Archive for November, 2008

Evidently an influential group of American business leaders is also backing what is essentially part of the “Green New Deal”. It believes that cutting carbon emissions can be combined with investment in new technology and infrastructure to create jobs and revenue. The US Climate Action Partnership includes: Alcoa, AIG, Boston Scientific, BP America, Caterpillar, ConocoPhillips, […]

Some genuinely excellent news. A European medical team has transplanted a windpipe made from a patient’s own stem cells. This avoids the greatest difficulty in relation to transplants – overcoming the problem of rejection. No doubt such techniques will take time to develop fully but they should not be held up by moralistic opposition to […]

Jeffrey Sachs’ call for a government bail-out of General Motors, the most troubled of America’s car-makers, in yesterday’s Washington Post is in line with the drive for a “green new deal” (see 7 November 2008 post). He concludes his article by arguing: “We face an unprecedented financial calamity, energy crisis and environmental threat. A vibrant, […]

Real Clear Markets has picked up my Fund Strategy cover story on the global financial crisis.

The following is my latest comment from Fund Strategy. I have also written the cover story which reviews the financial crisis so far Another day, another U-turn. Western politicians seem to be in a competition over who can do the most. Unfortunately it is the rest of us who suffer as a result of their […]

William Easterly, a professor at New York University and one of the world’s leading conservative development economists, has done a belated review (PDF) of Paul Collier’s The Bottom Billion ( “Foreign aid goes military”, New York Review of Books 55(19), 4 December 2008). Easterly looks at the increasing trend to link development to calls for […]

The last programme in the series of the BBC Radio 4 Iconoclasts programme looked at the debate around third world sweatshops. Jagdish Bhagwati, a professor of economics at Columbia University, argued that sweatshops should not be criticised for paying poor wages although he conceded it was wrong to have poor working conditions. He emphasised that […]

Scientific American has an extensive feature on geoengineering in its November issue including references for further study. It looks at such possible technologies as injecting sulphur dioxide into the upper stratosphere, spraying seawater in the troposphere and building huge “blinds” in space to act as a sunshade. At least the magazine takes the discussion seriously […]

Rob Killick reminds us in a review of the Beider Meinhoff Complex on spiked that anti-materialism was a significant trend in 1960s radicalism. He portrays the leaders of the 1960s Germany terrorist gang as an extreme part of a broader trend which saw itself: “as part of an international movement of opposition to imperialism, but […]

Given the hysteria around climate change it might be expected that the news of a rock that absorbs vast quantities of carbon dioxide should get more publicity, According to a story in the Economist (15 November): “There is … a rock that is happy to gobble it up, and according to the latest research its […]