A cold snap shows us how fragile our supply food and fuel is. We need a more sustainable system.

Reassurance is fine as long as it’s well founded. And in the midst of fears about gas supplies and the panic buying of food Gordon Brown is hardly likely to scream that we are all doomed. It is, after all, his job to tell us that all will be well. More

2010 : The international year for biodiversity

According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2010 is the year of the Golden Tiger. Rather fitting, you might think, considering that the United Nations has declared 2010 the International Year of Biodiversity: with only 3,200 tigers left, and 3 out of the 9 tiger species now extinct, biologists have placed Panthera tigris at the top of their list of critically important endangered animals.

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Growth is good ... isn’t it?

The banking crisis taught us that when things look good on paper, if the underlying accounting system is faulty, it can conceal high risk and imminent disaster – as Jared Diamond put it in Collapse, his book about societies throughout history that fell by wrongly estimating the resilience of their environmental life-support systems. What looks like wealth might just be a one-off fire sale of irreplaceable natural capital. More

Andrew Simms at the LSE : the new economics

Our policy director, Andrew Simms gave a lecture to the London School of Economics last night introducing the kind of economics we do here at nef

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Listen now (mp3; 38 MB; approx 82 minutes)

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Denying the evidence

. The main opponents were those who continue to deny the existence of human powered climate change. Let’s call them climate deniers (the use of this contested term, I realise, is worthy of a blog in and of itself but that will have to wait for another day).

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Why all progressives who wish to see a just and sustainable economy should back the Robin Hood Tax

As you’ve probably already seen, today saw the launch of a major campaign to introduce a Robin Hood tax on financial transactions by a host of organisations working on issues of global and domestic poverty, international economic reform and social justice. More

Evidence-based climate change policy?

In response to the recent media hysteria, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a news statement last week outlining their role and assessment process. This restated the ‘comprehensive, objective, open and transparent’ principles that guide the IPCC reviews. More

Investing in equality

Successive reviews and reports have consistently told us two things: that we live in an increasingly polarised society and that this is damaging to our social wellbeing. The latest – yesterday’s Marmot review – supports a widely held view that inequalities of health, education, income and opportunity are all inter-related, and that better education leads to longer, healthier lives, and educational attainment itself is affected by income inequality.

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A Whole New Kind of Wizard of Oz

What is it about The Wizard of Oz that makes it so popular now?  There was the new production at the Festival Hall last year.  Now there is the success of Wicked. Well, I have a suggestion.  It is to do with economic collapse.

The idea that Frank Baum actually wove his tale around the monetary battles of the 1890s only emerged in 1963, but I’m sure it is right.

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Bringing the BP oil spill home

The word spill doesn’t really do justice to the unfolding disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, brought to you by oil giant BP. A spill, as Sophie Elmhirst has pointed out, is what happens to milk: “There’s no point crying over it, as the saying goes”.

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