Archive for September, 2009

Duncan Green of Oxfam explicitly calls for the rationing of economic growth in his blog today. He summarises the conclusions of his talk to a Quaker economic conference as follows: “if you want to maximise happiness (a utilitarian argument which offends the rights-based people, I know, but not a bad start) AND prevent catastrophic global […]

David Brooks, a conservative columnist for the New York Times, has a column in today’s paper on the “next culture war” which neatly sums up the emerging orthodoxy on moral limits to growth. “If there is to be a movement to restore economic values, it will have to cut across the current taxonomies. Its goal […]

I have belatedly stumbled across an article from the Times (London) published on 24 May on how prominent billionaires fear global overpopulation. It describes a meeting at the home of Sir Paul Nurse, a British Nobel prize biochemist and president of the private Rockefeller University, in Manhattan on May 5 involving Bill Gates among others: […]

This is my comment from this week’s Fund Strategy. Last week’s Comment drew attention to the growing tensions between the world’s main economic powers. Within a few days things were unravelling even faster than expected at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh. Certainly the rhetoric was one of peace and harmony. In his address to the […]

Paul Krugman expressed the mainstream line when he argued in a column in the New York Times on Thursday that “it’s easy being green”. For Krugman the cost of cutting carbon emissions will be minimal. His argument rests on two propositions. First, bolstering energy efficiency should cut wastage and therefore end up making consumers richer. […]

Evidently the debate on GDP goes even further than I assumed. I was sent a message by Alexander Dill of the Global Commons Index in Basel who runs the website. He pointed to an August 2009 report by the European Commission on GDP and Beyond. Dill has himself written a paper on Wealth Beyound […]

Real Clear Markets has published my latest comment from Fund Strategy.

This is my comment from this week’s Fund Strategy. No doubt the G20 summit of world leaders in Pittsburgh will come out with a pious declaration about the need for international cooperation. Most likely too it will blame the bankers for the economic crisis of the past year. But it will skirt over some of […]

A couple more examples of the trend to interpreting questions through the prism of climate change: * Some 18 of the world’s professional medical organisations argue that the failure to reach agreement at the climate change summit in Copenhagen will lead to a “global health catastrophe”. In this case health is not only being linked […]

In the run-up to the Copenhagen summit in December there is no doubt going to be more of an obsession with climate change than ever. One area in which this is clear is in relation to development. A couple of key recent reports on the subject have made a concerted effort to redefine it in […]