Acton Institute Powerblog

In Defense of Boring Problems

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Bjorn Lomborg has a better Powerpoint presentation than Al Gore. He’s also a more captivating speaker, and uses decent logic in his presentations. Is there any way we can get him an Oscar for the following 17 minute tour-de-force?

Via Planet Gore, where a bunch of contemptible low-lifes hang out and engage in that filthy practice on a par with Holocaust denialClimate Change Skepticism. I shudder just thinking about it. Oh, and Jay Richards blogs there too, the disgusting little lout.

Marc Vander Maas


  • Dan VandeBunte

    Instead of asking what problems we can solve most economically, he should be asking what problems the birds would want us to solve. I wonder how many bird species will be represented at CC ’08 and ’12? Of course, with the impending global devastation due to climate change there probably won’t be any birds left by 2008. And what’s with the logical approach to everything? I mean, seriously, if fixing the climate change problem will come at such a high cost with very little reward, doesn’t that just mean we should spend even more on it to get more reward from it? Any gambling addict can figure that one out! He’s never going to make friends with anyone in the Democratic party that way.

    Ah, sarcasm, God’s gift to the bitter.

    You need to see the movie Idiocracy. It’s like Napolean Dynamite for smart people. Not for kids, though.

  • Carl-Magnus Nilsson

    “What problems are the most cost effective to solve?”

    This takes Lomborg about 15 minutes to say, not very effective, right?

    The main problem with Lomborgs argumentation is that he doesn’t bother about how different problems are related. According to Lomborg the four most cost effective problems to solve are, malaria, lack of free trade, malnutrition and HIV/AIDS. Climate change on the other hand is at the bottom of Lombergs list. Then lets think a moment about how climate change is related to the problems at the top of the list.

    Malaria is probably largely affected by climate change since a warmer and more humid climate would make mosquitoes thrive. In addition some of their natural predators, like some birds, may suffer from a changing climate. So what are the effects on malaria from climate change? I have no idea and I guess that Lomborg doesn’t either.

    The third thing on Lomborgs list is free trade. But how does that influence climate change. Meat export from Africa would mean deforestation, methane emissions from cattle and CO2 emissions from the transportation.

    The second thing on Lombergs list is malnutrition. How is food supply affected by climate change? Does Lomberg have any anwers? I doubt he has.

    First on Lombergs list is AIDS/HIV. But a major problem with the spreading of HIV/AIDS in Africa is men forced to work away from their homes. How is this situation affected if drought forces even more men to support their families by work far from home?

  • Claes Lundqvist

    He absolutely has a point and the presentation is great but I see at least some “but’s”. The problem is the severity of the problem for the future life on earth and also total spending of money on different things (not just military spendning) or people and company wealth. There might be a difference on the priorities and possible available resources if the earth by global warming enters a new stage where more or less the most life is in jeopardy. That doesn’t say that we shouldn’t solve the top of his list (we must) but what’s the use of solving some peoples very important problems if the chance might be big that most life on the planet oblitarate quite soon?
    Of course there will be a lot of people trying to protect their wealth and why not but available resources to solve the climate problem will depend on how dramatic and fast the climate change will influence the planet and how much time we have to work on the solution. The question is if we can take anything away from the list and take a chance that the earth will not change dramatically? What is the chance that there is coming generations to question our efforts? Perhaps we should focus at the cost of the solution for solving the climate problem and collect the money for that and probably the “top of the list issues” is a relatively much less costly and simple to do in comparison.