|Wrong about "Copenhagen Consensus"
Start of "Copenhagen Consensus" theme
The Copenhagen Consensus conference suffers from the following flaws:
- The earmarked sum is so small that only projects which give a high rate of return on invested capital in a short time will be selected.
- In order to compare projects, a rate of discount of 5 percent was applied for climate mitigation, whereas the rate for AIDS prevention was 3 percent. This is contrary to the principle that rates of discount should be lower for longer time spans, and that a rate as high as 5 percent cannot be used on time horizons larger than about 30 years.
- The high discount rate means that projects with a long time horizon will automatically get bottom priority. Therefore it was certain from the beginning of the conference that climate mitigation would receive bottom priority.
- The selection of panel participants was biased towards economists that do not favour expenditures on combating climate change.
- The ranking was subjective, based on the panel experts´ own opinions on the world´s problems, and not directly on benefit/cost ratios.
The criticism concerning the discount rate had been presented to Lomborg many times before the conference. To no avail, of course.
All in all, it is evident that the whole exercise had been rigged. The conclusion was determined in advance by Lomborg. The setting of priorities was humbug.
Lomborg´s sponsor and loyal supporter, The Economist, wrote in an article: ". . This gave rise to suspicion in some quarters that the whole exercise had been rigged." (6). Experience of Lomborg, and his supporters, shows that they themselves often make great play with what we should be suspicious of. When they strongly deny what could be suspected or could be criticised, this may be taken as a sign that the suspicions are warranted. The more vehement the denial, the closer we are to the crucial point.
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