World’s Climate Hypocrisy
Posted: June 20, 2022 at 11:10 AM (Monday)

They beg for more oil and coal for themselves while telling developing lands to rely on solar and wind. The developed world’s response to the global energy crisis has put its hypocritical attitude toward fossil fuels on display. Wealthy countries admonish developing ones to use renewable energy. Last month the Group of Seven went so far as ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Fossil-fuel price spikes are causing pain but little climate payoff
Posted: June 19, 2022 at 05:24 PM (Sunday)

For three decades, climate campaigners have fought to make fossil fuels so expensive that people would be forced to abandon them. Their dream is becoming reality: Energy prices are spiraling out of control and will soon get even worse. Yet we are no closer to solving climate change. Energy costs increased 26% across industrialized economies ...

Bjorn Lomborg: How to Alleviate the Looming Global Hunger Crisis
Posted: June 6, 2022 at 12:30 AM (Monday)

A global food crisis is looming, so policymakers everywhere need to think hard about how to make food cheaper and more plentiful. That requires making a commitment to producing more fertilizer and better seeds, maximizing the potential offered by genetic modification, and abandoning the rich world's obsession with organics. Russia's brutal war ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Ukraine Crisis Reveals the Folly of Organic Farming
Posted: May 6, 2022 at 06:25 PM (Friday)

As food prices skyrocket, the world needs to admit it can’t live without modern, efficient agriculture. The energy crisis caused by the war in Ukraine disabused many politicians of the notion that the world could make a swift transition to green energy powered by solar, wind and wishful thinking. As food prices skyrocket and the conflict ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Deaths in climate disasters declined 99% from a century ago
Posted: April 30, 2022 at 10:49 AM (Saturday)

A new United Nations report has revealed the disturbing news that the number of global disasters has quintupled since 1970 and will increase by another 40 percent in coming decades. They find that more people are affected by disasters than ever before, and the UN Deputy Secretary-General warns humanity is "on a spiral of ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Be Afraid of Nuclear War, Not Climate Change
Posted: March 29, 2022 at 06:18 PM (Tuesday)

Russia’s war in Ukraine shows that global warming has distracted us from more important threats. Weeks before thermobaric rockets rained down on Ukraine, the chattering classes at the World Economic Forum declared “climate action failure” the biggest global risk for the coming decade. On the eve of war, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry fretted ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Turning Down the Climate-Change Heat
Posted: March 13, 2022 at 07:49 AM (Sunday)

The fixation on warming is harming the planet. We live in an age of fear — particularly, a fear of climate change. One picture summarizes this age for me. It is of a girl holding a sign say­­ing “You’ll die of old age. I’ll die of climate change.” This is the message that the media are drilling into our heads: Climate change is destroying ...

Bjorn Lomborg: How can Europe stop using Russian gas? Nuclear power and fracking
Posted: March 7, 2022 at 02:30 AM (Monday)

The devastating Russian invasion of Ukraine has captured global attention. While the world's focus is rightly on the human toll and suffering, the crisis has highlighted the need to end reliance on Russian oil and gas. To achieve that ambition, we must be pragmatic and invest in sensible alternatives, not engage in wishful thinking about ...

Bjorn Lomborg: The green agenda is too expensive: We need a better way to fight climate change
Posted: February 20, 2022 at 04:37 PM (Sunday)

Energy costs are climbing out of control. A gallon of gas costs nearly $1 more than a year ago. Americans are experiencing sticker shock this winter on home-heating costs. Though part of this is due to the world restarting after the pandemic, climate policies are increasingly driving prices up. We need a change of direction. Fossil fuels ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Facebook, other tech giants censor facts about climate change
Posted: February 7, 2022 at 04:14 PM (Monday)

The online world has become a free-speech battleground. Tech platforms have sided with illiberal regimes to censor posts while flagging "misinformation" in free countries. We all share a legitimate interest in avoiding outright falsehoods, but much censorship today – whether at dictators' behest or in the name of eradicating "misinformation" ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Today’s Soaring Energy Prices Are Only the Beginning
Posted: January 5, 2022 at 06:13 PM (Wednesday)

