The Economist

British weekly news and international affairs publication (founded 1843)

The Economist is an English-language weekly news magazine founded in 1843 and based in London. Its articles are not signed (editorial anonymity, with few exceptions).

The logo of The Economist.

13 December 2014

  • There are all sorts of reasons why geoengineering may prove impossible, either politically or scientifically. It may be too dangerous to countenance, and the circumstances which might make it an appealing complement to cutting emissions may never arise. But to treat research into the subject as taboo on the basis that ignorance is a viable defence against folly would be a dangerous mistake.
    • Article "Climate change and geoengineering. Fears of a bright planet", 13 December 2014. First and third sentences cited in Tim Flannery, Atmosphere of Hope. Solutions to the Climate Crisis, Penguin Books, 2015, pages 151 ISBN 9780141981048.

27 June 2015

See also: Fossil fuel divestment
  • [...] advocates of [fossil fuel] divestment [...] want to create the sense that a business or a country is a pariah. If you believe that global warming is a mortal threat to all humanity, and that the world’s attempts to ward it off are inadequate, then it makes sense to do more or less everything you can to bring about change. Campaigners use divestment not as a tool of corporate finance, but as a facet of free speech — part of a broader push, involving boycotts, protests, lobbying and public advocacy, to sway opinion and influence regulation. Good luck to them: they have every right to make their case.
  • On the specific issue of climate change, Mercer, an actuarial consultancy, recently issued a report that argues, “Investors cannot assume that economic growth will continue to be heavily reliant on an energy sector powered predominantly by fossil fuels.” If climate change begins to cause economic and social havoc, governments will have to act, either by restricting energy use or by taxing carbon emissions. In such circumstances, Mercer contends, it will not be possible for energy companies to exploit all their known reserves: some will become “stranded assets”. The average annual returns from coal could fall by anywhere between 18% and 74% over the next 35 years, the report concludes. If such estimates are right, then eliminating exposure to the sector would be perfectly compatible with fiduciary duty.

28 November 2015

See also: Global warming and Paris Agreement
  • Bringing down emissions of greenhouse gases asks a good deal of people, not least that they accept the science of climate change. It requires them to make sacrifices today so that future generations will suffer less, and to weigh the needs of people who are living far away.
    • Article "Adaptation. If you can’t stand the heat", special report on "Climate change", 28 November 2015, pages 10-12.
  • Economists like to argue, about climate change as much as anything else. [...] But on the biggest issue of all they nod in agreement, whatever their political persuasion. The best way to tackle climate change, they insist, is through a global carbon tax.
    • Article "The way forward. Second-best solutions", special report on "Climate change", 28 November 2015, pages 15-16.

16 September 2017

See also: Cancer
  • From a purely technical perspective, it is reasonable to expect that science will one day turn most cancers into either chronic diseases or curable ones. But cancer is not fought only in the lab. It is also fought in doctors’ surgeries, in schools, in public-health systems and in government departments. [...] And prevention remains the best cure of all.
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