Politics & campaigns.

This is not a party political site and not very partisan in any way. My emphasis has tended to be on the quality of debate and campaigning, and especially on the need to appreciate represtentative democracy (government through elected representatives whose own views matter), and to be sceptical of the claims of vox pop, "the people", social media, Crowd Wisdom, and "direct action".

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RDN, the Pope’s visit, and BBC R4’s “Sunday”

I had a v brief outing on Radio 4's Sunday religious current affairs programme, and it's a privilege to be asked.  Here's the crib I prepared for the event, in which I was asked about the protest dimension of the Pope's forthcoming visit. Read more...

Published

12 September 2010

Bjorn Lomborg’s game-changing “volte face”

Climate change politics is creeping into a kind of inevitable realism. (If you will forgive me, I'll mention that I have argued for nearly 25 years that it would, sooner or later.) It is becoming clearer that it is now legitimate and necessary to say that there will be no silver bullet. Bjorn Lomborg's new book (discussed in 2 new Guardian prepublication pieces, here and here) looks like helping quite a bit. Read more...

Published

03 September 2010

Will the BP spill transform the oil business?

I was asked to appear on Radio 4's special programme BP: Beyond the horizon and the Macondo disaster. Would it transform the firm and the oil business? I'm clinging to the idea that it won't much, but with one big caveat. Here's the crib I prepared.... Read more...

Published

25 July 2010

Rational Optimist: RDN’s still one

It's not often a good ploy to whinge, and this isn't exactly a moan. Well, only a bit of one. I want to stand up for my Life On a Modern Planet (1995) and Rich Is Beautiful (2005) as works of "rational optimism". Read more...

Published

20 June 2010

BP oil spill update, 15 June 2010

It's been a spectacularly bad few days for BP. Things looks set to get a bit worse. But they may yet turn out less than apocalyptic. Without shouting the odds, here're some thoughts. Read more...

Published

15 June 2010

RDN, BP, the FT… and crossed fingers

Obviously we all need to cross our fingers for BP. The oil giant needs the same luck as the seashores its oil may yet severely damage. This may, after all, be the worst such accident we have yet seen, as I said on the BBC's Today programme. I hope I wasn't premature in a later FT letter in suggesting that the oil giant, and its industry, will flourish however awful the outcome of this accident, and deserves to. Read more...

Published

17 May 2010
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