Archive for December, 2006

This week’s Economist (9 December) includes some useful criticisms of the idea of “ethical food” while also making unnecessary concessions. It points out that organic food is far less intensive than traditional agriculture; so therefore more expensive and able to feed fewer people. Fairtrade discourages farmers from diversifying and local food often uses more energy […]

Today’s pre-budget report from Britain’s Treasury gives some indication of how climate change policy is likely to unfold. Policies designed to encourage behaviour modification, such as green taxes, will be quickly implemented while initiatives to develop new technology will be minimal. Among the measures discussed in Gordon Brown’s speech to parliament: * Air passenger duty […]

There follows a comment by me on household debt from the 4 December issue of Fund Strategy. Tucked away in the latest issue of a dusty journal lies a healthy corrective to the often hysterical discussion of household debt. An article in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Economic Outlook shows the debt situation […]

The cover story of this week’s Spectator is based on fascinating-sounding research by Indur Goklany, an American economist and former delegate to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In a book to be published by the Cato Institute he evidently argues that on every objective measure the human condition is improving. Naturally this does not […]