Saturday, June 11, 2005

The Copenhagen Consensus, Aid to the Poor, and Global Warming

In 2004, a panel comprising some of the world's most distinguished economic experts-- including three Nobelists--was asked to consider the following question: “What would be the best ways of advancing global welfare, and particularly the welfare of developing countries, supposing that an additional $50 billion of resources were at governments’ disposal?” The result is known as the Copenhagen Consensus. (The link is to a summary of their results.)

This morning the Wall Street Journal editorializes on the desire of Messrs. Bush and Blair to provide aid to Africa, and challenges them to consider the Copenhagen Consensus. They also point out that while in a perfect world we would try to do everything, in a imperfect world of finite resources global warming should be at the bottom of the world's priorities right now.