Josie Pagani with a progressive take on global politics post Covid-19
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Saturday, 20 June, 2020
Bjorn Lomborg is an author and political scientist who first came to international prominence for his book, The Skeptical Environmentalist. He is the president of the Copenhagen Consensus Centre. His new book, False Alarm: How Climate Change Panic Costs Us Trillions, Hurts the Poor, and Fails to Fix the Planet is available from July on Amazon. He says the real political challenges that will be faced in very poor developing countries will be the cost-benefit question of stamping out the virus versus having a virus that kills many people, and is very serious. He compares the costs and benefits of preventing deaths from HIV-AIDS in Malawi where an estimated 4000 people could be saved from HIV AIDS for every one saved from coronavirus. Bjorn believes a moderate lockdown probably makes more sense in the rich world compared to an extreme lockdown, which would be much more costly and probably won't save many more people --although it may turn out to be the right policy in New Zealand as a remote island. But if we don't have a difficult conversation about costs and benefits of the choices we face, that doesn't mean priorities and choices go away.