Archive for October, 2006

Monitoring the alleged sins of modern life The naïve might assume that MP3 players, including iPods, would be welcomed by environmentalists. Virtual music does not involve manufacturing CDs or shipping them all over the world. But it should be clear by now that environmentalists are never satisfied. For example, an article by Leo Hickman, the […]

I appeared today on the Counterpoint programme on ABC Radio National in Australia talking about Bono’s Product RED initiative as well as related issues such as ethical consumption and economic development. You can listen by clicking here.

It is a sign of the times that Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank have won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize “for their efforts to create economic and social development from below” (quoting the official statement ). Yunus and the Grameen Bank he founded in Bangladesh in 1976 have pioneered the development of microfinance – providing […]

The fact that the number of Americans is predicted to hit 300 million this coming Tuesday – up from 200m in 1967 – has provoked a mixed response. Lester Brown, a veteran environmentalist, is predictably miserable. In a recent dispatch from his Earth Policy Institute he argued that: “Population growth is the ever expanding denominator […]

This morning I appeared on Sky News debating the economics of climate change with Friends of the Earth. The environmentalist group had commissioned a report from Tufts university (PDF) which argued that immediate action was needed to stop climate change becoming a catastrophic problem. My counter-argument was that the richer we are as a society […]

Madonna has found a new way of expressing herself: she is adopting a little black baby from an orphanage in Malawi. Whereas ordinary people sometimes wear white wristbands or flash American Express RED cards to express their piety the mistress of makeovers evidently needed something more. She chose a baby from the children in the […]

The United Nations is using YouTube in an attempt to win support for its official anti-poverty goals. According to yesterday’s Wall Street Journal it has got Y&R;, one of the world’s largest advertising agencies, to design videos featuring LonelyGirl15, a character in a popular web series. The videos are already being aired in the run-up […]

Today is the day the world goes into ecological overdraft, according to the lead story in today’s Independent. A report by the New Economics Foundation, in partnership with the Global Footprint Network, finds that until 9 October the world’s population was using up sustainable resources. But from now until the end of the year it […]

Brendan O’Neill has written an important article on climate change denial for spiked. The piece argues that the censorious climate around global warming is having a chilling effect on political debate and is bad for science too: “Effectively, campaigners and officials are using scientific facts – over which there is still disagreement – to shut […]

There follows a first attempt by me to discuss the economics of climate change. It is from the 2 October issue of Fund Strategy magazine. I intend to return to this topic in the near future. The consensus that cutting carbon emissions is the only way to tackle climate change is almost universal. Even the […]