Current ‘net zero’ plans will cost many trillions while doing little to slow global warming. Energy prices are soaring, and it’s likely a sign of things to come. The rise can be blamed on a variety of things, including the demand rebound after the lockdowns ended, a drop in renewable electricity output from a lack of wind in Europe during most ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Christmas is time of giving — here's how to do the most good
Posted: December 20, 2021 at 05:50 PM (Monday)

Christmas is a time many people concentrate not just on celebrating with loved ones but also on giving back to our communities and societies. The idea of giving is intrinsic to the Christmas spirit. Charities aim to benefit from this festive goodwill by highlighting ways we can help those in need. It's a great time to focus on doing good in ...

Bjorn Lomborg: The comic cries of climate apocalypse — 50 years of spurious scaremongering
Posted: November 30, 2021 at 05:40 PM (Tuesday)

The recent UN climate summit in Glasgow was predictably branded our "last chance" to tackle the "climate catastrophe" and "save humanity." Like many others, US climate envoy John Kerry warned us that we have only nine years left to avert most of "catastrophic" global warming. But almost every climate summit has been branded the last ...

Bjorn Lomborg: World Leaders Need To Unleash Green Innovation At COP26
Posted: November 5, 2021 at 08:21 AM (Friday)

In their bids to showcase climate leadership at the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow (COP26), leaders of rich nations are once again talking of ambitious carbon reduction targets. President Biden, for example, has reaffirmed his goal of creating "a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035 and net zero emissions economy by no later than ...

Bjorn Lomborg: We’re Safer From Climate Disasters Than Ever Before
Posted: November 3, 2021 at 06:20 PM (Wednesday)

Though it receives little mention from activists or the media, weather-related deaths have fallen dramatically. Activists constantly talk about the existential threat climate change poses and the deaths natural disasters inflict—but they never quite manage to total up these deaths. One reason is that it’s easier to bend the data about ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Glasgow climate summit is an elite farce — innovation is the solution
Posted: November 1, 2021 at 04:23 PM (Monday)

At the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow (COP26), President Biden is projecting the image of a climate trailblazer: "The United States is not only back at the table, but hopefully leading by the power of our example." But a pledge of expensive emission cuts by American elites isn't going to make much of a difference, particularly when neither ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Climate Change Calls for Adaptation, Not Panic
Posted: October 21, 2021 at 04:55 AM (Thursday)

Catastrophic scenarios presuppose people will do nothing to adjust to differences in the weather. It’s easy to construct climate disasters. You just find a current, disconcerting trend and project it into the future, while ignoring everything humanity could do to adapt. For instance, one widely reported study found that heat waves could ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Biden’s Climate Ambitions Are Too Costly for Voters
Posted: October 14, 2021 at 04:55 AM (Thursday)

And even if Americans were willing to pay, it’d have little impact on rising temperatures. Politicians across the world routinely promise unprecedented reductions of carbon emissions but make little mention of the cost, often covering with vivid projections of green jobs. Yet the economic damage these policies would do is much greater than ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Want to Lock Down for the Climate?
Posted: September 30, 2021 at 04:55 PM (Thursday)

Hitting environmentalists’ emission timetables would take far more than even what the pandemic forced. From the news to late-night shows, much of the media makes it sound as if renewables are on the verge of taking over. But that’s far from reality. In 2019, the latest complete year of data, 81% of the world’s energy supply came from fossil ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Hurricane Ida Isn’t the Whole Story on Climate
Posted: September 3, 2021 at 06:49 PM (Friday)

The number of landfall hurricanes isn’t rising and the world is getting better at mitigating their destruction. Hurricane season has arrived in the Atlantic Ocean. Already this summer Hurricanes Henri and Ida have caused headline-generating damage and flooding in the Gulf states, the Southeast and the Middle Atlantic states. Yet despite what ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Don't buy the latest climate-change alarmism
Posted: August 9, 2021 at 06:49 PM (Monday)

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change just released its latest climate report, and reactions from politicians and media pundits could not have been more predictable. Fitting the apocalyptic narrative many have spun lately, the always-breathless Guardian literally summarized this scientific report as finding mankind "guilty as hell" ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Climate Change Doesn’t Cause All Disasters
Posted: August 5, 2021 at 12:17 PM (Thursday)

Warming annually causes about 120,000 heat deaths but prevents nearly 300,000 cold deaths. Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. That old quip, often attributed to Mark Twain or his friend Charles Dudley Warner, now guides most news coverage of severe weather. The media say that natural disasters are a result ...

