Posts Tagged ‘sustainability

Watch the latest items on the Worldbytes internet television channel including a report on how Mumbai is embracing consumerism, an item challenging sustainable development and a defence of the freedom to film in public.

Anyone who still believes the global elite consists of fire-breathing market fundamentalists should look at the programme for this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos. One of the main themes of this year’s event at the exclusive Swiss ski resort was sustainability with other sessions on business ethics, the economics of happiness, rethinking values and […]

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 […]

A paper by Ha-Joon Chang (PDF), a development economist at Cambridge University, makes a valuable point about the redefinition of development: “the currently dominant discourse on ‘development’ really lacks any real notion of development in the sense of transformation of productive capabilities and structure (and the accompanying social changes”. However, to my mind he still […]

Another bastion

In: Uncategorized

21 Jun 2009

An article by Madeleine Bunting on the Guardian website today alerted me to the existence of another bastion of growth scepticism in Britain. Evidently Surrey University has a Resolve programme, sponsored by the Economic and Social Research Council, whose aim is “to unravel the complex links between lifestyles, values and the environment”. It is designed […]

Many commentators, including many greens themselves and free market critics, are under the false impression that environmentalism is in some senses a left wing outlook. But this useful article by Geoffrey Lean in today’s Telegraph shows how mainstream conservatives have often backed environmentalist measures: • Angela Merkel, Germany’s conservative chancellor, was instrumental in passing the […]

Many commentators have made the correct point that the next British government, whichever political stripe, will have to make public spending cuts. Forecasts of economic growth, tax revenue and debt repayments suggest cuts will be substantial. What the pundits have missed is that the reluctance of political parties to be open about austerity is consistent […]

This week’s Economist has an article about how Colombia’s constitutional court has officially recognised scavengers at a rubbish dump in Cali, the country’s third city, as entrepreneurs. For the free market magazine this is a wonderful example of popular capitalism in action. It approvingly quotes Martin Medina, who has written a book on the subject, […]

A sophisticated attack on consumerism from a particularly influential source. Amitai Etzioni, a former president of the American Sociological Association, argues in an article in The New Republic (17 June) for a cultural change in America: “What needs to be eradicated, or at least greatly tempered, is consumerism: the obsession with acquisition that has become […]

A hugely revealing essay attacking growth by James Gustave Speth for America’s Schumacher Society. Speth is, among other things, a former head of the United Nations Development Programme (1993-9). Yet a man who was entrusted with the leadership of one of the world’s key development institutions is blatantly anti-growth: “Economic growth may be the world’s […]