The 2010 Prix Pictet photography prize, sponsored by a Swiss private bank, will be on economic growth as a blessing and a curse. Given that the honorary president of Prix Pictet is Kofi Annan, the secretary general of the United Nations, and the chairman of this year’s jury is Professor Sir David King, a former [...]
I have an article on the gaping gap in contemporary economics on the Guardian’s comment is free website.
The recently published Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard is a rant against prosperity. I have not read the book yet but I have heard her interviewed on the radio and read several articles by her. Back in May 2009 I also wrote a blog post on her original 20-minute video in which I counted [...]
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 [...]
Sean Collins on capitalism. Spiked. The author of the American Situation blog argues that contemporary “anti-capitalism” is the main barrier to progress today. The economics of happiness, speech by Ben Bernanke. The chairman of the Federal Reserve takes on board the main premises of those who argue for happiness as a policy goal. Organic’s footprint, [...]
There are many problems with the proposals by Paul Romer, a professor of economics at Stanford, for charter cities – mainly to do with political sovereignty – but he does make an important point on desalination. Speaking on an episode of the Global Prosperity Wonkcast he argued that improvements in desalination technology make large tracts [...]
Here is my comment from this week’s Fund Strategy. I also wrote a related cover story although some of it is fairly technical and financial. Philosophical distinctions are often derided as useless. In relation to water scarcity they are literally a matter of life and death. The term “scarcity” is used promiscuously in most discussions [...]
Until I started researching the subject I did not realise that the United Nations (UN) approach to water shortages was to designate it as a human right. Although this sounds appealing – everyone needs water to live – it should be resisted. For a start declaring a “right to water” is meaningless if the means [...]
The more, the better, Wall Street Journal, by Joel Kotkin. Response to Arundhati Roy, Kafila, by Jairus Banaji. (see 28 February 2010 post). The thrill of science, tamed by agendas, New York Times, Edward Rothstein. Searching for water under the sands of Saudi Arabia. Spiegel, by Samiha Shafy. Scientists call for ‘climate intervention’ research with [...]
John Beddington, the British government’s chief scientific adviser, argues the world is facing a “perfect” storm of crises by 2030: rising population, rising food demand, rising demand for water and rising demand for energy. Taking its cue from him the BBC has produced several pieces on the subject for its website and for broadcast. It [...]
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