Bjorn Lomborg: The Net-Zero Debate Turns Orwellian
Posted: July 20, 2021 at 09:28 AM (Tuesday)

Our current climate conversation embodies two blatantly contradictory claims. On one side, experts warn that promised climate policies will be economically crippling. In a new report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) states that achieving net-zero in 2050 will likely be "the greatest challenge humankind has ever faced." That is a high ...

Bjorn Lomborg: More die of cold: Media's heat-death climate obsession leads to lousy fixes
Posted: July 14, 2021 at 06:20 PM (Wednesday)

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 stories contain a kernel of truth: Global warming is a real, manmade problem ...

Bjorn Lomborg: There's a better way than Biden's unrealistic, expensive climate pledge
Posted: April 22, 2021 at 06:17 PM (Thursday)

For the past 30 years, the global approach to climate policy has been making grand promises and later mostly failing to live up to them. At his World Leaders Climate Summit, President Biden promised to cut about twice as much carbon as what Obama promised, which was hailed as decisive and bold climate action. This is equivalent to decreasing ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Biden's climate 'fix' is fantastically expensive and perfectly useless
Posted: February 9, 2021 at 07:43 PM (Tuesday)

Across the world, politicians are going out of their way to promise fantastically expensive climate policies. President Biden has promised to spend $500 billion each year on climate — about 13 percent of the entire federal revenue. The European Union will spend 25 percent of its budget on climate. Most rich countries now promise to ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Climate change: Democratic alarmism leads to failing policies
Posted: July 23, 2020 at 12:37 PM (Thursday)

Climate change needs to be addressed but the Democrats' plan is alarmist and not going to save the planet. We need to weigh costs and benefits of climate action. Over the past few decades, climate change has been cast in ever more apocalyptic terms. A new global survey shows that almost half the world’s population and about 4 of 10 ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Empty Gestures on Climate Change
Posted: December 20, 2019 at 12:12 PM (Friday)

MALMÖ – When climate campaigners urge people to change their everyday behavior, they trivialize the challenge of global warming. The one individual action that citizens could take that would make a real difference would be to demand a vast increase in spending on green-energy research and development. Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs, ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Humans Can Survive Underwater
Posted: November 21, 2019 at 06:11 AM (Thursday)

DALLAS – Alarming media stories that twist the facts about rising sea levels are dangerous because they scare people unnecessarily and push policymakers toward excessively expensive measures to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. The real solution is to lift the world's poorest out of poverty and protect them with simple infrastructure. The ...

Bjorn Lomborg: How Climate Policies Hurt the Poor
Posted: September 26, 2019 at 06:56 AM (Thursday)

NEW YORK – The world is in great danger of spending scarce resources on climate policies that hurt rather than help its poorest people. Governments should instead focus on growth-enhancing measures such as trade liberalization, which provide a pathway to increased welfare and greater equality. Over the past 25 years, nearly 1.2 billion ...

Bjorn Lomborg: The Danger of Climate Doomsayers
Posted: August 19, 2019 at 08:15 AM (Monday)

PALO ALTO – We need to solve climate change, but we also need to make sure that the cure isn't more painful than the disease. Abandoning fossil fuels as quickly as possible, as many environmental activists demand, would slow the growth that has lifted billions of people out of poverty. Most people on the planet wake up each day thinking ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Vegetarianism as Climate Virtue Signaling
Posted: August 8, 2019 at 06:05 PM (Thursday)

First World solipsism misses the point of a new U.N. report. ‘Eat Less Meat” is the typical headline used to present a new United Nations report on climate change released Thursday. The report correctly points to the need to improve global food systems, but pundits are fixating on the supposed need for people in rich countries to change ...

