Archive for November, 2009

Nigel Lawson, a climate change sceptic and former British chancellor of the Exchequer (finance minister), has a comment piece in today’s Times (London) predicting the failure of the Copenhagen climate change summit. In it he makes the sensible point that the world’s poorer countries cannot afford to decarbonise their economies: “Switching to much more expensive […]

George F Will has a useful op-ed piece in today’s Washington Post arguing that it is a myth that fossil fuels are about to run out. He argues, among other things, that this prediction has been made many times before: “In 1914, the Bureau of Mines said that U.S. oil reserves would be exhausted by […]

Daron Acemoglu, a professor of economics at MIT, summarises contemporary theories of global inequality in an article in Esquire (of all places). In broad terms two main lines of thought are popular nowadays: those that emphasise environmental factors such as geography and weather (such as Jeffrey Sachs) or natural endowments (such as Jared Diamond) or […]

Brendan O’Neill has written an article rebutting the main Malthusian arguments. It is the opening shot in a new spiked campaign entitled “say no to neo-Malthusianism”.

The new State of the World’s Population report from the United Nations Population Fund takes what could be called a Malthusian-feminist approach to climate change. First, it assumes there is some kind of relationship between population numbers and carbon emissions. Second, it argues that “women’s empowerment”, encouraging women to have fewer children, is the solution […]

An article in USA Today reports on a Department of Agriculture study which estimates that one in six Americans – 49m people – went hungry at some point in 2008. The newspaper goes on to say that: “17 million people in the U.S. went hungry or did not eat regularly for a few days of […]

Some all too rare common sense on climate change from Nancy Birdsall and Arvind Subramanian of the Center for Global Development in an opinion piece in today’s Financial Times. The two authors go against the conventional wisdom in arguing against the primacy of cutting carbon emissions in the developing world: “But emissions are not the […]

Joel Kotkin, writing in Forbes, argues that middle-aged “progressives” in northern California are stunting economic growth at the expense of the working class and largely Hispanic population. Thanks to Sean Collins for the link.

Christian Schwägerl, writing an opinion piece in Der Spiegel, exhibits a strident moral superiority when criticising Barack Obama’s rejection of accepting binding limits on carbon emissions at the forthcoming Copenhagen summit. Schwägerl makes the worst possible criticism he can of Obama – likening him to George W Bush: “Barack Obama cast himself as a ‘citizen […]

Anyone who wants to hear leading exponents of mainstream views on economic and social issues could benefit from listening to some of the public lectures at the London School of Economics. British speakers such as Nicholas Stern on climate change and Paul Collier on Africa regularly feature as do international speakers such as Paul Krugman […]