Global public goods – the Achilles heal of globalisation

Attended a stimulating session today on “Global Public Goods” (FAQ) run by the ubiquitous penseurs of globalisation, E3G. The idea is that there are important global things [goods, services, networks, resilience, risk reduction] that are under-provided, for example: reduction in disease transmission, financial system resilience, stability of the the climate, control of criminal networks, difusion […]

Copenhagen consensus – wrong question leads to wrong answer on climate change

In theory, it would be good to prioritise resources for global do-gooding by asking what is the best use of an additional $50 billion,and weighing costs and benefits of different approaches. The Copenhagen Consensus Center, headed by Bjørn Lomborg author of the Skeptical Environmentalist and bête noire of the greens, attempts to address this sort […]

What’s the opposite of "human rights with common sense"

What is the opposite of ‘common sense’? ‘Stupid’ could be right. Or ‘arbitrary’. But one opposite might also be ‘principled’… meaning that you stick to deeply-held principles, even if they give you discomfort in specific cases. Conservative leader David Cameron called for “human rights with common sense” as he promised to repeal the Human Rights […]

Is Millennium Development Goal no.1 rubbish?

As a call to arms, you can’t beat the first target in the first of the Millennium Development Goals … “Between 1990 and 2015, reduce by half the proportion of people living on less than a dollar a day“. There were about 1.2 billion people living on $1 per day or less in 2001 (about […]

The biggest possible question – growth in the 21st Century

A session with Her Majesty’s Treasury yesterday reminded me that one of the most startling things is just how big the world economy has become. It has increased by about 8 times since 1950 – now about $55 trillion. Growing on average at about 3.74% per year, meaning it doubles in size about every 19 […]