Bjorn Lomborg: The Nutrition Challenge
Posted: July 18, 2019 at 08:40 AM (Thursday)

EDINBURGH – 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. The case for such spending is clear, and the payoffs will almost certainly be enormous. It's easy to think of starvation as ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Why GDP Still Matters
Posted: June 20, 2019 at 08:21 AM (Thursday)

ALLINGE, DENMARK – New Zealand's focus on wellbeing, rather than GDP, may have the best of intentions. But if GDP does not increase, the government will have less money for its grand schemes. And compared to what it could have had, the country will have less overall wellbeing, worse environmental performance, and weaker human capital. New ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Examining the Latest False Alarm on Climate
Posted: May 30, 2019 at 06:50 PM (Thursday)

High seas won’t displace 187 million people—and the claim isn’t even new. 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. It appears in a new scholarly paper, whose authors plucked it ...

Bjorn Lomborg: It’s Cheaper to Talk than to Cut Emissions
Posted: May 17, 2019 at 07:17 AM (Friday)

STOCKHOLM – 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. Earlier this month, the UK parliament declared that the planet is facing ...

Bjorn Lomborg: The World Bank Must Change Course
Posted: April 11, 2019 at 08:59 AM (Thursday)

BRUSSELS – The World Bank does a lot of important and effective work, especially in health and education, but its climate policies are poorly considered. The Bank's new president, David Malpass, should refocus the institution on its core mission of eradicating poverty – including the energy poverty that wrecks so many lives. Critics have ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Overheating About Global Warming
Posted: March 13, 2019 at 09:10 AM (Wednesday)

PRAGUE – Decades of climate-change exaggeration in the West have produced frightened children, febrile headlines, and unrealistic political promises. The world needs a cooler approach that addresses climate change smartly without scaring us needlessly and that pays heed to the many other challenges facing the planet. Across the rich world, ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Faking It on Climate Change
Posted: February 19, 2019 at 05:23 AM (Tuesday)

STANFORD – Because honest and deep emissions cuts are staggeringly hard to make, achieving carbon neutrality anytime soon is an empty ambition for almost everywhere. But countries continue to make big promises and massage their emissions numbers to give a false sense of progress on combating global warming. Around the world, ever more ...

Bjorn Lomborg: An Overheated Climate Alarm
Posted: April 6, 2016 at 07:10 PM (Wednesday)

The White House launches a scary campaign about deadly heat. Guess what: Cold kills more people. The Obama administration released a new report this week that paints a stark picture of how climate change will affect human health. Higher temperatures, we’re told, will be deadly—killing “thousands to tens of thousands” of Americans. The report ...

Bjorn Lomborg: The Right Targets for Global Health Investment
Posted: March 17, 2016 at 05:00 AM (Thursday)

COPENHAGEN – If the global media were your only source of information, you could be forgiven for thinking that the world's biggest health concern right now is the Zika virus, or that last year it was Ebola – or SARS and the Avian Flu before that.

Panic about these contagions has spread far more rapidly than the diseases. In reality, the global death toll from all of them, combined, is tiny compared to that from major infectious diseases that we hear much less about: diarrhea, tuberculosis, AIDS, malaria, tetanus, or ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Why Africa Needs Fossil Fuels
Posted: January 22, 2016 at 08:49 AM (Friday)

SANTIAGO – Africa is the world's most "renewable" continent when it comes to energy. In the rich world, renewables account for less than a tenth of total energy supplies. The 900 million people of Sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa) get 80% of their energy ...

Bjorn Lomborg: A Climate Agreement Powered by Hypocrisy
Posted: December 17, 2015 at 11:12 AM (Thursday)

PARIS – The beautiful Champs-Élysées is lit with millions of sparkling lights. This year, they are powered by renewable energy. There is a wind turbine as tall as the Arc de Triomphe, and 440 solar panels take up much of the Champs-Élysées roundabout. One evening during the COP21 climate change conference this month, there was neither sunlight ...

