The Key To Expedient Progress

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I have only one goal with this post.

It’s to get you to listen to an interview between Dr. Jordan B. Peterson and Dr. Bjorn Lomborg called “How To Make The World Better. Really.”

If you have already decided you will check it out, you can stop reading. They say what I’m about to say in richer and more vivid detail. However, if you need further convincing, please continue.

The Key: Rank Order

Let’s say you want to pick out a new car. How would you make that decision? You will first have to identify the sober reality of two things:

  1. What will the car be used for?
  2. What kind of car does my budget allow?

If you live in a snowy area, you will be more likely to get a car with 4×4 capabilities because you will need to drive it in inclement weather. If you are the mother of 4 children, you will likely want a minivan with a high safety rating. And, if you are wealthy and going through a middle-aged crisis, you will likely want to throw your money at a sports car.

The point is, different cars are the right choice for different people with different budgets and needs.

In order to find the right car for your needs you will need to rank order the things that are most important to you. If you don’t take the time to rank order your needs, you may end up in a situation where a mother of 4 buys a sports car. This will constrain her overall budget and lead to long-term transportation issues for her family.

When it comes to issues facing our globe, the same problem solving skills can be applied. There are a lot of issues with which we have to deal. Dr. Lomborg and his team have done the difficult work of rank ordering these issues. It’s a first draft and discussion will need to be had about how we can improve on his team’s iteration. But this is a first and exciting step in the right direction.

It’s also a necessary step if we are to avoid longterm consequences. Brash and inadequate solutions will lead to much worse than a mother of 4 driving around in a sports car.

Genuine progress can be made on our planet (as we’ve witnessed over the last several decades). But the key to expediting that progress is identifying where to invest our limited resources in solving the problems we face. To that end, I applaud Dr. Lomborg for his work and I hope you check it out.

P.S. Their conversation is also available in podcast form.
P.P.S. If anyone has a connection to Dr. Lomborg, I would be thrilled to host a discussion with him on my podcast.
P.P.S. If you are looking for low-cost, high-impact ways to make the world better right now, check out my organization: