VIEW: Live earth, deaf to reality


Pakistan Daily Times – July 4, 2007

This is not a news story. Rather it is an op-ed that discusses the various trade-offs that must be made if we are to adopt radical changes for the sake of global warming control.  I have made similar comments before (read article here) and I differ from Mr. Lomborg in that I feel that if the case for global warming can be scientifically made, we should invest in solutions. If the definitive case for human induced climate change cannot be made though, it is far better to save lives in some other way.

…making global warming the world?s top priority means that we shuffle other major challenges down our ?to do? list. Some climate change activists actually acknowledge this: Australian author Tim Flannery recently told an interviewer that climate change is ?the only issue we should worry about for the next decade?.

Tell that to the four million people starving to death, to the three million victims of HIV/AIDS, or to the billions of people who lack access to clean drinking water.

Yet, the world faces many other vast challenges. Whether we like it or not, we have limited money and a limited attention span for global causes. We should focus first on achieving the most good for the most people.

…concluded that projects requiring a relatively small investment ? getting micro-nutrients to those suffering from malnutrition, providing more resources for HIV/AIDS prevention, making a proper effort to get drinking water to those who lack it ? would do far more good than the billions of dollars we could spend reducing carbon emissions to combat climate change.

For much less money, we could save 850,000 lives each and every year. We know that dissemination of mosquito nets and malaria prevention programs could cut malaria incidence in half by 2015 for about $3 billion annually ? less than 2% of the cost of Kyoto. The choice is stark.

Indeed, the Copenhagen Consensus experts discovered that for every dollar invested in Kyoto-style battling climate change, we could do up to 120 times more good with in numerous other areas.

You can read the rest of this article here.

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