Mon, Oct 15, 2007 - Page 9 News List

An inconvenient peace prize

Separating the Nobel facts from fear

By Bjorn Lomborg

While we worry about the far-off effects of climate change, we do nothing to deal with issues facing the planet today. This year, malnutrition will kill almost 4 million people. Three million lives will be lost to HIV/AIDS. Two and a half million people will die because of indoor and outdoor air pollution. A lack of micronutrients and clean drinking water will claim 2 million lives each.

With attention and money in scarce supply, what matters is that we first tackle the problems with the best solutions, doing the most good throughout the century. If we focus on solving today's problems, we will leave communities strengthened, economies more vibrant, and infrastructures more robust. This will enable these societies to deal much better with future problems -- including global warming. Committing to massive cuts in carbon emissions will leave future generations poorer and less able to adapt to challenges.

Gore has an unshakable faith that climate change is the biggest challenge facing the world. To be fair, he deserves some form of recognition for his resolute passion. However, the contrast between this year's Nobel winners could not be sharper. The IPCC engages in meticulous research where facts rule over everything else. Gore has a very different approach.

Bjorn Lomborg is the organizer of Copenhagen Consensus and adjunct professor at the Copenhagen Business School.

Copyright: Project Syndicate

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