Us British are such a reserved lot. Maybe even more so in the Chilterns. Every now and again, for a laugh, some TV program will try to give away free money in the street. Of course it doesn’t work. People are simply too suspicious. This is a considerable barrier because sometimes there really is such a thing as a free lunch; but is it free buffet or snake oil? Continue reading
ISBN 978-0-300-18659-8 (hardback). “The Carbon Crunch – how we’re getting Climate Change wrong – and how to fix it” by Dieter Helm was published by Yale University Press in 2012. Dieter Helm is a professor of energy policy at University Oxford and Fellow in Economics at New College Oxford. He is a member of the Economic Advisory Committee to the UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, and Chair of the Natural Capital Committee. In 2011 he was Special Advisor to the European Energy Commissioner. All this and he comes up with a book title that sounds like breakfast cereal, & a book which should be taken as seriously as if it were breakfast cereal. It’s muesli – a mixed bag - you will either hate it, or REALLY hate it. Continue reading
ISBN 978-0-230-34218-7. “The Big Flatline – Oil and the No-Growth Economy” by Jeff Rubin was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012. You remember Jeff don’t you? He wrote the outstanding “How Your World is About to get a Whole Lot Smaller” in 2009. It is a work that we recommend everyone reads. Not only was it a good read but it had a certain gravitas being from a man who had spent his career as the chief economist at CIBC Markets in Canada. Sadly no more. Now he is just an author who “blogs for the Huffington Post”. Nowadays he earns his money by writing about energy economics. And if there is one thing he knows it is the energy markets. So how do you follow up a classic?
ISBN 978-1-846-14448-6. “How Much is Enough? The Love of Money, and the Case for the Good Life” by Robert Skidelsky and Edward Skidelsky was published by Allen Lane (Penguin Group) in 2012. Robert and Edward are a father & son team; Robert is Professor of Political Economy whilst Edward is a lecturer in Philosophy. This work combines their interests and starts with Robert’s three volume biography of John Maynard Keynes. Their argument follows a torturous alternative path to a conclusion that we can all agree with: the pursuit of money, as an end in itself, is destructive. The Skidelskys propose a more paternalistic (less utilitarian) approach to economic management that helps us all focus on our quality of living. In their words “the good life”.