Articles, Blog

Bjorn Lomborg: Global priorities bigger than climate change

January 27, 2020

What I’d like to talk about is really the biggest problems in the world. I’m not going to talk about “The Skeptical Environmentalist” — probably that’s also a good choice. (Laughter) But I am going talk about: what are the big problems in the world? And I must say, before I go on, I should ask every one of you to try and get out pen and paper because I’m actually going to ask you to help me to look at how we do that. So get out your pen and paper. Bottom line is, there is a lot of problems out there in the world. I’m just going to list some of them. There are 800 million people starving. There’s a billion people without clean drinking water. Two billion people without sanitation. There are several million people dying of HIV and AIDS. The lists go on and on. There’s two billions of people who will be severely affected by climate change — so on. There are many, many problems out there. In an ideal world, we would solve them all, but we don’t. We don’t actually solve all problems. And if we do not, the question I think we need to ask ourselves — and that’s why it’s on the economy session — is to say, if we don’t do all things, we really have to start asking ourselves, which ones should we solve first? And that’s the question I’d like to ask you. If we had say, 50 billion dollars over the next four years to spend to do good in this world, where should we spend it? We identified 10 of the biggest challenges in the world, and I will just briefly read them: climate change, communicable diseases, conflicts, education, financial instability, governance and corruption, malnutrition and hunger, population migration, sanitation and water, and subsidies and trade barriers. We believe that these in many ways encompass the biggest problems in the world. The obvious question would be to ask, what do you think are the biggest things? Where should we start on solving these problems? But that’s a wrong problem to ask. That was actually the problem that was asked in Davos in January. But of course, there’s a problem in asking people to focus on problems. Because we can’t solve problems. Surely the biggest problem we have in the world is that we all die. But we don’t have a technology to solve that, right? So the point is not to prioritize problems, but the point is to prioritize solutions to problems. And that would be — of course that gets a little more complicated. To climate change that would be like Kyoto. To communicable diseases, it might be health clinics or mosquito nets. To conflicts, it would be U.N.’s peacekeeping forces, and so on. The point that I would like to ask you to try to do, is just in 30 seconds — and I know this is in a sense an impossible task — write down what you think is probably some of the top priorities. And also — and that’s, of course, where economics gets evil — to put down what are the things we should not do, first. What should be at the bottom of the list? Please, just take 30 seconds, perhaps talk to your neighbor, and just figure out what should be the top priorities and the bottom priorities of the solutions that we have to the world’s biggest issues. The amazing part of this process — and of course, I mean, I would love to — I only have 18 minutes, I’ve already given you quite a substantial amount of my time, right? I’d love to go into, and get you to think about this process, and that’s actually what we did. And I also strongly encourage you, and I’m sure we’ll also have these discussions afterwards, to think about, how do we actually prioritize? Of course, you have to ask yourself, why on Earth was such a list never done before? And one reason is that prioritization is incredibly uncomfortable. Nobody wants to do this. Of course, every organization would love to be on the top of such a list. But every organization would also hate to be not on the top of the list. And since there are many more not-number-one spots on the list than there is number ones, it makes perfect sense not to want to do such a list. We’ve had the U.N. for almost 60 years, yet we’ve never actually made a fundamental list of all the big things that we can do in the world, and said, which of them should we do first? So it doesn’t mean that we are not prioritizing — any decision is a prioritization, so of course we are still prioritizing, if only implicitly — and that’s unlikely to be as good as if we actually did the prioritization, and went in and talked about it. So what I’m proposing is really to say that we have, for a very long time, had a situation when we’ve had a menu of choices. There are many, many things we can do out there, but we’ve not had the prices, nor the sizes. We have not had an idea. Imagine going into a restaurant and getting this big menu card, but you have no idea what the price is. You know, you have a pizza; you’ve no idea what the price is. It could be at one dollar; it could be 1,000 dollars. It could be a family-size pizza; it could be a very individual-size pizza, right? We’d like to know these things. And that is what the Copenhagen Consensus is really trying to do — to try to put prices on these issues. And so basically, this has been the Copenhagen Consensus’ process. We got 30 of the world’s best economists, three in each area. So we have three of world’s top economists write about climate change. What can we do? What will be the cost and what will be the benefit of that? Likewise in communicable diseases. Three of the world’s top experts saying, what can we do? What would be the price? What should we do about it, and what will be the outcome? And so on. Then we had some of the world’s top economists, eight of the world’s top economists, including three Nobel Laureates, meet in Copenhagen in May 2004. We called them the “dream team.” The Cambridge University prefects decided to call them the Real Madrid of economics. That works very well in Europe, but it doesn’t really work over here. And what they basically did was come out with a prioritized list. And then you ask, why economists? And of course, I’m very happy you asked that question — (Laughter) — because that’s a very good question. The point is, of course, if you want to know about malaria, you ask a malaria expert. If you want to know about climate, you ask a climatologist. But if you want to know which of the two you should deal with first, you can’t ask either of them, because that’s not what they do. That is what economists do. They prioritize. They make that in some ways disgusting task of saying, which one should we do first, and which one should we do afterwards? So this is the list, and this is the one I’d like to share with you. Of course, you can also see it on the website, and we’ll also talk about it more, I’m sure, as the day goes on. They basically came up with a list where they said there were bad projects — basically, projects where if you invest a dollar, you get less than a dollar back. Then there’s fair projects, good projects and very good projects. And of course, it’s the very good projects we should start doing. I’m going to go from backwards so that we end up with the best projects. These were the bad projects. As you might see the bottom of the list was climate change. This offends a lot of people, and that’s probably one of the things where people will say I shouldn’t come back, either. And I’d like to talk about that, because that’s really curious. Why is it it came up? And I’ll actually also try to get back to this because it’s probably one of the things that we’ll disagree with on the list that you wrote down. The reason why they came up with saying that Kyoto — or doing something more than Kyoto — is a bad deal is simply because it’s very inefficient. It’s not saying that global warming is not happening. It’s not saying that it’s not a big problem. But it’s saying that what we can do about it is very little, at a very high cost. What they basically show us, the average of all macroeconomic models, is that Kyoto, if everyone agreed, would cost about 150 billion dollars a year. That’s a substantial amount of money. That’s two to three times the global development aid that we give the Third World every year. Yet it would do very little good. All models show it will postpone warming for about six years in 2100. So the guy in Bangladesh who gets a flood in 2100 can wait until 2106. Which is a little good, but not very much good. So the idea here really is to say, well, we’ve spent a lot of money doing a little good. And just to give you a sense of reference, the U.N. actually estimate that for half that amount, for about 75 billion dollars a year, we could solve all major basic problems in the world. We could give clean drinking water, sanitation, basic healthcare and education to every single human being on the planet. So we have to ask ourselves, do we want to spend twice the amount on doing very little good? Or half the amount on doing an amazing amount of good? And that is really why it becomes a bad project. It’s not to say that if we had all the money in the world, we wouldn’t want to do it. But it’s to say, when we don’t, it’s just simply not our first priority. The fair projects — notice I’m not going to comment on all these — but