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Broadband: A hidden treasure that could make every Egyptian $3,140 richer

By Bjørn Lomborg Where should the global community focus its attention over the next fifteen years? Health, nutrition and education may seem like obvious top priorities but, more surprisingly, there is also a strong case for broadband access to be considered. Tripling mobile internet access from 21% to 60% in developing countries over the next …

Daily News Egypt

Coming up with smart ways to end poverty

By Bjørn Lomborg Extreme poverty – or living on less than $1.25 a day – is a continuing problem for far too many people today. In Egypt for instance, such poverty still afflicts about 1.3 million people, according to the World Bank. It is also arguably one of the most important challenges to address because …

Daily News Egypt

Good nutrition makes healthy children and productive adults

By Bjørn Lomborg The world faces many problems, and feeding a growing population adequately is certainly one of them. The good news is that we are well on track to halving the proportion of people suffering chronic hunger between 1990 and 2015. The bad news is that still leaves over 800 million people who go …

Daily News Egypt

Free trade could make every Egyptian $897 richer yearly

By Bjørn Lomborg With one simple policy – more free trade – we could make the world $500tr better off and lift 160m people out of extreme poverty. If there is one question we have to ask ourselves, it is: why don’t we? In 2000, the international community agreed a set of important targets to …

Daily News Egypt

Violence against women and children costs Egypt $147bn yearly

By Bjørn Lomborg Violence holds a huge cost for our world. Globally, the cost runs to more than 11% of the world’s GDP. But this is not mostly about the highly visible violence that dominates TV and news. Civil wars and conflicts rumble far too long in far too many places like Syria and the …

Daily News Egypt

Cleaner cooking, electricity can improve millions’ lives

By Dr Bjørn Lomborg Nutritious food, clean water and basic healthcare for all may be obvious high-priority targets for the international community, but we shouldn’t ignore energy. Reliable and affordable energy is as vital for today’s developing and emerging economies as it was before the Industrial Revolution. Driven mostly by its five-fold increase in coal …

Daily News Egypt

Better data might cost huge chunk of global aid

By Bjørn Lomborg While the world has generally seen success with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – half the proportion of hunger and poverty, get all kids into school and drastically reduce child mortality – drawn up nearly 15 years ago, not all promises will be achieved. What is somewhat surprising, however, is that we …

Daily News Egypt

Up migration to make the world richer

  By Bjørn Lomborg There is a way to make the poor of this world $500bn better off, but this solution is rarely discussed. This matters, because the international community is gearing up to produce the next set of development goals for 2015-2030, to follow on from the Millennium Development Goals. $2.5tr in development aid, …

Daily News Egypt

What next after the Millennium Development Goals?

By Bjorn Lomborg If you could come up with goals for the world to aspire to over the next 15 years, what would they be? What should we focus on? The United Nations is currently conducting an online survey, asking people from around the world what matters most to them. Over 5 million people have …

Daily News Egypt

The Emperor’s new climate-change agreement

By Bjørn Lomborg COPENHAGEN: Dressing up failure as victory has been integral to climate-change negotiations since they started 20 years ago. The latest round of talks in Durban, South Africa, in December was no exception. Climate negotiations have been in virtual limbo ever since the catastrophic and humiliating Copenhagen summit in 2009, where vertiginous expectations collided …

DNE

The climate extremists

By Bjørn Lomborg COPENHAGEN: Extreme weather is often said to be one of the main reasons for taking firm action on global warming. Nowadays, no hurricane or heat wave passes without a politician or activist claiming it as evidence of the need for a global climate deal, like the one that just got postponed until the …

DNE

Seeming green

By Bjørn Lomborg COPENHAGEN: When Denmark’s new government ministers presented themselves to Queen Margrethe II last month, the incoming development minister established his green credentials by rolling up to the palace in a tiny, three-wheeled, electric-powered vehicle. The photo opportunity made a powerful statement about the minister’s commitment to the environment — but probably not the …

DNE

Rethinking the Fight against HIV

By Bjørn Lomborg COPENHAGEN: Thirty years ago, the world got its first inkling of impending catastrophe when five young gay men in Los Angeles were struck down by the illness that became known as HIV/AIDS. Today, the disease has a truly global impact, claiming 1.8 million lives annually — the equivalent of wiping out the …

DNE

A dim light on global warming

By Bjørn Lomborg COPENHAGEN: Amid a growing wave of concern about climate change, many countries — including Brazil, Australia, the United States, and the members of the European Union — passed laws in the 2000’s outlawing or severely restricting access to incandescent light bulbs. The intention was understandable: if everyone in the world exchanged most light …

DNE

Green bootleggers and Baptists

By Bjørn Lomborg NEW YORK: In May, the United Nations’ International Panel on Climate Change made media waves with a new report on renewable energy. As in the past, the IPCC first issued a short summary; only later would it reveal all of the data. So it was left up to the IPCC’s spin-doctors to present …

DNE

How to set goals

By Bjørn Lomborg COPENHAGEN: At this century’s start, leaders from every country agreed to pursue the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. The ambition was to improve significantly the lot of the planet’s most disadvantaged citizens before 2015. The intention was laudable, but 11 years on, progress in achieving the MDGs has been uneven. As decision-makers start …

DNE

The myth of green energy security

By Bjørn Lomborg COPENHAGEN: Turmoil across the Middle East and Northern Africa has refocused attention on the impact that political tensions or interference can have on the price and availability of energy imports. Against consumer fears of gas-price hikes, energy security ranks high on many Western governments’ policy agendas. Of course, this is hardly a new …

DNE

No nukes?

By Bjørn Lomborg NEW YORK: When parts of Japan were devastated recently by an earthquake and subsequent tsunami, news of the human toll was quickly overshadowed by global fears of radioactive fallout from the Fukushima Daichi nuclear power plant. The concern was understandable: radiation is very frightening. I grew up in Denmark at a time when …

DNE

The false promise of green jobs

By Bjørn Lomborg COPENHAGEN: Political rhetoric has shifted away from the need to respond to the “generational challenge” of climate change. Investment in alternative energy technologies like solar and wind is no longer peddled on environmental grounds. Instead, we are being told of the purported economic payoffs, above all, the promise of so-called “green jobs.” Unfortunately, …

DNE

A race to hunger

By Bjørn Lomborg SYDNEY: Spectators at February’s Daytona 500 in Florida were handed green flags to wave in celebration of the news that the race’s stock cars now use gasoline with 15 percent corn-based ethanol. It was the start of a season-long television marketing campaign to sell the merits of biofuel to Americans. On the surface, …

DNE

The best investments

By Bjørn Lomborg KOLKATA: On the eastern edge of Kolkata, Dulu Bibi, a 25-year-old mother of four, worries about the cost of treating her two sick boys. Her husband earns 80-90 rupees ($1.90 or €1.40) a day. The family’s basic diet is low in the essential micronutrients that children need to thrive. Dulu’s two sons, …

DNE

No, you can’t

By Bjørn Lomborg COPENHAGEN: Several thousand officials from 194 countries just gathered in Cancún, Mexico, for yet another global climate summit. Dissatisfied with the pace of climate diplomacy, many individuals are now wondering what they can do about climate change on their own. For years now, climate activists from Al Gore to Leonardo DiCaprio have argued …

DNE

A return to reason

By Bjørn Lomborg COPENHAGEN: Common sense was an early loser in the scorching battle over the reality of man-made global warming. For nearly 20 years, one group of activists argued — in the face of ever-mounting evidence — that global warming was a fabrication. Their opponents, meanwhile, exaggerated the phenomenon’s likely impact — and, as a …

DNE

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