Archive for December, 2009

I am taking a break over Christmas so this is my last post for a few days. I would like to take this opportunity to wish my readers a Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year. I look forward to renewing the fight against growth scepticism in 2010.

The cover story of this week’s Economist is on the discrediting of the idea of progress. It is an astute piece overall but better on the benefits of progress than explaining its contemporary unpopularity. On the gains resulting from economic growth and the development of science it argues that: “For aeons people lived to the […]

I have discovered that the European Union is backing research in ecological economics as well as related campaigns by non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The Civil Society Engagement with ECological Economics (CEECEC) is coordinated by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) and involves organisations in Europe and beyond. CEECEC is clearly intent on promoting green thinking rather […]

Attacks on the hypocrisy of delegates at the Copenhagen climate change summit are misplaced. It may well be true that they used 1,200 limos, 140 private and ate caviar wedges but to call them hypocrites fundamentally misunderstands the character of environmentalism. Green thinking is essentially a defence of elite privilege. The elite see its own […]

I have belatedly caught on to a new angle of attack against economic growth. According to John Kampfner’s Freedom for Sale, published in September, many countries have agreed to forsake democracy in return for higher growth. Kampfner’s book is reviewed in The National, an Abu Dhabi publication, by George Scialabba. As far as I can […]

George Monbiot’s column in yesterday’s Guardian at least had the virtue of drawing out what is too often implicit in the discussion of how to deal with climate change. The veteran environmental campaigner talked of a battle to redefine humanity: “Humanity is no longer split between conservatives and liberals, reactionaries and progressives, though both sides […]

Development is increasingly discussed in relation to security. Rather than considering how to promote economic growth much of the debate is about how external actors should intervene to help resolve conflict. In line with this trend the World Bank’s World Development Report 2011 will be on the theme of conflict, security and development. The bank […]

Barack Obama argued during the presidential campaign that some economic growth should be sacrificed for fairness according to this blog post on the Forbes website. The remarks were evidently made last year during an interview with Charlie Gibson of ABC news. Unfortunately I cannot find an original source to verify this claim.

Bjørn Lomborg, writing in Finance & Development, argues that investment in technology, rather than cuts in carbon emissions, is the best way to tackle climate change.

This week, virtually unnoticed, the British government announced an intervention into the minds of the country’s inhabitants. Although it was pitched as a strategy to deal with mental illness it has implications for the whole of British society although it is particularly aimed at the poor. The official New Horizons website run by the Department […]