communicable diseases, scale of basic health services — just made it, simply because, yes, scale of basic health services is a great thing. It would do a lot of good, but it’s also very, very costly. Again, what it tells us is suddenly we start thinking about both sides of the equation. If you look at the good projects, a lot of sanitation and water projects came in. Again, sanitation and water is incredibly important, but it also costs a lot of infrastructure. So I’d like to show you the top four priorities which should be at least the first ones that we deal with when we talk about how we should deal with the problems in the world. The fourth best problem is malaria — dealing with malaria. The incidence of malaria is about a couple of [million] people get infected every year. It might even cost up towards a percentage point of GDP every year for affected nations. If we invested about 13 billion dollars over the next four years, we could bring that incidence down to half. We could avoid about 500,000 people dying, but perhaps more importantly, we could avoid about a [million] people getting infected every year. We would significantly increase their ability to deal with many of the other problems that they have to deal with — of course, in the long run, also to deal with global warming. This third best one was free trade. Basically, the model showed that if we could get free trade, and especially cut subsidies in the U.S. and Europe, we could basically enliven the global economy to an astounding number of about 2,400 billion dollars a year, half of which would accrue to the Third World. Again, the point is to say that we could actually pull two to three hundred million people out of poverty, very radically fast, in about two to five years. That would be the third best thing we could do. The second best thing would be to focus on malnutrition. Not just malnutrition in general, but there’s a very cheap way of dealing with malnutrition, namely, the lack of micronutrients. Basically, about half of the world’s population is lacking in iron, zinc, iodine and vitamin A. If we invest about 12 billion dollars, we could make a severe inroad into that problem. That would be the second best investment that we could do. And the very best project would be to focus on HIV/AIDS. Basically, if we invest 27 billion dollars over the next eight years, we could avoid 28 new million cases of HIV/AIDS. Again, what this does and what it focuses on is saying there are two very different ways that we can deal with HIV/AIDS. One is treatment; the other one is prevention. And again, in an ideal world, we would do both. But in a world where we don’t do either, or don’t do it very well, we have to at least ask ourselves where should we invest first. And treatment is much, much more expensive than prevention. So basically, what this focuses on is saying, we can do a lot more by investing in prevention. Basically for the amount of money that we spend, we can do X amount of good in treatment, and 10 times as much good in prevention. So again, what we focus on is prevention rather than treatment, at first rate. What this really does is that it makes us think about our priorities. I’d like to have you look at your priority list and say, did you get it right? Or did you get close to what we came up with here? Well, of course, one of the things is climate change again. I find a lot of people find it very, very unlikely that we should do that. We should also do climate change, if for no other reason, simply because it’s such a big problem. But of course, we don’t do all problems. There are many problems out there in the world. And what I want to make sure of is, if we actually focus on problems, that we focus on the right ones. The ones where we can do a lot of good rather than a little good. And I think, actually — Thomas Schelling, one of the participants in the dream team, he put it very, very well. One of things that people forget, is that in 100 years, when we’re talking about most of the climate change impacts will be, people will be much, much richer. Even the most pessimistic impact scenarios of the U.N. estimate that the average person in the developing world in 2100 will be about as rich as we are today. Much more likely, they will be two to four times richer than we are. And of course, we’ll be even richer than that. But the point is to say, when we talk about saving people, or helping people in Bangladesh in 2100, we’re not talking about a poor Bangladeshi. We’re actually talking about a fairly rich Dutch guy. And so the real point, of course, is to say, do we want to spend a lot of money helping a little, 100 years from now, a fairly rich Dutch guy? Or do we want to help real poor people, right now, in Bangladesh, who really need the help, and whom we can help very, very cheaply? Or as Schelling put it, imagine if you were a rich — as you will be — a rich Chinese, a rich Bolivian, a rich Congolese, in 2100, thinking back on 2005, and saying, “How odd that they cared so much about helping me a little bit through climate change, and cared so fairly little about helping my grandfather and my great grandfather, whom they could have helped so much more, and who needed the help so much more?” So I think that really does tell us why it is we need to get our priorities straight. Even if it doesn’t accord to the typical way we see this problem. Of course, that’s mainly because climate change has good pictures. We have, you know, “The Day After Tomorrow” — it looks great, right? It’s a good film in the sense that I certainly want to see it, right, but don’t expect Emmerich to cast Brad Pitt in his next movie digging latrines in Tanzania or something. (Laughter) It just doesn’t make for as much of a movie. So in many ways, I think of the Copenhagen Consensus and the whole discussion of priorities as a defense for boring problems. To make sure that we realize it’s not about making us feel good. It’s not about making things that have the most media attention, but it’s about making places where we can actually do the most good. The other objections, I think, that are important to say, is that I’m somehow — or we are somehow — positing a false choice. Of course, we should do all things, in an ideal world — I would certainly agree. I think we should do all things, but we don’t. In 1970, the developed world decided we were going to spend twice as much as we did, right now, than in 1970, on the developing world. Since then our aid has halved. So it doesn’t look like we’re actually on the path of suddenly solving all big problems. Likewise, people are also saying, but what about the Iraq war? You know, we spend 100 billion dollars — why don’t we spend that on doing good in the world? I’m all for that. If any one of you guys can talk Bush into doing that, that’s fine. But the point, of course, is still to say, if you get another 100 billion dollars, we still want to spend that in the best possible way, don’t we? So the real issue here is to get ourselves back and think about what are the right priorities. I should just mention briefly, is this really the right list that we got out? You know, when you ask the world’s best economists, you inevitably end up asking old, white American men. And they’re not necessarily, you know, great ways of looking at the entire world. So we actually invited 80 young people from all over the world to come and solve the same problem. The only two requirements were that they were studying at the university, and they spoke English. The majority of them were, first, from developing countries. They had all the same material but they could go vastly outside the scope of discussion, and they certainly did, to come up with their own lists. And the surprising thing was that the list was very similar — with malnutrition and diseases at the top and climate change at the bottom. We’ve done this many other times. There’s been many other seminars and university students, and different things. They all come out with very much the same list. And that gives me great hope, really, in saying that I do believe that there is a path ahead to get us to start thinking about priorities, and saying, what is the important thing in the world? Of course, in an ideal world, again we’d love to do everything. But if we don’t do it, then we can start thinking about where should we start? I see the Copenhagen Consensus as a process. We did it in 2004, and we hope to assemble many more people, getting much better information for 2008, 2012. Map out the right path for the world — but also to start thinking about political triage. To start thinking about saying, “Let’s do not the things where we can do very little at a very high cost, not the things that we don’t know how to do, but let’s do the great things where we can do an enormous amount of good, at very low cost, right now.” At the end of the day, you can disagree with the discussion of how we actually prioritize these, but we have to be honest and frank about saying, if there’s some things we do, there are other things we don’t do. If we worry too much about some things, we end by not worrying about other things. So I hope this will help us make better priorities, and think about how we better work for the world. Thank you.


  • Reply richard reeves October 4, 2015 at 8:34 am

    strange that reducing malaria wasn't #1 as it affects roughly a thousand times as many people as hiv/aids per year and costs only half as much to halve the problem in each case.

  • Reply Fatma Elma October 10, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    Good thinking.
    I think that this video teach us solving the problems at low costs

  • Reply Errol Williams October 12, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    umm money is made up by the government?! they can solve all problems….

  • Reply Jake Witmer November 14, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    This guy just killed Man-Bear-Pig!

  • Reply sinoDI November 27, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    I kind of get what he is saying. For example if I have two children, one of them has down syndrome and the other not, I'll just spend more time and caring in the second child, because it's easier, cheaper and has better opportunities of success in adulthood 🙂

  • Reply georgehackney December 29, 2015 at 10:35 am


  • Reply Mike Morrison January 23, 2016 at 1:45 am

    Climate chaneg is a "bad project" according to economists. Um. No. Not really. I subscribe to Elon Musk's argument: This is a single planet. The one and only planet we have. Sure, climate change is not going to be TOO bad over the course of the next 100 years. But a thousand year, 2,0000, 10,000 year from now? This planet could go completely extinct. The other option, is to leave this planet. Or at least, a significant portion of the population to leave. That would probably take at least 2 – 3 more centuries.

    I know. I get it. He is referring to a cost-benefit analysis regarding the CURRENT situation, in the short-run. In the long-run, this is backasswards and wrong.

  • Reply Polina Karkina February 22, 2016 at 7:20 am

    This talk is incredibly outdated right now, in 2016. In fact I find it even offensive to keep this talk still on TED. Climate change is number one priority in the world right now, because so much bad climate-induced things have happened since 2005 so now the alarm is very visible and a lot of institutions and politicians realized it already. There is no point to focus all efforts on smaller scale problems if a little bit later this century we all will burn in the climate chaos.
    It is immoral to state publicly that one mustn't prioritize climate change.
    (The whole thing looks like lobbying.)

  • Reply SafeSpacePotato February 25, 2016 at 6:55 am

    You plebeians are completely missing his point. He is not saying that Climate change is not an issue. In fact it is a big problem, and at no point is he denying that.

    He is simply saying that every dollar spent on HIV/AIDS will be much more effective at reducing the incidence of HIV/AIDS than every dollar spent battling climate change will be effective at battling climate change.

    So if we only have a limited amount of money to spend solving global issues, then it would make the most sense to spend it where it will be the most effective.

    Really. It's that simple.

  • Reply watchthe1369 September 4, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    I would go with Thorium Power. The cheap power from that would solve a lot of those others.

  • Reply adrct September 14, 2016 at 6:29 am

    Suppose you have the opportunity to make an investment that is very safe and which will give you the very best return on your capital, enough to make you as much money as you have ever dreamt of. But then you also have cancer. The treatment is very expensive, and there is no guarantee it will work, among other inconveniences. If you don't possess enough resources to spend on both, you'll have to make a choice. For the great majority of people, that's an easy one. Isn't climate change like the world has cancer? Also, maybe the treatment being offered is not good enough.

  • Reply watercup123456 October 7, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    Funny to see about 10 years later now after this talk and this guy is 100% right since we now know human caused climate change/global warming is total bullshit and the warming we are having is NOT in any way a crisis or unnatural or anything to worry about…. SO LETS CURE AIDS!
    Can you imagine lives saved by all those wasted global warming carbon tax enviro scam dollars we wasted on this faulty science?? Ugh.. Gross. Humans are stupid and gross.

  • Reply Frederik Høyrup November 15, 2016 at 4:10 am

    13 billion to cure malaria worldwide. Thats like 0.1 percent of the US millitary budget. The beneficts would be 10x times that. Both in trade and in people you dont have to shoot.

