Archive for January, 2010

Jimmy’s Global Harvest is by far the most inspiring documentary series I have seen on British television recently. Jimmy Doherty, a farmer with a PhD in entomology, is concerned with the practical business of how farmers can boost productivity in adverse conditions (see 20 July 2008 and 30 November 2008 posts for his earlier television […]

After several critical posts some upbeat news. Der Spiegel profiles Klaus Lackner, a German geophysicist based at Columbia University, who is working on artificial trees that filter 1,000 times as much carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere as the real thing. The project is still at its prototype phase but if it worked well enough […]

After last week’s vilest ever television programme here is a contender for dumbest ever. Kevin McCloud, know in Britain for presenting television programmes on architecture, finds wisdom and happiness in Dharavi, the Mumbai slum reputed to be the largest in Asia. He argued in his Channel 4 documentary that despite the poverty he sees it […]

The Human Development Report 2010, to be published later this year, will be important to monitor to see how far it goes in redefining development. According to the report’s website: “The 2010 report aims to take this contribution significantly further by showing how placing human development at the center of our priorities changes the ways […]

This is my comment from this week’s Fund Strategy. Barring an apocalypse it looks certain there will be a general election in Britain over the next few months. Yet none of the main parties has convincing policies for the restoration of economic growth. Indeed, they all embrace policies that are likely to damage Britain’s growth […]

Listening to More Or Less or BBC Radio 4 I came across the Malthusian mathematics of Albert Bartlett. The emeritus professor of physics at the University of Colorado at Boulder argues (video) that: “The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function”. This function describes anything that is growing […]

Nico Stehr and Hans von Storch, two German professors, argue on Roger Pielke Jr’s blog that supporters of the climate change orthodoxy are increasingly open in their attacks on democracy: “Within the broad field of climatology and climate policy one is able to discern growing concerns about the virtues of democracy. It is not just […]

Those interested in American development policy should read the recent speech (PDF) by Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state, on the subject. Although the significance of various concepts has to be decoded she made six main points: * Development should be based on partnership not patronage. This seems to mean that poorer countries should strive […]

In the three and a half years I have written this blog I have come across many vile stories on growth sceptic themes. But this one from the BBC, one of the world’s most prestigious news organisations, is a contender for title of the worst ever. According to a BBC news report rising prosperity is […]

On The Road

In: Uncategorized

7 Jan 2010

Frank Furedi argues on today’s spiked that, despite appearances, Cormac McCarthy’s The Road is not the one-sidedly bleak post-apocalpytic novel it is often assumed to be. It does make some more upbeat points about the human condition. He is more equivocal about the film version. Meanwhile, a new series of Survivors, another post-apocalpytic tale from […]