Ethanol is among the "poor solutions to high-profile problems" researcher Bjorn Lomborg blasts in the Wall Street Journal. According to calculations by his Copenhagen Consensus, “carbon mitigation policies” return only 90 cents for every dollar spent; in contrast, he writes, $1 billion spent on tuberculosis would result in an “annual economic benefit” of $30 billion.
Lomborg’s premise is simple: spend smart. “Acknowledging that some investments shouldn't be our top priority isn't the same as saying that the challenges don't exist,” he writes. “It simply means working out how to do the most good with our limited resources.” Economically, the Iraq war pays back 9 cents on every dollar; preventing civil wars could make $9 out of every greenback.