  • Reply ThĂŠo Gaboriau November 22, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    I see one major problems with this reasonning. The resolution of those big problems aren't independant. Perhaps the next question we should ask ourselves with is What impact each problem solving could have on the others? What are the effect of investing on the fight against malaria on world hunger? Investing on some problems may reduce the cost of others. In the other hand not investing on not solving some problems may increase the cost of others

  • Reply Aaron Shavit December 10, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Ok, what if we just decided to concentrate on the first most important priority as Lomborg suggested but we still didn't find enough money to solve it. My point is that it is not about the lack of money but mere fact that our governments don't give world problems any serious attention. And this is why we always wouldn't have enough money to solve anyting no matter how shortened our problems list becomes.
    US alone spends more than 650 billion $ ayear on its DOD. The world spends more than 1400 billion $ ayear on defence. We don't lack money, we lack GOOD governments.

  • Reply Bill Nye Fake Science Guy April 19, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    A decade later and the Earth is still here.

  • Reply Will Stovall April 20, 2017 at 5:23 am

    I understand that at no point is Lomborg denying that climate change is a problem, and he does address that cherry-picking issues to focus on is a "disgusting approach". However I disagree with his analysis of the importance of the issue of anthropogenic climate change in the sense that he only considers the impact on humans in the immediate future, not how its impacts are projected to increase exponentially and affect other species in addition to humans.

    Also, our "inability to efficiently address climate change" is a direct product of empirical and present neglect of conservation-focused institutions and personnel. This is becoming even more of a problem in recent years, and will continue to be central to our struggle to address the global threats of sea level rise and habitat destruction. Imagine what could be achieved if environmental scientists had the resources to expand the scope of their studies and physically mitigate the environmental threats that their research incontrovertibly identifies.

  • Reply Traveling Wilbury May 1, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    The interesting thing is that most of the global warming advocates are fooled by the belief that it is about the climate when it is all about a redistribution of wealth.

  • Reply legion June 11, 2017 at 4:06 am

    He really was ahead of his time.

  • Reply John Galt July 19, 2017 at 1:08 am

    MANBEARPIG!!!! Commies love to fan fear over fake enemies like "climate change" so people ignore real threats like Islam.

  • Reply Michael Shi September 26, 2017 at 8:37 pm

    If you don't solve climate change, we're talking near human extinction in the future. We simply MUST solve it eventually. Humanity will survive past AIDS and hunger but not environmental catastrophe.

  • Reply mike donnarumma January 25, 2018 at 3:31 am

    money is not the solution ,population control is top of the list,

  • Reply Wayne P March 30, 2018 at 6:34 pm

    Let's give priority to maintaining an unsustainable population until the Arctic is ice-free. Then tell the kids you did not know about non-linear positive feedbacks from global warming. It's 2018 and we are about to cross that tipping point.
    Economics is easy to get wrong when you don't add the cost of damaging the environment. It's not a hard science.

  • Reply Amin July 22, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    most underrated talk ever

  • Reply Barry Lees July 26, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    Excellent ~ Eyeopening presentation !

  • Reply Jamie Fraser-Bingham August 15, 2018 at 9:43 am

    Mike Morrison,

    I doubt the reason climate change falls so low on his list is due to short term vs long term thinking. I think it is because, as you say, he is doing a cost benefit analysis. That is, he is calculating the return on spending directed to solve the climate change problem. He is not accounting for ways to combat climate change other than with spending, which leaves out a great deal. In fact, a lot of behaviors that would combat climate change are the opposite of spending. Make what you have last, rather than buy new. Commute on a bicycle when possible rather than relying on combustion engines. Cut waste, cut consumption. Turn off your lights when not in use, take shorter showers, eat less, etc.

    It is not necessarily an unimportant problem, just not one that lends itself to easy solution by spending.

  • Reply John G August 29, 2018 at 9:23 pm

    I would pay to put Citizens Climate Lobby on TV, radio, and social media ads:

  • Reply Protocurity September 7, 2018 at 10:24 am

    It's pretty sad that most of the replies to this video are people saying "No, climate change is totally an imminent catastrophe that demands immediate and full attention (coughmoneycough) or else the entire planet will go extinct." Guys, those models asserted that the climate has a positive feedback loop that was thrown out of balance. There's no such thing as a stable positive feedback loop. If the climate really was such a loop, then the Earth would've spiraled out of control irreparably long before mankind could do anything.

    It's called scaremongering. The primary goal of climate change research is to secure funding for climate change research, and the second goal is to garner admiration.

  • Reply Darrell Lim September 15, 2018 at 2:27 pm

    He is very smart and well-articulated. But he got one thing clearly wrong:

    Day After Tomorrow is NOT a good movie.

  • Reply Andreas Fris September 24, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    I´m sorry I have to write this on a TED video, but you shouldn´t listen to anything this guy has to say. He´s a complete fraud. I haven´t watched this video, but if you´re interested in the topic, find someone else to watch.

  • Reply Markus Antonious October 2, 2018 at 5:35 pm

    This guy is a fossil-fuel funded fraudster.

  • Reply James Badham October 30, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    No, you don't solve them all. You solve those that are an existential threat, i.e. climate change. And positing $50 billion for the world's major challenges is just silly. It's a tiny amount in the whole world. By the way, climate change makes things like malaria worse, as mosquitoes that used to live at elevations below where humans choose to live (to avoid those mosquitoes) move upslope as it becomes warmer. Bjorn has always been extremely selective in his presentations.

  • Reply Snowball Effect November 14, 2018 at 12:22 pm

    I wonder why this man fudges statistics and cherry-picks data to push an anti-climate change agenda.

  • Reply Mindstate November 19, 2018 at 7:06 pm

    Gordon Ramsey convinced me to sell my solar shares.

  • Reply Jake Zaleski November 26, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    To see how many people are affected by climate change, google the population of the Earth.

  • Reply Marek S. November 29, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    He is impliing that all of the problems could be solved by the mean of investing money and that it is the only possible solution, but doesn't reflect the fact that the so praised economical growth, which is just another word for overproduction, is also a source of many of those problems (environmental issues, exploitation of global south and land grabing and thus economical inequality, lot of conflicts, and all of this often leads to migration and so on). We have enough money to for example provide food sources for all those 800 mil. starving people, we just don't do that for some reason. So making even more money will not solve the problem either. He is basicly just saying: "Let's stop to care about nature, we will make more money that way" but doesn't state any arguments that such a behavior would lead to solving of any global problem.