Bjorn Lomborg: We Have A Climate Treaty--But At What Cost?
Posted: December 13, 2015 at 07:17 AM (Sunday)

After two weeks, huge amounts of political rhetoric, and much activity behind closed doors, we have a treaty. While there will be celebrations among activists, the Paris Treaty will do very little to rein in temperature reductions.
The Paris Treaty promises to keep temperature rises below 2°C. However, the actual promises made here will do ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Pre-Judging Paris
Posted: November 17, 2015 at 11:49 AM (Tuesday)

COPENHAGEN – The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris later this month is being billed as an opportunity to save the planet. It is no such thing. As I show in a new peer-reviewed paper, even if successful, the agreement reached in Paris would cut temperatures in 2100 by just 0.05° Celsius. The rise in sea level would be reduced ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Gambling the World Economy on Climate
Posted: November 16, 2015 at 07:10 PM (Monday)

The emission-cut pledges will cost $1 trillion a year and avert warming of less than one degree by 2100. The United Nations climate conference in Paris starting Nov. 30 will get under way when most minds in the French capital will still understandably be on the recent terror attacks. But for many of the 40,000 attendees, the goal is to ensure ...

Bjorn Lomborg: This Child Doesn't Need a Solar Panel
Posted: October 21, 2015 at 06:36 PM (Wednesday)

Spending billions of dollars on climate-related aid in countries that need help with tuberculosis, malaria and malnutrition. In the run-up to the 2015 U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11, rich countries and development organizations are scrambling to join the fashionable ranks of “climate aid” donors. This ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Blowing It On the Wind
Posted: October 21, 2015 at 08:50 AM (Wednesday)

BERLIN – When considering climate change, most people think wind turbines and solar panels are a big part of the solution. But, over the next 25 years, the contribution of solar and wind power to resolving the problem will be trivial – and the cost will be enormous.

The International Energy Agency estimates that about 0.4% of global energy now comes from solar and wind. Even in 2040, with all governments implementing all of their green promises, solar and wind will make up just 2.2% of global energy. This is partly because wind and ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Unsustainable Development Goals
Posted: September 15, 2015 at 07:50 AM (Tuesday)

ARUSHA – At the end of this month, one of the most consequential political conferences of the decade will take place, with more than 150 world leaders gathering in New York to set the path for global development spending – more than $2.5 trillion – between now and 2030. But, in fact, heads of state are not expected to do much at the conference ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Next-Generation Development
Posted: August 13, 2015 at 10:50 AM (Thursday)

PRAGUE – Over the next 15 years, some two billion children will be born, 90% in the poorest parts of the world. Providing these kids with a better start would be one of the greatest achievements that humanity could make. Doing so also would be one of the most efficient uses of the resources that the world dedicates ...

Bjorn Lomborg: The Best Ways to Fight Extreme Poverty
Posted: July 22, 2015 at 08:50 AM (Wednesday)

COPENHAGEN – In 1950, people in South Korea and Pakistan earned roughly the same amount of money annually. Today, the two countries are scarcely comparable. South Korean's per capita income has grown 23-fold since then, while Pakistan has experienced only a ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Wasting Food in a Hungry World
Posted: June 18, 2015 at 12:30 PM (Thursday)

OTTAWA – One-quarter of all the food in the world is lost each year, owing to inefficient harvesting, inadequate storage, and wastage in the kitchen. Halve that waste, and the world could feed an extra billion people – and make hunger yesterday's problem.

The extent of food loss is particularly galling in view of a new global study on food security from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization. According to the FAO, 57 developing countries have failed to achieve the Millennium Development Goal of halving the ...

Bjorn Lomborg: The Honor of Being Mugged by Climate Censors
Posted: May 13, 2015 at 07:15 PM (Wednesday)

I believe in global warming but also in responsible policies to address it. That can get you in trouble. Opponents of free debate are celebrating. Last week, under pressure from some climate-change activists, the University of Western Australia canceled its contract to host a planned research center, Australia Consensus, intended to apply ...

Bjorn Lomborg: The Price of Biodiversity
Posted: March 12, 2015 at 07:50 AM (Thursday)

We humans do not only share the planet with a range of other species, including plants, animals, and even microbes; we also depend on them for our survival. Can we determine the economic value of protecting the natural world?
Some people will balk at the idea of putting a price tag on biodiversity, viewing its protection as an obvious ...

