Archive for June, 2008

I will be speaking at a session on China and the environment at the Battle for China event on 12 July in London.

The May edition of Scientific American includes a useful primer on the ethics and economics of climate change by John Broome. It includes references to further discussion of the subject by the likes of William Nordhaus, the IPCC and Nicholas Stern. The New York Review of Books (12 June) has also recently carried an article […]

A roundtable of Nobel laureates hosted by Michael Milken (a financier, philanthropist and man who has served time in jail for securities violations) unwittingly gave an insight into the current food crisis. It seems that even Nobel prize-winners do not think it is possible to transform agriculture in the third world as it would lead […]

Adair Turner, to take up the position of chairman of Britain’s Financial Services Authority (FSA – the main financial regulator) in September, is an archetype “eco-toff”. He is a multi-millionaire member of the establishment with strong environmentalist leanings: * Toff: chairman of the Cambridge University Conservative Association (later defected to the Social Democratic Party during […]

Martin Wolf, the chief economics commentator of the Financial Times, argued in a feature in yesterday’s paper that sustaining economic growth is the century’s big challenge. The article, which was partly a review of the new book by Jeffrey Sachs and partly a discussion of the recent growth commission report, started by asking: “Is it […]

A useful article by Rob Johnston in Tuesday’s spiked on why it is wrong to romanticise the lifestyles of indigenous peoples.

The following comment by me appeared in yesterday’s issue Fund Strategy. Only a few years ago the emerging markets were considered suitable only for the young and adventurous. The average investor would have at most a few per cent of emerging market stocks in his portfolio. Times are changing fast. In recent months Fund Strategy […]

The current discussion of the Tata Nano, India’s “people’s car”, reminds me of the brilliant “sculptor” advert by Peugeot a few years ago for its 206. Whoever made the commercial, with a catchy backing track by Bhangra Knights, caught the popular aspiration for a better life in a clever and witty way. Only as an […]

The following comment by me appeared in yesterday’s issue Fund Strategy. If demography was key then Zimbabwe, with a median age of only 20.3 years, according to the Central Intelligence Agency, would be a haven of prosperity. Yet it is Africa’s worst-performing economy by far. India, too, would have been more dynamic in the past […]

I was planning to watch The Devil Wears Primark, yet another documentary on Indian sweatshops (see posts of 18 April 2008 and 14 May 2008), on Channel 4 this evening. However, despite being trailed last week, it seems to have mysteriously disappeared from the TV listings. Perhaps satanic forces associated with the cheap clothes retailer […]