  • Reply Marek S. November 29, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    He is impliing that all of the problems could be solved by the mean of investing money and that it is the only possible solution, but doesn't reflect the fact that the so praised economical growth, which is just another word for overproduction, is also a source of many of those problems (environmental issues, exploitation of global south and land grabing and thus economical inequality, lot of conflicts, and all of this often leads to migration and so on). We have enough money to for example provide food sources for all those 800 mil. starving people, we just don't do that for some reason. So making even more money will not solve the problem either. He is basicly just saying: "Let's stop to care about nature, we will make more money that way" but doesn't state any arguments that such a behavior would lead to solving of any global problem.

  • Reply Cheesy McCheesy December 1, 2018 at 1:02 pm

    Investment in science and technology should be the priority, that takes care of everything else

  • Reply Swifty Gamer December 4, 2018 at 1:33 am

    3287? Anyone?

  • Reply peter Fonnesbech December 6, 2018 at 10:34 am

    And he was so wrong and never apologizied for the wrong conclusion.

  • Reply Nicholas Taylor December 6, 2018 at 11:29 pm

    Things may have moved on since this talk, including the sad death of Hans Rosling, but my cents-worth is to put empowerment of women at the top (mainly relevant outside the liberal-democratic world). As for climate change, I thought (someone said) energy = money. If so, avoiding climate change, which at present means using less energy, should save money not cost a lot of it as he says. Ah, but things are not that simple …

  • Reply Gurpreet Randhawa February 12, 2019 at 6:01 pm

    It's a shame this video only received 231k views when this topic is so important and effects billions of people.

  • Reply Darius Diran February 14, 2019 at 7:45 am

    I really love that guy

  • Reply Lawrence Of Canadia February 23, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    legendary mumbler

  • Reply jai ibvr February 25, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    1. Eliminate bureaucratic parasitical corporate "govern-ments" "mind governors"
    Multinational Corporate monopolization. Stop centralising power, to then steal and missuse.

    2. Eliminate injustuce in the
    so called man made biassed and self interested "justice/Injustice" system.

    3. Eliminate Central Banks and their undue influence in,
    every other so called "administrators/administrating entity what they, never produce," without hearing those who produce it.
    Therefore Eliminate "USUARY" and "TYRRANNI"



    4. Prosecute false media and science for proganda manipulative ends.

    5. Bring back full direct accountability to all, Civil Servant positions, eliminate inmunity for all crimes committed by State and Church.

    Leaving out three years of writting solutions.
    However, who will decide If the parasites live off of, our misery
    as History proves. "them"
    Which is why nothing ever gets better, except the bribes for the birbeable…..

    There is a technical solution for every human need today. The impeding factor is without a doubt, special interest multinational industries that work hard, hogging all resources from everyone else alive, to
    themselves without oversight of the greator good.

    Parasitical disease
    ultimate end Is,
    weakenning and
    killing the hosts.




    Votes today could be cast from any cellphone securily. But no….
    If voting worked "they" would remove ot, and "they" the few
    have, as "they" care not what we say as visible everywhere for centuries now folks.
    Nice speach, almost everyone agrees, except the greedy self serving rulers, WE ALLOW INMUNITY when the people suffer.

    There can be no peace if, there is no justice.

  • Reply jeremy67A February 26, 2019 at 2:32 am

    Wow, Gordon Ramsay has really lost weight.

  • Reply stuart940 March 19, 2019 at 2:11 pm

    only an accountant would decide that saving the entire world is too expensive. the love of money is the root of all evil

  • Reply Russ Ian E. Lection-Hacker March 23, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    But… but… Muh Glowball Warming!!!! REEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

  • Reply ILLUMINATI CONFIRMED March 27, 2019 at 6:29 pm

    Really HIV came in as first? That is all wrong. Why not invest in cancer which kills way more people. I dont think he is thinking about future generations and climate change. Take some of that money from foolish military spending and put it into climate change. Solar in third world countries now would do worlds of good. How does he know people will be rich in 2100? What a joke this guy is.

  • Reply For College March 30, 2019 at 11:34 pm

    Just another short sighted ignorant idiot that doesn't look at the big picture.

  • Reply Harry Kirk April 4, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    Bjorn Lomborg is a filthy fraud and a serial liar with no expertise.

  • Reply Desertphile April 9, 2019 at 1:24 am

    We now observe that everything this clown said was wrong. Oops!

  • Reply John Zyp April 10, 2019 at 6:34 am

    Money and greed is the root of all evil. He seems to think money and satiety is the best thing. He was only trying to tell people how to get more money.

  • Reply Marshall April 21, 2019 at 10:28 am

    An enormous asteroid will hit the earth before our future generations start thinking about what we should have done and what we shouldn't have done. I don't believe in man-made global warming but I consider that today's society is accelerating the destruction of earth.
    If we are to look at it from a cheap sci -fi perspective, people will adapt to climate change so there will be no problem worrying about.
    One thing that Bjorn Lomborg and other climate deniers don't consider is the fact that if we invest more in renewable energy, we would prevent the problem of climate change and natural disasters that lead to other problems such as migration, lack of clean water and resource depletion!
    The poor people or those living in developing countries are mainly affected by climate change, if the rivers flowing from the Himalayas dry then Chinese cannot support themselves by growing food and so on, which in turn leads to migration!
    The simple solution to all problems in the world is to prevent them from getting worse and hit even more, let us ignore the number of people who starve today, focus on those who will starve if we don't take care of the planet, overpopulation, martial disasters, mass death and so on. There are many different solutions, but if you really care about other problems in the world, you should prevent the whole thing instead of solving them the short-term if you do not help people in developing countries to switch to renewable energy and give them money and help their finances instead their production of carbon dioxide will affect us people in the western world.
    ¤Think a little and analyze it all before you go into the details¤

  • Reply parajacks4 May 3, 2019 at 11:19 pm

    Lomborg is a science denying payed shrill to big energy companies. Don’t listen to anything he has to say. He’s a professional lier with a fat agenda.
    Lomborg “the narrative that the world’s climate is changing from bad to worse is unhelpful alarmism”.

