Archive for July, 2009

The following comment by me appeared in the latest Fund Strategy (20 July). The current Economist asks an important question: what went wrong with economics? Unfortunately, it comes up with superficial answers. The magazine identifies three common criticisms of economics. That it helped cause the crisis, that it failed to spot it and that it […]

While watching Robert Glennon being interviewed on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show I was struck by his miserabilism. Apparently Unquenchable, the new book by the Arizona law professor, bemoans the fact that the current generation of Americans have access to water without having to think about it. What should be seen as a mark of […]

New links

In: Uncategorized

19 Jul 2009

I have added a couple of new websites to the links library in the left hand column. They are Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD and Indur Goklany’s website.

For the time being I will limit my comments on this evenings debate at the RSA on consumerism (see 7 July post). Once the audio feed of the event is available on the RSA website I will post a link to this site. I will also post my review of Neal Lawson’s book when it […]

Happy mystery

In: Uncategorized

13 Jul 2009

A wry piss-take of the New Economics Foundation’s Happy Planet Index (see posts of 7 and 11 August 2006) by Professor Wilfred Beckerman in a letter in Saturday’s Financial Times: Sir, Regarding the “Happy Planet Index” that ranks countries according to their happiness and lack of environmental degradation (July 4): it showed that “among the […]

The following comment by me appeared in the latest Fund Strategy (13 July). The government’s white paper on financial regulation is a dangerous distraction from the real challenges facing the economy. It is more an exercise in scapegoating bankers than getting to grips with Britain’s economic problems. Nearly one year since the collapse of Lehman […]

Perhaps the biggest change in growth scepticism in the three years since I started writing this blog is the more overt character of Malthusianism. Openly expressing fears about overpopulation has become a mainstream preoccupation rather than confined to the fringes. Best-selling authors such as Thomas Friedman and Jeffrey Sachs have no compunction about talking about […]

The latest Worldbytes programme by Worldwrite is available online. I was particularly struck by the chill out desk item by Joe Kaplinsky on deforestation – a problem which obsesses the like of campaigners such as Prince Charles. Kaplinsky presents the problem as a symptom of a lack of rural development in contrast to the green […]

For those who are interested in me speaking on the theme of my book I will be debating the merits of consumerism at the RSA in London at 6pm on Thursday 16 July. The event is free but it is best to book in advance as discussions on this topic tend to fill up fast.

The following comment by me appeared in the latest Fund Strategy (6 July). Last week saw the publication of some of the scariest numbers so far in this recession. Britain suffered its worst quarterly fall in GDP since 1958: a year when Harold Macmillan was prime minister and the Soviet Union was launching Sputnik satellites […]