July 9, 2007

Priorities and Political Will

Bjorn Lomborg, writing at Spiked Online, suggests we concentrate on saving a few million human lives in the present rather than focus all our attention on future climate conditions.

If you ask the 15 million people who are going to die from easily curable infectious diseases next year, the idea that climate change is our top priority seems to be massively overblown. What’s even more important is that you ask: ‘Where can we actually do some good?’ The answer is overwhelmingly: we can do very little good if we focus on climate change policies, whereas we can do immense amounts of good if we focus on some of the many other problems in the world.

I guess eradicating say, malaria, which currently kills millions of people every year, just isn't as sexy as "saving the planet" for those people who need to feel like they're part of something big and important and compassionate and redemptive.

If I were a member of the Church of Global Warmism - you know, a true believer - I would be trying to rid my movement of the anti-capitalist, anti-development Luddites, and of the Leftists and other assorted statists who are masking their own agendas with the vehicle of environmentalism. Because there is nothing benign, much less responsible, about an ideology which advocates the dismantling of the economic engine of wealth and development that has raised life expectancies, eradicated diseases, and built the most prosperous, healthiest, and most environmentally conscious civilization in history, not to mention providing the standard of living that allows the luxury of an environmental movement to exist.

Unaccountable governments don't care about environmentalism. Societies that lack flush toilets aren't testing the groundwater. The enormous wealth that exists in our modern world could be put to good use. It's about priorities and political will.

Lomborg is the founder and head of the Copenhagen Consensus

Posted by dan at July 9, 2007 8:13 PM