Bjorn Lomborg is back at the WSJ telling us to be rational about climate change. It is a timely message given what happens when a hurricane or two hits the US. Steven Hayward has a great hurricane chart. Here is an example of Bjorn being rational:
In this case, the science is unambiguous. Rising temperatures mean that malaria-carrying mosquitoes can become endemic in more places.
But looking mainly to global-warming policies means missing the most important levers of tackling malaria. Malaria is a consequence of poverty: The worst affected are those poorer households in rural areas with less ability to purchase mosquito nets and treatment. Focusing on what we could achieve in the future through global-warming policies takes our attention away from what we could accomplish today.
Do read the whole thing. If you meet a zealot send him to see Bjorn. Bjorn is a climate change believer but he recognizes economics too. See his website.
One topic we like to discuss is binary choices. You can see that Bjorn uses binary choices as argument. As he explains in more detail after the quote above, you can fight malaria by fighting climate change or by malaria prevention. Malaria prevention is much cheaper and much more effective at saving lives. Bjorn doesn’t mention it but malaria prevention is much more certain to be effective and much more timely than trying to address malaria by addressing climate change.
Unfortunately, Bjorn doesn’t appear to be a US citizen so he would need to be appointed to any government post. Fortunately, he is making sense.