Saving The World: The Importance of Getting The Priorities Right

Posted on September 26, 2007. Filed under: Blogroll, Books, Climate, Economics, Links, Politics, Quotations, Raves, Resources, Science, Taxes, Technology, Video |

 

 Recently Bill Gates wrote about saving the world in an article in Newsweek magazine: 

Saving the World Is Within Our Grasp

The evidence is in: we can stop diseases like malaria and TB from killing millions of people each year.

By Bill Gates

Newsweek

“…Scientists are making important progress on new tools, like microbicide gels, to help women protect themselves against HIV. And clinical trials around the world are now testing what may be the greatest scientific breakthroughs of our time: vaccines for malaria, TB and AIDS.

The fight against malaria—which kills a million people a year, mostly children—illustrates how radical thinking can be applied to both discovery and delivery of new interventions. …”

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20920343/
  

Since all economic resources are scarce, it is vitally important to get your priorities right when you want to save the world.

Bill Gates clearly thought about world priorites and got it right.

Apparently he reviewed the work of Bjorn Lomborg and the Copenhagen Consensus Center.

“The Copenhagen Consensus Center (CCC) analyzes the world’s greatest challenges and works with any organization concerned with mitigating the effects of these problems. The Copenhagen Consensus process aims to establish a framework in which solutions to problems are prioritized based upon the best information possible. This process was started in 2003 when some of the world’s best economists wrote comprehensive analyses of the major challenges facing the planet. Using this information, a panel of stellar economists – including four Nobel laureates – produced a prioritized list of opportunities responding to those challenges, at the Copenhagen Consensus 2004 meeting. …”

http://blog.world-citizenship.org/blog/index.php/wp-archive/416

Since the prevention of disease is less costly than treatment, you invest in prevention first.

Also, free trade has significant positive impacts for both developed and developing countries and should be a very high priority as well.

Bjorn Lomborg: Our priorities for saving the world

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/62

At about 1 minute and 40 seconds in the video Lomborg identifies the 10 biggest challenges facing the world.

At about 8 minutes 40 seconds in the video he discusses the top four world priorities of the Copenhagen Consensus  

Riz Khan – Bjorn Lomborg Environment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBTZy7bZveg&mode=related&search=

Foreign Exchange with Fareed Zakaria — Interview with Bjorn

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqZWbLLbAOM

I am currently reading Lomborg’s book The Skeptical Environmentalist and recommend it highly:

The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World (Paperback)

Both Lomborg and Gates share a common experience of having a pie thrown at them for expressing their ideas.

Green with Ideology

The hidden agenda behind the “scientific” attacks on Bjørn Lomborg’s controversial book, The Skeptical Environmentalist.

“…”I wanted to put a Baked Alaska in his smug face,” said the perpetrator, “in solidarity with the native Indian and Eskimo people in Alaska.”

It was one of the more honest attacks on Lomborg and his book. Filled with scores of charts and graphs, backed by some 2,900 endnotes and 70 pages of references, The Skeptical Environmentalist looks at a host of global environmental issues, including population growth, pollution, deforestation, and climate change. For his trouble in writing it, Lomborg has become the target of an intellectual hate campaign. …”

http://www.reason.com/news/show/28411.html

The Importance of Getting The World Priorities Right:

Charlie Rose – An hour with Bill Gates

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mn5d7o2N8xA

Lomborg quoted the late economist Julian Simon at the beginning of his book which was inspired by an article by Simon and it is worth repeating here:

This is my long-run forecast in brief:
The material conditions of life will continue to get better for most people, most of the time, indefinitely.
Within a century or two, all nations and most of humanity will be at or above today’s Western living standard.
I also speculate, however, that many people will continue to think and say that the conditions of life are getting worse.”

~ Julian Simon

http://www.juliansimon.com/

http://www.juliansimon.com/appreciation.html

http://www.cato.org/pubs/policy_report/cpr-20n2-1.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Lincoln_Simon

Related Background Video

 

Bjorn Lomborg – The Facts about the Environment

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUJ_H0KSWhM&mode=related&search=

Bjorn Lomborg – The Facts about the Environment (part 2)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAXhKhBQdm0&mode=related&search=

Bjorn Lomborg – The Facts about the Environment (part 3)

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KoPLnD7oxf0&mode=related&search=

Bjorn Lomborg – The Facts about the Environment (part 4)

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3B3h0AACC2M&mode=related&search=

Bjorn Lomborg – The Facts about the Environment (part 5)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gYrX-6xoTU&mode=related&search=


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