Commentary & Opinion
Focus on Global Warming Can Distract From Global Health
December 7, 2009
In a Wall Street Journal opinion piece, Bjorn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, looks at climate groups' claim that melting ice on Mount Kilimanjaro is an urgent problem. "Climate activists claim the receding ice is evidence of the need for developed countries to reduce carbon output. Actually, the glaciers on Mount Kilimanjaro have been receding since 1890," according to research published in the International Journal of Climatology, Lomborg writes. "Even if some of their claims are questionable, climate activists have managed to promote local tourism and have done a great job at bringing the world's attention to the mountain's glaciers. But they are doing a poor job at bringing attention to the actual people of Tanzania," according to Lomborg.
He writes about local resident Mary Thomas, an HIV-positive widow whose husband died of AIDS. "For Mrs. Thomas, arguments over the state of the ice are irrelevant. When she was asked by a Copenhagen Consensus Center researcher what donors and the Tanzanian government should do, she doesn't think for long. 'Education is the first priority,' she says, 'and it should provide proper understanding of HIV and reduce the stigma. The next priority is micro-finance so people can have the chance to become self-reliant.' As she puts it, 'There is no need for ice on the mountain if there is no people around because of HIV/AIDS'" (12/6).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.