Cold Water on Consensus
Lomborg debunks.
By Mona Charen

from a review of Bjorn Lomborg’s new book, Cool It: A Skeptical Environmentalist’s Guide to Global Warming in National Review Online

Lomborg’s book focuses on trade-offs. If we’re going to spend a fixed amount of money to improve the world, what makes the most sense? Or to put it another way, which dollar spent produces the greatest benefit? According to a group of economists (including four Nobel Prize winners) who examined this question in 2004, the answer was clear. One dollar spent fighting HIV/AIDS produced $40 in social benefits. One dollar spent on fighting malnutrition yields about $30 in social benefits. Other efforts, like ending agricultural subsidies in the wealthy countries and ensuring worldwide free trade, would net a $15 benefit for a one-dollar cost. Cutting CO2 emissions, by contrast, yields between 2 and 25 cents per dollar invested.

The consensus is wrong on global warming. Wonder when the New York Times will figure it out? In the meanwhile, Lomborg points the way toward clear analysis.