On the Op-Ed pages of WSJ this morning (Nov 2), I came across a sobering thought against the backdrop of the Stern Review.
The editorial mentioned how the Stern Report had “garnered most of the press…thanks to its claim that global warming might eliminate anywhere from 5% to 20% of world economic output ‘forever’…”
But more importantly, it referred to the “other report” from the Copenhagen Consensus Center which detailed the outcome of the Copenhagen Consensus Conference in New York on 27th and 28th of October, 2006 and which hardly received any media attention.
And what was the outcome…? Unfortunately it appeared routine and humdrum…although it was anything but.
“If 24 United Nations ambassadors and other senior diplomats from countries representing 54 percent of the world’s population had their way, top priority for addressing major world challenges would be given to communicable diseases, sanitation and water, malnutrition, and education.“ As WSJ said, “the point is that, in a world with scarce resources, we can’t fix everything at once and thus need priorities”
Not only are the concerns and issues outlined above more pressing and urgent than worries about climate change, they are real and “here-and-now” as opposed to a guesstimated risk of some future catastrophe happening.
It is a pity (but a fact) that the real problems of the developing world often get eclipsed – either because no one cares (Sudan, anyone?) or they do not make for good copy (providing clean water is not sexy, warning about climate change is).
I would urge all of you to read the Copenhagen Center report and at least become aware of what present ills we face…before worrying about the sky falling on our heads tomorrow.