Bjorn Lomborg: The Alarming Thing About Climate Alarmism
Posted: February 1, 2015 at 06:14 PM (Sunday)

Exaggerated, worst-case claims result in bad policy and they ignore a wealth of encouraging data. It is an indisputable fact that carbon emissions are rising—and faster than most scientists predicted. But many climate-change alarmists seem to claim that all climate change is worse than expected. This ignores that much of the data are ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Measuring the Next Global Development Goals
Posted: December 22, 2014 at 09:20 AM (Monday)

At the start of the twenty-first century, the international community made some smart and simple promises with the so-called Millennium Development Goals. The world would halve the proportion of people suffering from hunger and living in extreme poverty, achieve universal primary education, and dramatically reduce child mortality by 2015. ...

Bjorn Lomborg: The Population Challenge
Posted: November 14, 2014 at 09:20 AM (Friday)

BRISBANE – When people think of the world's "population problem," they often focus on rapid demographic growth in parts of the developing world. But, globally, the population-growth rate is actually falling, and is expected to plateau later this century. Though we cannot afford to ignore the fact that, according to United Nations estimates, ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Dirty Development Money
Posted: October 14, 2014 at 08:00 AM (Tuesday)

COPENHAGEN – One of the biggest problems affecting the world's poor is one that few have ever heard about: illicit financial flows. Though such flows cost people in Djibouti, Congo, and Chad more than one-fifth of their incomes every year, they almost never make headlines. With the world preparing to establish the specific targets that will ...

Bjorn Lomborg: The Economics of Violence
Posted: September 17, 2014 at 11:20 AM (Wednesday)

What is the biggest source of violence in our world? With the brutal conflicts in Syria, Ukraine, and elsewhere constantly in the news, many people would probably say war. But that turns out to be spectacularly wrong.Getting it right matters if we are to find cost-effective solutions to this and other global problems. Obviously, everyone ...

Bjorn Lomborg: The Trouble with Universal Education
Posted: August 19, 2014 at 05:00 AM (Tuesday)

With the deadline for the United Nations Millennium Development Goals fast approaching, the world is gearing up to establish a new set of goals for the next 15 years. Given limited resources, policymakers and international organizations must ask themselves: Where can we do the most good? Should a larger share of the $2.5 trillion that will ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Fracking could free Europe from Putin's gas monopoly
Posted: June 23, 2014 at 11:13 AM (Monday)

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen recently announced that the Russian intelligence service was covertly funding European environmental NGOs to support their campaign against fracking. The former Danish Prime Minister stated that he had “met allies who can report that Russia, as part of their sophisticated information and ...

Bjorn Lomborg: The Environment of Poverty
Posted: June 17, 2014 at 10:40 AM (Tuesday)

Despite gains in life expectancy, expanded access to education, and lower rates of poverty and hunger, the world has a long way to go to improve the quality of people’s lives. Almost a billion people still go to bed hungry, 1.2 billion live in extreme poverty, 2.6 billion lack access to clean drinking water and sanitation, and almost three ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Setting the Right Global Goals
Posted: May 20, 2014 at 07:57 AM (Tuesday)

The world has generally become a much better place during the last half-century. Skeptics will scoff at the idea of overall improvement, but the numbers don’t lie. The task we face now is to make the world even better.In the year 1960, 20 million children under the age of five died. In 2011, far too many kids were still dying. But, though ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Global Warming’s Upside-Down Narrative
Posted: April 17, 2014 at 09:30 AM (Thursday)

When politicians around the world tell the story of global warming, they cast it as humanity’s greatest challenge. But they also promise that it is a challenge that they can meet at low cost, while improving the world in countless other ways. We now know that is nonsense.Political heavyweights from US Secretary of State John Kerry to UN ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Earth Hour just a feel-good campaign
Posted: March 27, 2014 at 06:06 PM (Thursday)

Instead, give light to the 1.3 billion people who still live without electricity. At 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, people and public places across the globe will switch off their lights for one hour to raise awareness about the impact of energy use on climate change.Unfortunately, this Earth Hour event is nothing but an ineffective feel-good event. ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Obama energy policy hurts African poor
Posted: February 8, 2014 at 07:41 AM (Saturday)

By focusing primarily on renewables, instead of gas, millions of poor go unserved. Is it fair to use climate policies to keep poor people poor?

