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December 9th, 2009 6:47 pm
Bjorn Lomborg is Making Sense

Bjorn Lomborg is probably the coolest head when it comes to global warming and climate change.  Rather than dispute the science – a task ably engaged in by Lord Christopher Monckton, among others – Lomborg takes aim at the Environmental Left’s specious claim that regulating energy consumption enables human flourishing.  If the goal is to help people, then why not get the biggest bang for a nation’s tax dollars?  As Lomborg points out:

The choice is stark: for a few hundred million dollars, we could help almost half of humanity now. Compare this to the investments to tackle climate change – $40 trillion annually by the end of the century – which would save a hundred times fewer starving people. For every person saved from malnutrition through climate policies, the same money could have saved half a million people from micronutrient malnutrition through direct policies.

Some argue that the choice between spending money on carbon cuts and on direct policies is unfair. But it is a basic fact that no dollar can be spent twice. Rich countries and donors have limited budgets and attention spans. If we spend vast amounts of money on carbon cuts in the belief that we are stopping malaria and reducing malnutrition, we are less likely to put aside money for the direct policies that would help today. Indeed, for every dollar spent on strong climate policies, we will likely do about $0.02 of good for the future. If we spent the same dollar on simple policies to help malnutrition or malaria now, we could do $20 or more good – 1,000 times better, when all impacts are taken into account.

If you haven’t encountered Lomborg before, here’s a link to his website.  If you want to read a sensible viewpoint on using scarce resources to improve life for the most people possible, there’s no better place to start.  Now, if Bjorn could just get Al Gore to debate him

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