23 May 2008


Bjorn Lomborg is known for his work focusing on ROI (return on investment) for efforts to combat the world's problems. He wrote an op-ed that appeared in yesterday's Wall Street Journal. It is a must read. An excerpt:

Research for the Copenhagen Consensus, in which Nobel laureate economists analyze new research about the costs and benefits of different solutions to world problems, shows that just $60 million spent on providing Vitamin A capsules and therapeutic Zinc supplements for under-2-year-olds would reach 80% of the infants in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, with annual economic benefits (from lower mortality and improved health) of more than $1 billion. That means doing $17 worth of good for each dollar spent. Spending $1 billion on tuberculosis would avert an astonishing one million deaths, with annual benefits adding up to $30 billion. This gives $30 back on the dollar.

Lomborg has always been skeptical about the amount of money being poured into combating climate change. Current efforts often cannot be justified based on the return"

Acknowledging that some investments shouldn't be our top priority isn't the same as saying that the challenges don't exist. It simply means working out how to do the most good with our limited resources. It will send a signal, too, to research communities about areas that need more study.

Indeed. By the way, here is further evidence that Global Warming, whatever its cause, duration, or serverity, is not responsible for a higher number of hurricanes. In fact:

warmer temperatures will actually reduce the number of hurricanes in the Atlantic and those making landfall, research meteorologist Tom Knutson reported in a study released Sunday.

Very interesting.

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