Archive for May, 2010

A study in the Lancet, a British medical journal, shows that worldwide mortality of children under five has fallen significantly since 1970. The bad news is that many countries are unlikely to meet the relatively modest Millenium Development Goal (MDG) target of a two thirds reduction in mortality between 1990 and 2015. According to the […]

Videos of note

In: Uncategorized

23 May 2010

“The Kitchen Debate” on food policy,, Corby Kummer (The Atlantic) versus Robert Paarlberg (author of Food Politics). A cooling trend, Boston Globe, Kerry Emanuel versus Richard Lindzen. Is it OK to be optimistic?  WNYC, radio interview with Matt Ridley. Other articles by Ridley this week include Cheer up: life only gets better in the Sunday […]

The British edition of this week’s Financial Times leads on a call from David Laws, the chief secretary to the Treasury, a new age of austerity in the public finances. His statement marks a significant shift as it is the first time the government has spoken openly in such terms. Laws, a Liberal Democrat, will […]

Raymond Tallis, writing in yesterday’s Times (London), sounds a cautionary note over last Thursday’s claims of the creation of artificial life in the laboratory: “The challenge of creating genuinely artificial life is much greater than that of getting new DNA to hitch a ride in existing cells. The enormous complexity of living cells — with […]

The Economist often has useful material for use against the growth sceptics’ case but it tends to concede many of their fundamental assumptions. For example, in the comment related to this week’s special report on water it accepts the premise that “nature has decreed that the supply of water is fixed”. It also endorses the […]

Life and death

In: Uncategorized

20 May 2010

An astonishing article on Reuters should have received far more attention. Evidently scientists are starting to tackle ageing itself rather than its symptoms. Until now scientists have focused on treating age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, dementia, diabetes and heart disease. But a more productive approach could be to treat ageing as a disease. Evidently […]

James Heartfield, writing it today’s Guardian, outlines a model study of one of the many damaging consequences of growth scepticism: the failure to build sufficient homes in Britain. He summarises the process as follows: “first, the announcement that there will be millions of new homes built; second, outcry from conservationists about the threat to our […]

An important article in the New York Times magazine on the debate about GDP as a measure of progress and well-being. The rise and fall of GDP by Jon Gertner is based on interviews with many of the key players in the debate including several members of the recent Sarkozy commission on the issue: Joseph […]

This is my latest comment from Fund Strategy. Last week saw a raging debate on the other side of the Atlantic which was, at least to us economics geeks, hilarious. The row focused on the thorny subject of whether America is Greece. Not in a literal sense, of course, but in relation to its fiscal […]

’Making a difference’: volunteer tourism and development (only abstract available on internet), Tourism Recreation Research 35(1), by Jim Butcher and Peter Smith. A look at changing perceptions of development through the debate about volunteer tourism.  I have added this reference, along with Jim Butcher’s 2002 book on The Moralisation of Tourism and his Ecotourism, NGOs […]