Archive for January, 2007

In response to my recent spiked essay on the paradox of prosperity I have been sent two interesting-looking references. Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Utility (Imprint Academic 2006) is by the father and son team of Anthony Kenny (philosopher and former master of Balliol college, Oxford) and Charles Kenny (World Bank economist). More details […]

Another sign of the shift in the climate change debate towards a “pro-mitigation” consensus (see dispatch of 15 August 2006). Exxon, often reviled by environmentalists, has subtly shifted its position according to todays’s Wall Street Journal Europe (subscription required to read articles): “The changes in Exxon’s words and actions are nuanced. The oil giant continues […]

My spiked essay on the “paradox of prosperity” today features on the excellent Arts & Letters Daily website.

The British government is proving itself “plane stupid” in relation to air travel. Ian Pearson, an environment minister, launched an attack on the airline industry for its attitude to climate change in the Guardian on Friday. He said Ryanair represented “the irresponsible face of capitalism” and said the attitude of the main American airlines was […]

Spiked has published my essay on the myth of the “paradox of prosperity”. Growth sceptics make great play of the fact that, above a certain threshold, economic growth does not seem to make people happier. But who promised it would? Whatever people’s subjective feelings the rise of popular prosperity is immensely beneficial. And wanting even […]

I will be speaking at a seminar on Amartya Sen’s seminal Development as Freedom at 7pm on 24 January at the University of Westminster. The book is probably the most eloquent statement of the case for downplaying the importance of economic growth in the development process. Not only is Sen a top academic, with a […]

Science about Science, an independent charity, has produced an excellent leaflet with scientists debunking some of the pseudo-scientific claims made by celebrities. For instance, David Baddiel, Melinda Messenger and Sharron Davies have all complained that their bodies contain dangerous chemicals. What they neglect to mention is that the exposure is so tiny it will not […]