  • Reply Lookit Demskies May 8, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    No one can ever be effected by a non-existent problem, i.e. 'climate change'. Over 31 thousand scientists ( over 9,000 hold doctorates) signed a document refuting the claims by the 16 contributors (7 of whom are still students with NO degree) to the IPCC statements, the latest of which has so many in total panic. They are the ones purporting that (you pearl clutching, hand-wringing believers in this nonsense) are seeing the end of life if we don't hurry and agree to ruin the world economy, hurling mankind once again into abject poverty. We do need to address world poverty and education. To do so we must maintain the Constitutional Republic founded to prevent tyranny and mob rule which all the big money news services seem to be determined to foist on us all. Democracy is like two wolves and one sheep voting on whats for dinner. Only the wolves don't understand that they, too, are sheep.

  • Reply Zardoz Tor May 25, 2019 at 6:03 am

    1) 'In 2016, global GDP amounted to about 75.4 trillion U.S. dollars', so 50 billion is 0.06% of global GDP. In other words, 50 billion is NOT a lot of money. It's peanuts.
    2) if we don't deal with climate change, it won't matter if we solve the other problems or not. Think global nuclear war. Climate change is the same thing.
    3) There is money to fix all those problems. We don't have to choose. Of course, rich people, corporations and corrupt/useless politicians do not care about us.
    4) We're screwed.

  • Reply Ger Reddy May 28, 2019 at 9:36 am

    he likes listening to himself I'd say

  • Reply Stuffed Chicken May 29, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    #1. Gyrocopter lessons or wingsuit flying.

    #2. Convincing my wife it's a cost benifit.

  • Reply dorvito67 May 30, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    Climate changes/climates change whatever way round just adding an s solves it. 👌

  • Reply Axel Vanhooren June 1, 2019 at 9:27 am

    Good thinking. Nevertheless, still believing in the myth of climate change? Take a few hours to check the science.

  • Reply codyjones109 June 3, 2019 at 4:15 pm

    I could solve his first problem!! I would buy him a shirt that fits.

  • Reply codyjones109 June 3, 2019 at 4:17 pm

    He is giving his resume speech for a gov job where he gets a nice paycheck! Then he can get cloths that fit and are appropriate.

  • Reply codyjones109 June 3, 2019 at 4:18 pm

    This amazing list was done more than 110 years ago!! League of Nations for runner to U.N. Discussed all these issue

  • Reply truthsout June 5, 2019 at 3:55 am

    Global warming is a crock and Al Gore might yet end up in prison. Two things. You can't take a few areas in the world and say, see? that's caused by Global warming. You have to take the average mean temperature of the world, which has risen . .8 of a degree in the last 100 yrs. Watch the video Global Warming 31,487 scientists say NO CAUSE FOR ALARM, and explain why. Another crock is that we need oil for energy. The whole world should gang up on the US Military Industrial Complex who have the means of producing free. clean, renewable energy and refuse to share it with the rest of the world. A cubed centimetre of normal air could power the whole of America for a year. But vested parties continue to get richer out of the world's citizens using oil for energy, and keeping us poor. 3 trillion dollars could solve all the world's problems, global warming not being one of those. This money would pay off all debt, provide food and clean water & proper sanitation as well as solve health problems in developing countries. How ever, there is precious little humanitarianism among the super rich.

  • Reply gary c June 6, 2019 at 1:20 am

    you can do well or you can do good

  • Reply Dave -in-NJ June 9, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    My questions is WHY we do not. the answer, formed over dedicated is that it is political. in the USA, we have an on-going debate over abortion. medicine and science give us the EXACT answer. Politicians could use the since, create a law and both sides would claim both victory and defeat. but the issue would be settled with science. in the late 1990's that question was asked. the answer shocked me. it is because it is such a strong motivator to get people to vote for their candidates.
    Global Warming based on CO2 has now been proven false, but the politicians cannot let the facts out and want to keep it as a campaign issue.
    if, in 1990, the politicians wanted to DO SOMETHING, they could have created regulations that all new buildings are super insulated. the cost would be less than 5% of a building, but over only 1 decade, the cost to heat and cool would pay that off. and less fuels would be needed. after 30 years, we would have seen a reduction in fuel use, lower CO2 emissions and a benefit to Mankind. but, it is such a great issue for getting votes, this action will never take place.
    Here is the kicker. it is the politician YOU VOTED FOR, not the 'other side' you are voting in the wrong people to get results. when we stand together and say if you do not ACT, we will vote you out. only then will they listen. but they are expert in lying to you, and you know that. but you vote party line and nothing gets done.

  • Reply Raubkopierer100 June 9, 2019 at 8:16 pm

    first stopping the " War on Terror" in true oil robbery…

  • Reply Donald McCarthy June 11, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    12 years into the future and this giddy idiot is exposed as a liar and a fraud. And also a clueless fucking moron.

  • Reply Kenneth Desmond Mosley June 13, 2019 at 11:11 am

    Smart AND hot

  • Reply NuclearBumpkin June 16, 2019 at 8:06 am

    Trash guy puts faith in trash, trash outcome. Shocking and brave.

  • Reply Michael Waidhofer June 21, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    this economic thinking got us into most of this mess the first place – climatechange is totally out of control – economics shouldnt even be called "Science"

  • Reply Hugh Smith June 30, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    I am willing to bet he can't keep his bed room clean.

  • Reply CODEX July 7, 2019 at 9:57 pm

    So now they have consolidated the wealth for climate change, we can now spend it on socialism – which was the plan all along!

  • Reply Sadiq Khawaja July 11, 2019 at 4:45 pm

    A really interesting video that takes a logical view of world problems and potential solutions.

  • Reply nova nova August 17, 2019 at 11:04 pm

    @t wanted to stop deadly geoengineering but was probably threatened – people must learn and SUPPORT HIM FOR THE SAKE OF THEIR OWN LIFE) MUST START RESCUING YOUR KIDS TODAY.


