What we learned this week

Anti-nuclear campaigns have been saying this for years, so it’s interesting to see it come up in a parliamentary select committee: the government supports nuclear power because it protects the skills base for nuclear weapons and submarines.

Here’s an example of a technology that many of us might one day use without ever knowing about it – a battery system that halves the amount of energy used in elevators.

Kate Raworth’s book Doughnut Economics features ‘seven ways to think like a 21st century economist’. She recently ran a competition to identify an 8th, and the results are in.

A potential vaccine for ebola was patented in 2003. The company that owns it did nothing with it for a decade, and then made tens of millions when the first ebola case on US soil was reported. The New Humanitarian takes a balanced and journalistic angle to this extraordinary story, but it’s hard to read it and not conclude that big pharma doesn’t consider African lives to be worth saving.

“I react pragmatically. Where the market works, I’m for that. Where the government is necessary, I’m for that. I’m deeply suspicious of somebody who says, ‘I’m in favour of privatisation,’ or ‘I’m deeply in favour of public ownership’. I’m in favour of whatever works in the particular case.” That’s G K Galbraith, quoted in this article in the Financial Times which argues that Galbraith is an economist for our time. (I agree,  and Galbraith’s The Affluent Society is a key text in The Economics of Arrival)

1 comment

  1. Civil nuclear power has always been linked to military nuclear. The question is do you think it’s wrong, and if so should we give up our nuclear hunter killer subs?

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