Archive for December, 2006

It looks certain that some time in the coming year the number of city-dwellers will exceed the number of those who live in the countryside. It will be the first time in human history that most of the world’s population will be urban. According to an article in today’s Independent a report from the Worldwatch […]

The Christian Science Monitor provides a typical example of how an increasing number of problems are being viewed through the prism of climate change. An article on Uganda looks at recent conflicts between the semi-nomadic Karimojong and the Ugandan army. It goes on to quote an environmentalist activist as if she was a neutral expert: […]

If there is any doubt that Bono is an establishment figure – and there really should not be – then his honorary knighthood should erase it. Tony Blair’s open letter to the U2 lead singer, on the official Number 10 website, is particularly telling. It confirms the key role Bono played in selling the official […]

The Economist’s Christmas double issue includes a comment and a special report on the debate on happiness and economics. Its comment makes the correct point, if a little coyly, that increasing affluence is immensely beneficial even though it is not guaranteed to bring joy. The special report discusses the work of some of the most […]

Brave New World

In: Uncategorized

19 Dec 2006

On rereading Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, his dystopian novel first published in 1932, I found some fascinating contemporary echoes. Obviously Huxley was writing at the height of the Great Depression of the 1930s when it looked like capitalism was on the verge of collapse. But a society in which happiness is compulsory looks like […]

George Monbiot, Guardian columnist and environmental campaigner, has taken offence at my review of his book Heat in Fund Strategy (reproduced in my 13 November entry). I have published a letter to the editor which I have reproduced below. There follows my response along with an additional comment. Dear Sir Daniel Ben-Ami’s review of my […]

This week Fund Strategy published a cover story by me on the economics of climate change. Unfortunately it is too long to fit on this blog and there is no direct internet link. However, I have pasted one of the boxes below: The discussion on the economics of climate change is typically steeped in the […]

Yesterday spiked published an article by me about the panic on household debt levels in Britain. To read the piece click here.

There follows a comment by me on Chinese economic development from the 11 December issue of Fund Strategy. One of the few interesting things in Gordon Brown’s generally dull pre-Budget report speech was his reference to China. He started with some figures that will not be a surprise to anyone who follows the economic fortunes […]

A new pamphlet from Policy Exchange, an independent think tank, puts the case for a scientific enlightenment. Science versus Superstition, edited by Jim Panton and Oliver Marc Hartwich, includes chapters on the precautionary principle, the anti-nuclear movement and climate change. It can be downloaded from the internet: here.