  • Reply Peepee Poopoo August 20, 2019 at 11:44 am

    This guy is needs to slow down talking and breathe

  • Reply Nora Wheeler September 6, 2019 at 2:46 am

    His logic is akin to saying we should spend $500 to fix the air conditioner in our car instead of spending twice as much to fix the brakes, because it will make everyone more comfortable. Of course, not fixing the brakes will likely end up with everyone in the car dying…

  • Reply StreamFan 68 September 11, 2019 at 11:02 am

    This guy is leading the way… and I have read many cases where his involvement have kick started REAL efforts.. where REAL ideass have actually been put to task and they are showing numerous results…

  • Reply Odiwuor September 14, 2019 at 9:28 am

    For one (1) billion dollar the 1st. and 4th. priority problems (HIV/AIDS and malaria) can be solved and the diseases eradicated. (Check it out on The solution is available, but corruption in the countries where these diseases wreck havoc is also stifling this possibility. The problem is not these 10 problems, the problem is what is going on within human beings. There is only one problem: Ego. That is why we are living on a "prison planet".

  • Reply Matt Zilliox September 25, 2019 at 7:40 pm

    when he said the biggest problem in the world is that we die, i knew the rest of the talk would hold little weight. we die, get over it, its not a problem, its a gift or we would have killed ourselves long ago. things die, dont be selfish. its a simple reality, not a problem. problems are the things we create that would not exist without us existing and making bad choices. dying is quite obviously not on that list. killing is, but not dying.

  • Reply Narges Khosroshahi September 28, 2019 at 7:12 pm

    He probably has changed his mind today, seeing none of the priorities in this list has been chosen and solved and the down of the list become one thing that will effect all other priorities!

  • Reply Eve Ihlone October 5, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    Was Bjorn an oil/coal shill at the time of this talk?

  • Reply Ben Schebella October 6, 2019 at 1:14 am

    So we fix malaria and hiv, and suddenly there are millions more people living on the planet, producing millions more people. We fix free trade so all people can consume more and more food/plastic/power than before. So we are effectively cramming more need onto our already overburdened planet.

    Then what?

    I get that this talk is purely weighing up financial ROI but it doesn't seem like the only factor that should be considered

  • Reply Gengonglike Arbukle October 9, 2019 at 8:59 pm

    I will never help poor countries, because they are all violent, they are all religious conservative, they are all intolerant.

  • Reply lifewatchgroup October 27, 2019 at 10:54 am


    We have the knowledge and know- how to avert the UN's IPCC catastrophic predictions: HERE ARE THE TWO KEY SOLUTIONS:

  • Reply John Linden November 2, 2019 at 7:21 pm


  • Reply innoc3ntbystndr November 3, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    Greta, how dare you not watch this?! HOW
    DARE U!!!!

  • Reply Jason Melton November 7, 2019 at 10:31 pm

    According to the Vostok Ice Core Records, CO2 level changes have followed Earth's overall temperature changes at an 800 year lag for the last 800,000 years. That means that our current CO2 levels are the result of Earth's overall temperature 800 years ago. World leaders have convinced their dependents that this works in the reverse order, relatively quickly, and that we are to blame, so that they can tax us out of a false shared guilt in order to be able to afford to "fight" climate change, an unstoppable natural cycle. The following is the source of this information:

    Historical Carbon Dioxide Record from the Vostok Ice Core

    J.-M. Barnola, D. Raynaud, C. Lorius
    Laboratoire de Glaciologie et de GĂŠophysique de l'Environnement,
    CNRS, BP96,
    38402 Saint Martin d'Heres Cedex, France

    N.I. Barkov
    Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute,
    Beringa Street 38, 199397,
    St. Petersburg, Russia

    Period of Record
    417,160 – 2,342 years BP

    In January 1998, the collaborative ice-drilling project between Russia, the United States, and France at the Russian Vostok station in East Antarctica yielded the deepest ice core ever recovered, reaching a depth of 3,623 m (Petit et al. 1997, 1999). Ice cores are unique with their entrapped air inclusions enabling direct records of past changes in atmospheric trace-gas composition. Preliminary data indicate the Vostok ice-core record extends through four climate cycles, with ice slightly older than 400 kyr (Petit et al. 1997, 1999). Because air bubbles do not close at the surface of the ice sheet but only near the firn-ice transition (that is, at ~90 m below the surface at Vostok), the air extracted from the ice is younger than the surrounding ice (Barnola et al. 1991). Using semiempirical models of densification applied to past Vostok climate conditions, Barnola et al. (1991) reported that the age difference between air and ice may be ~6000 years during the coldest periods instead of ~4000 years, as previously assumed. Ice samples were cut with a bandsaw in a cold room (at about -15°C) as close as possible to the center of the core in order to avoid surface contamination (Barnola et al. 1983). Gas extraction and measurements were performed with the "Grenoble analytical setup," which involved crushing the ice sample (~40 g) under vacuum in a stainless-steel container without melting it, expanding the gas released during the crushing in a pre-evacuated sampling loop, and analyzing the CO2 concentrations by gas chromatography (Barnola et al. 1983). The analytical system, except for the stainless-steel container in which the ice was crushed, was calibrated for each ice sample measurement with a standard mixture of CO2 in nitrogen and oxygen. For further details on the experimental procedures and the dating of the successive ice layers at Vostok, see Barnola et al. (1987, 1991), Lorius et al. (1985), and Petit et al. (1999).

    There is a close correlation between Antarctic temperature and atmospheric concentrations of CO2 (Barnola et al. 1987). The extension of the Vostok CO2 record shows that the main trends of CO2 are similar for each glacial cycle. Major transitions from the lowest to the highest values are associated with glacial-interglacial transitions. During these transitions, the atmospheric concentrations of CO2 rises from 180 to 280-300 ppmv (Petit et al. 1999). The extension of the Vostok CO2 record shows the present-day levels of CO2 are unprecedented during the past 420 kyr. Pre-industrial Holocene levels (~280 ppmv) are found during all interglacials, with the highest values (~300 ppmv) found approximately 323 kyr BP. When the Vostok ice core data were compared with other ice core data (Delmas et al. 1980; Neftel et al. 1982) for the past 30,000 – 40,000 years, good agreement was found between the records: all show low CO2 values [~200 parts per million by volume (ppmv)] during the Last Glacial Maximum and increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations associated with the glacial-Holocene transition. According to Barnola et al. (1991) and Petit et al. (1999) these measurements indicate that, at the beginning of the deglaciations, the CO2 increase either was in phase or lagged by less than ~1000 years with respect to the Antarctic temperature, whereas it clearly lagged behind the temperature at the onset of the glaciations.

