The Golden Age Is NowPosted: May 26, 2014
For all the world’s problems, human beings have never had it better
For City Journal, Yevgeniy Feyman writes: Bjørn Lomborg is well-known as a climate “skeptic.” He has frequently voiced concerns that money spent battling climate change could shift scarce resources away from more urgent global problems, such as malaria and HIV/AIDS. But the most recent book by the self-proclaimed “skeptical environmentalist” does more than just voice concern; it attempts to evaluate the damage caused by a variety of problems—from climate change to malnutrition to war—and project future costs related to these same issues. In How Much Have Global Problems Cost the World?, Lomborg and a group of economists conclude that, with a few exceptions, the world is richer, freer, healthier, and smarter than it’s ever been. These gains have coincided with the near-universal rejection of statism and the flourishing of capitalist principles. At a time when political figures such as New York City mayor Bill de Blasio and religious leaders such as Pope Francis frequently remind us about the evils of unfettered capitalism, this is a worthwhile message.
[Order the book “How Much have Global Problems Cost the World?: A Scorecard from 1900 to 2050″ edited by Bjørn Lomborg (Cambridge University Press) from Amazon.com
The doubling of human life expectancy is one of the most remarkable achievements of the past century. Consider, Lomborg writes, that “the twentieth century saw life expectancy rise by about 3 months for every calendar year.” The average child in 1900 could expect to live to just 32 years old; now that same child should make it to 70. This increase came during a century when worldwide economic output, driven by the spread of capitalism and freedom, grew by more than 4,000 percent. These gains occurred in developed and developing countries alike; among men and women; and even in a sense among children, as child mortality plummeted.
Why are we living so much longer? Massive improvements in public health certainly played an important role. The World Health Organization’s global vaccination efforts essentially eradicated smallpox. But this would have been impossible without the innovative methods of vaccine preservation developed in the private sector by British scientist Leslie Collier. Oral rehydration therapies and antibiotics have also been instrumental in reducing child mortality. Simply put, technological progress is the key to these gains—and market economies have liberated, and rewarded, technological innovation…(read more)
- Bjorn Lomborg: Global priorities bigger than climate change (aeroplanesandcelery.wordpress.com)
- Climate High-Sticking: The Unmanly Mann (powerlineblog.com)
- To Fight Climate Change, Frack (powerlineblog.com)
- Insensitivity Training: Mark Styen and Ezra Levant Sued by the Fraudulent Dr. ‘Hockey Stick’ (punditfromanotherplanet.com)
- Confirmed: NO GLOBAL WARMING in 17 Years and 9 Months (thegatewaypundit.com)
- Media ignores sold-out global warming ‘skeptic’ conference (dailycaller.com)