Archive for November, 2008

Belatedly caught up with the BBC TV Horizon programme on Jimmy’s GM Food Fight (as I write there are still 23 days left to watch it on BBC iPlayer). It provided an unexpectedly good primer to the debate about genetically modified (GM) crops (or GMOs as they are known in America). The presenter was Jimmy […]

An article on America’s Thanksgiving festival as a celebration of abundance and prosperity.

A critique of Barack Obama’s “Green New Deal” from a free market perspective from I do not agree with all of it but it makes some valid points.

The following is my latest comment from Fund Strategy. The proposed bail-out of Detroit’s big three car manufacturers raises several potential problems. For a start it raises the question of what capitalism means. Generally market economies are characterised by substantial private sectors. The state usually plays a role in the economy but its ownership of […]

Apocalypse porn

In: Uncategorized

23 Nov 2008

Two more examples of the popularity of the post-apocalyptic genre. This evening the BBC Survivors programme – a remake of a 1970s series – was first aired. It is the cheery tale of a world in which a global flu pandemic has killed 90% of the population. This week also saw the launch in Britain […]

A couple of particularly interesting pieces in this week’s Economist (22 November): * An article on the creation of a Committee on Climate Change, chaired by the ubiquitous Adair Turner, modelled on the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee. In other words it will give Britain’s green pledges the force of law. They will be […]

An article in the Christian Science Monitor (19 November) on how an opinion poll in 21 countries shows support for more use of renewable energy sources even if it means higher prices in the short term. It talks favourably of President-elect Barack Obama’s plans to create jobs through the development of “clean technology” as well […]

A thick, glossy magazine caught my eye in the newsagent. The winter 2008 Davos Edition of The New Economy has a polar bear on the front cover along with a main cover line proclaiming: “Standing on the edge: Why economic growth is bad for the planet. The cover section includes articles by Herman Daly (veteran […]

Today’s Wall Street Journal has an interview with Bhutan’s first elected prime minister. Inevitably it touches on the Himalayan kingdom’s much lauded emphasis on pursuing Gross National Happiness rather than GDP. What Jigmi Y Thinley says is pretty anodyne. What is more notable is that he became the first democratically elected prime minister only this […]

Even Latin America seems to be getting in on the happiness obsession. A study by the Inter-American Development Bank says – if you can believe the headlines – that fast economic growth damages life satisfaction. Usually the results of such surveys, once they are subject to close scrutiny, are not as straightforward as they appear.