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What to do first???

Recently, I read an article written by Bjørn Lomborg , who is heading Copenhagan Consensus Centre. The centre took an effort to bring together leading economists to evaluate the cost benefit analysis of solutions offered for problems facing the world, ranging from climate change to communicable diseases.

He recently participated in a BBC Radio programm and wrote an article titled, Wasteful efforts to curb global warming . It is quite interesting to note that a pound 14 billion spending on AIDS/ HIV combat will prevent 28 million new cases. It translates into 40 pounds of benefit (social good) for every one pound spent.

However, Kyoto Protocol which would cost 80 billion pounds every year for the rest of the century would give a social good of 50 penny for every pound spent. He sums up his argument, "Breaking the circle of poverty by addressing the most pressing issues of disease, hunger and polluted water, will not only do obvious good, but also make people less vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Not talking about priorities does not make the need to prioritise go away. Instead, the choices only become less clear, less democratic, and less efficient. A far better option is embracing this simple idea. Rather than questioning prioritisation itself, we should be asking: what should we do first?".

Certainly, for a developing country like India tackling communicable diseases, providing healthcare and sanitation facilities, or implementing the Right to Education and Right to Shelter should rank much higher than spending on Kyoto related things.

Comments

John samuel said…
I think there is a "tug of war" going between controlling the global warming" and controlling the AIDS. The health agencies around the world should plan wisely and deal.
Abhinav said…
john - i forgot how informative your views on the world are, and how varied your knwoledge is, an how much i can learn from it... this was a timely reminder!
im reminded of sriram's post on climate change on outlookbusiness.com
its amazing how such a simple issue like climate change has such deep undercurrents.
great stuff man.

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