    Barnola, J.-M., D. Raynaud, A. Neftel, and H. Oeschger. 1983. Comparison of CO2 measurements by two laboratories on air from bubbles in polar ice. Nature 303:410-13.

    Barnola, J.-M., D. Raynaud, Y.S. Korotkevich, and C. Lorius. 1987. Vostok ice core provides 160,000-year record of atmospheric CO2. Nature 329:408-14.

    Barnola, J.-M., P. Pimienta, D. Raynaud, and Y.S. Korotkevich. 1991. CO2-climate relationship as deduced from the Vostok ice core: A re-examination based on new measurements and on a re-evaluation of the air dating. Tellus 43(B):83- 90.

    Delmas, R.J., J.-M. Ascencio, and M. Legrand. 1980. Polar ice evidence that atmospheric CO2 20,000 yr BP was 50% of present. Nature 284:155-57.

    Jouzel, J., C. Lorius, J.R. Petit, C. Genthon, N.I. Barkov, V.M. Kotlyakov, and V.M. Petrov. 1987. Vostok ice core: A continuous isotopic temperature record over the last climatic cycle (160,000 years). Nature 329:403-8.

    Lorius, C., J. Jouzel, C. Ritz, L. Merlivat, N.I. Barkov, Y.S. Korotkevich, and V.M. Kotlyakov. 1985. A 150,000-year climatic record from Antarctic ice. Nature 316:591-96.

    Neftel, A., H. Oeschger, J. Schwander, B. Stauffer, and R. Zumbrunn. 1982. Ice core measurements give atmospheric CO2 content during the past 40,000 yr. Nature 295:220-23.

    Pepin, L., D. Raynaud, J.-M. Barnola, and M.F. Loutre. 2001. Hemispheric roles of climate forcings during glacial-interglacial transitions as deduced from the Vostok record and LLN-2D model experiments. Journal of Geophysical Research 106 (D23): 31,885-31,892.

    Petit, J.R., I. Basile, A. Leruyuet, D. Raynaud, C. Lorius, J. Jouzel, M. Stievenard, V.Y. Lipenkov, N.I. Barkov, B.B. Kudryashov, M. Davis, E. Saltzman, and V. Kotlyakov. 1997. Four climate cycles in Vostok ice core. Nature 387: 359-360.

    Petit, J.R., J. Jouzel, D. Raynaud, N.I. Barkov, J.-M. Barnola, I. Basile, M. Benders, J. Chappellaz, M. Davis, G. Delayque, M. Delmotte, V.M. Kotlyakov, M. Legrand, V.Y. Lipenkov, C. Lorius, L. PĂŠpin, C. Ritz, E. Saltzman, and M. Stievenard. 1999. Climate and atmospheric history of the past 420,000 years from the Vostok ice core, Antarctica. Nature 399: 429-436.

    Raynaud, D., and J.-M. Barnola. 1985. An Antarctic ice core reveals atmospheric CO2 variations over the past few centuries. Nature 315:309-11.

    CITE AS: Barnola, J.-M., D. Raynaud, C. Lorius, and N.I. Barkov. 2003. Historical CO2 record from the Vostok ice core. In Trends: A Compendium of Data on Global Change. Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tenn., U.S.A.

    Revised February 2003

  • Reply Divye Dixit November 10, 2019 at 9:45 am

    I came here after jordan peterson

  • Reply Marven Lunn November 13, 2019 at 11:33 am

    I don't know what to think about this fella after I seen his are electric cars really greener he said electric cars have 10% fewer emissions that a gas car yet emissions from electric cars will kill twice as many people

  • Reply Martin Dambach November 28, 2019 at 3:40 pm

    nuclear extinction is missing, see doomsday clock.

  • Reply zeev zafrin December 1, 2019 at 4:26 am

    Rational thinking and common sense, to say the least he talks about simple principles of economics

  • Reply Ryan Anderson December 14, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    The cheapest thing you can do to maximum planetary benefit is help solve problems, or put a bullet in your own brain. Doing nothing will get you killed.

  • Reply George Meade December 17, 2019 at 5:57 pm

    Not very convincing on on any of his points. He needs better sales training and closing techniques.

  • Reply Quetz M December 29, 2019 at 2:55 am

    Sorry my friend, you may be an expert in economics, but you need to have a better understanding of chemistry. You are so wrong to believe that accounting for what seem large problems can only solve problems. "What kills is not the poison, but the concentration."
    You claim that electric cars account very little for CO2 reduction because
    It takes a lot of emmisions to produce such electricity.
    You fail to understand that CO2 causes damage in the atmosphere, so if we stop emmiting CO2 from cars, and start secuestering CO2 in caves from fossil fuels power generators, therefore, it is a huge solution to use electric cars and stop burning fuels out in the atmosphere.

  • Reply Nadya Immanuella January 7, 2020 at 8:56 pm

    just realize that he ways ahead than anobody, this video came up on 2007 when actually, world dont give any appoint about this matter, when its still cheap , Now 2020, his idea not going to be a trend during this time, NOW EVERYONE HAS REALIZED WHY WE DONT INVEST IN CLIMATE CHANGE during the past 13 years, poor the world, the amount for fixation thousand time higher. it is destroyed earlier than expected , in the video they said the world is damaged in 2100

  • Reply cristybello January 11, 2020 at 8:04 pm

    How far have we come now in 2020?

  • Reply Ms McCohen January 26, 2020 at 12:56 am

    He looks like Hugh Ramsey?

  • Reply Ms McCohen January 26, 2020 at 1:00 am

    Anthropocentric perspective…more humans is always ‘better’. Balance is what we need. The list has to expand. Glad they’re asking young folks.

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