This Perspective column was first published in Monday’s edition of Fund Strategy. Substantial rises in food prices tend to bring out the worst in today’s generally green-tinged market pundits. Typically they issue doom-mongering warnings about the dangers of rising population and greater prosperity before advising investors how to take advantage of the situation. This is [...]
There follows the opening paragraphs to my Fund Strategy cover story on the Arab Spring. The full article is available here Rising numbers of educated youth, surging food prices and a crisis in the legitimacy of regimes stoked unrest in Arab countries. But the region faces uncertainty and the process of change is likely to [...]
I have spent the past two weeks or so taking a break and thinking about future plans. More on the latter when the arrangements are firmer but my immediate priority is my debate in Birmingham on Tuesday evening. In the meantime there follows some interesting references I have stumbled across in the past few days: [...]
The latest spiked Review of Books includes an extended version of my review of Anatole Kaletsky’s Capitalism 4.0. Several other pieces in the issue are relevant to growth scepticism including reviews by Sean Collins (on Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom), Brendan O’Neill (on Anthony Burgess’ The Wanting Seed) and Rob Lyons (on Simon Fairlie’s book on meat [...]
Evidently Oxfam GB is planning a campaign on “food justice in a resource constrained world”. It is unlikely to be blatantly Malthusian in the sense of openly advocating population control. However, it looks set to start from the Malthusian premise of natural limits to economic growth.
The world’s lungs. The Economist. Fairly upbeat comment piece on the prospects for the world’s forests linked to an Economist survey on forestry. No free locavore lunch, Wall Street Journal, by Virginia Postrel. A critical article on the local food movement. Serving up some home truths about food, spiked, by Rob Lyons. A review of [...]
Me human, you chimp, spiked, by Tim Black. Review of Helene Guldburg’s seminal Just Another Ape? The greening of Godzilla, American Interest Online, Walter Russell Mead’s blog. On the apparent shift of environmentalists from being against science to being its most avid supporter. Grow your own, Culture Wars, by Karl Sharro. A critique of the [...]
Progressives against progress, City Journal, by Fritz Siegel. How American liberals have turned against progress since 1970. Genome breakthrough heralds dawn of new era for agriculture, Independent, by Steve Connor. The isolation of the genome of the wheat plant could have hugely positive implications for agriculture. Growth in a Buddhist economy, Project Syndicate, by Jeffrey [...]
“Food security: feeding the world in 2050” is the theme of the September 27 issue of The Philosophical Transaction of the Royal Society B (biological sciences). The full text of this comprehensive review of the subject, including numerous articles by leading scientists, is freely available.
This is my latest comment from Fund Strategy magazine. Do rises in affluence, population or meat consumption necessarily lead to increases in food prices? It is a fair bet, judging by the discussion of the surge in global food prices, that most people would answer “yes”. The correct answer of course is “no”. The key [...]
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