Western nations shouldn't feel guilty for not contributing more international aid.

yllus

Elite Member & Lifer
Aug 20, 2000
20,577
432
126
West shouldn't feel guilty wanting bang for its buck
[Bjorn Lomborg] begins to talk, and he makes eminent sense to any Western taxpayer tired of being urged to give more and more for international aid without receiving any assurance the money is being well spent.

He's trying to convince the UN and other international aid distributors we need to prioritize aid according to cost-benefit.

This is quite unlike the architects of the UN Millennium Goals, who dreamily said most of the world's ills could be fixed by 2015 if only the West would open its wallet and not notice how much was taken out.

Return on the dollar is a novel idea at the world body, where speech after speech openly or subliminally heap guilt on the West for not fixing everything -- from HIV/AIDS infection to illiteracy to conflict to global warming -- all at once.

For although investments in health and education were found to be worthwhile in terms of cost benefit, throwing money at climate change -- very much the world problem du jour for activists in developed countries -- was deemed a comparative waste.

The Copenhagen economists found investment in HIV/AIDS prevention, for example, reaps sizeable and immediate benefits: US$40 of "good" for every $1 spent on things like condoms and classes.

By contrast, huge investments in climate change are necessary before appreciable benefits are realized because the return is only 2 cents to 25 cents on the dollar. Not only that, the benefits will not be seen for a century or so, and by then the world might be able to cope in other ways if it has already improved individuals' well-being.

Those findings alone virtually vindicate the Conservative government's decision to turn its back on the Kyoto climate control accord on grounds that meeting the emission reduction targets would cause severe economic hardship.

"If we did Kyoto, we would spend about US$150-billion every year, but would end up only postponing global warming by about half a dozen years in 2100," said Mr. Lomborg, referring to world spending.

"On the other hand, the UN estimates that for about half that amount, we can fix all major basic problems right now -- providing clean drinking water, sanitation, basic health care and education to every human being on the planet."
It's nice to see something potentially underline something I consider common sense - throwing money at social problems is usually not the answer. Sometimes it helps, sometimes it hurts.

It'd be neat if the world followed a plan where nations that required financial aid were carefully analyzed after initial aid was distributed to see what the return was like. If it's good, keep on going. If not, move on elsewhere that year and see if the situation is more hospitable to real change the next go-round. I thought it made for an interesting application of economic theory to the usually quite illogical world of politics.
 

FelixDeCat

Lifer
Aug 4, 2000
29,162
2,034
126
Worlds worst "bottomless pits" :

1) Africa spending (third world in general)

2) Education spending (trillions spent, nothing ever gained)

3) Tie : Welfare / Social Security / Defense spending
 

mercanucaribe

Banned
Oct 20, 2004
9,763
1
0
Did you read the article? It's saying that returns on humanitarian aid is substantially greater than for climate change... Spend $1 on AIDS prevention and you get a return of $40 (an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure). While you get 2-25 cents worth out of $1 spent on climate change.

Even the most radical climate change amelioration projects end up reducing CO2 emissions by a few percent.
 

krunchykrome

Lifer
Dec 28, 2003
13,413
1
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Originally posted by: FelixDeKat
Worlds worst "bottomless pits" :

1) Africa spending (third world in general)

2) Education spending (trillions spent, nothing ever gained)

3) Tie : Welfare / Social Security / Defense spending

:thumbsup:
 

mercanucaribe

Banned
Oct 20, 2004
9,763
1
0
Btw, Bjorn is notorious in the geological and climatological community.

The DCSD cited The Skeptical Environmentalist for:

Fabrication of data;
Selective discarding of unwanted results (selective citation);
Deliberately misleading use of statistical methods;
Distorted interpretation of conclusions;
Plagiarism;
Deliberate misinterpretation of others' results.


I remember reading about his book about 3 years ago. I was intrigued until I found out that he fabricated a lot of statistics. That doesn't mean that what he's saying now is not true.
 

mercanucaribe

Banned
Oct 20, 2004
9,763
1
0
Originally posted by: FelixDeKat
Worlds worst "bottomless pits" :

1) Africa spending (third world in general)

2) Education spending (trillions spent, nothing ever gained)

3) Tie : Welfare / Social Security / Defense spending

You're right. Money is better spent on HDTVs and PS3s than feeding starving children with swolen worm filled bellies.
 

Aharami

Lifer
Aug 31, 2001
21,294
148
106
i disagree. not everything should be dictated by economy. keeping earth habitable in the long run (reversing the effects of global warming) will always be an uphill battle and will not always be the best economic choice. But if we dont do anything about it, our children wont have a place to live
 

FelixDeCat

Lifer
Aug 4, 2000
29,162
2,034
126
Originally posted by: mercanucaribe
Originally posted by: FelixDeKat
Worlds worst "bottomless pits" :

1) Africa spending (third world in general)

2) Education spending (trillions spent, nothing ever gained)

3) Tie : Welfare / Social Security / Defense spending

You're right. Money is better spent on HDTVs and PS3s than feeding starving children with swolen worm filled bellies.

Actually youre right. Its better spent (after being taxed away from us) on waste, fraud, graft, abuse, corruption and new palaces for dictators. :thumbsup:
 

Turin39789

Lifer
Nov 21, 2000
12,219
8
81
Originally posted by: FelixDeKat
Worlds worst "bottomless pits" :

1) Africa spending (third world in general)

2) Education spending (trillions spent, nothing ever gained)

3) Tie : Welfare / Social Security / Defense spending

Regime change?
 

Lonyo

Lifer
Aug 10, 2002
21,939
6
81
Well one way to reduce global warming is to be sensible, i.e. conserve power etc.
That means doing simple things like using energy efficient appliances, turning things off etc.
These things don't require money, they in fact SAVE money (you use less power, you pay less money to the power company). Recycling is another.

If done on a large scale they can mean less damage to the environment and peoples pockets. Sure it may not be a huge change, but it's a small change, and it's free.


Also, on the flip side, there is a new report out in the UK saying:
"For every £1 invested now we can save £5, or possibly more, by acting now.
So, there is bang for the buck according to other studies.