Access to cheap and abundant power is one of the best ways to lift people out of poverty. Analyses show that there is a clear connection between growth and energy availability in Africa. Most spectacularly, China lifted 680 million people out of poverty over the past 30 ...

Bjorn Lomborg: The Realism of Global Optimism
Posted: January 16, 2014 at 11:41 AM (Thursday)

Read a newspaper or watch the evening news, and the world always seems to be getting worse. One problem after another is put under a spotlight. The more death, destruction, and despair, the better. As one Danish journalism textbook puts it: “A good story is usually bad news.”Only occasionally do we get uplifting, things-are-getting-better ...

Bjorn Lomborg: The Power to Develop
Posted: December 12, 2013 at 11:28 AM (Thursday)

Trade-offs are an inherent part of life. We all recognize this from our private budgets. To fix the roof, we may have to accept a less extravagant summer vacation. When we pick a cheaper wine, we can splurge on dessert.Trade-offs also pervade environmental policy: Cutting more of one pollutant, for example, leaves fewer resources to address ...

Bjorn Lomborg: The Climate-Policy Trap
Posted: November 14, 2013 at 07:20 AM (Thursday)

Today’s policies to combat climate change cost much more than the benefits they produce. Unfortunately, bad political choices often make these policies even less cost-effective.

Consider the European Union’s 20-20 policy, which targets a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions below 1990 levels by 2020. It is important to examine this approach, not only because the EU is pursuing the world’s largest and most ambitious climate policy, but also because other ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Green Energy Is the Real Subsidy Hog
Posted: November 11, 2013 at 06:53 AM (Monday)

Renewables receive three times as much money per energy unit as fossil fuels. For 20 years the world has tried subsidizing green technology instead of focusing on making it more efficient. Today Spain spends about 1% of GDP throwing money at green energy such as solar and wind power. The $11 billion a year is more than Spain spends on ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Lower temp on climate change hype
Posted: September 25, 2013 at 06:46 PM (Wednesday)

There's something about the issue of climate change that prompts people to immediately head off to opposite sides of the room — with very few people congregating in the middle.

On Friday, the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will publish its first overview of climate science in six years. The report ought to strengthen the pragmatic middle. That's because we know pretty much what the report will say, because of extensive ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Don't blame climate change for extreme weather
Posted: September 13, 2013 at 10:26 PM (Friday)

One of the most persistent claims in the climate debate is that global warming leads to more extreme weather. Green groups and even such respectable outlets as Scientific American declare that “extreme weather is a product of climate change.”

And the meme seems irresistible as a political shortcut to action. President Obama has explicitly linked a warming climate to “more extreme droughts, floods, wildfires and hurricanes.” The White House warned this summer of “increasingly frequent and severe extreme weather ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Global Warming Without Fear
Posted: September 13, 2013 at 02:50 PM (Friday)

On September 26, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change will present the summary of its most recent assessment report, the fifth in 23 years. Although the IPCC is not perfect – it famously predicted that all Himalayan glaciers would be gone in 2035, when the more likely year is 2350 – its many experts generally give us ...

Bjorn Lomborg: The Decline of Renewable Energy
Posted: August 14, 2013 at 06:30 PM (Wednesday)

Many today believe that renewable energy will let us get off fossil fuels soon. Unfortunately, the facts say otherwise.

According to International Energy Agency data, 13.12% of the world’s energy came from renewables in 1971, the first year that the IEA reported global statistics. In 2011, renewables’ share was actually lower, at 12.99%. Yet a new survey shows that Americans believe that the ...

Bjorn Lomborg: Britain's Gas Chance
Posted: July 12, 2013 at 09:00 AM (Friday)

In late June, the British Geological Survey announced the world’s largest shale-gas field. The Bowland Shale, which lies beneath Lancashire and Yorkshire, contains 50% more gas than the combined reserves of two of the largest fields in the United States, the Barnett Shale and the ...

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