Beware Sugar Taxes And The Law Of Unintended Consequences

Health campaigners lobbying for the introduction of a tax on sugary foods and drinks would do well to consider the lessons of the Volkswagen emissions scandal. Well meaning measures to protect the planet from climate change resulted in European Union (EU) governments encouraging a major switch from petrol to diesel vehicles across the continent over … Continue reading

Is This How The Third World War Begins?

News that Russian fighters have violated Turkish airspace increases tensions in the Middle East. More worryingly, it raises the possibility of a dogfight in the skies over Turkey. Now, this matters because Turkey – like Britain, the US and 25 other nations – is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) which is … Continue reading

Private Enterprise Will Deliver Our Future In Space

Tragedy struck billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s space business last month with the crash of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket plane leaving one pilot dead and another injured. This was the second space disaster in less than a week to hit the private sector space industry following the explosion, shortly after blast off, of the Antares space … Continue reading

Chaos Reigns When A Great Empire Declines

Disorder seems to be erupting all around the globe. Wars burn in Europe, the Middles East and Africa while tensions grow between China and Japan and on the Korean peninsula, as civil unrest festers in many other places. It was not supposed to be like this. The end of the Cold War was – in … Continue reading

Ebola Death Rate Much Higher Than Press Reports Suggest

Ebola in West Africa is almost certainly far more deadly than press reports indicate. Simplistic analysis of the regular updates issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) has led many reputable news outlets to underestimate the true death rate of this killer disease while the WHO itself avoids issuing an ongoing analysis of what it … Continue reading

Time To Reassess The Role Of The Sun In Climate Change

As the so called pause in global warming continues, space scientists may be giving climate scientists some pause for thought. Global surface temperatures have remained statistically flat for over a decade following a rapid rise in the second half of the 20th century despite the fact that the long-term increase in carbon dioxide associated with … Continue reading

WHO Chief Warns Of Ebola Mutation Risk

Note (added 11 October 2014): a more up to date article reviewing these issues appears here. Please see important note at the foot of this report. The longer that Ebola is allowed to circulate in West Africa then the greater the risk that the virus will evolve into an even more virulent form. This unprecedented … Continue reading

Shame On The Climate Spin Merchants

For a few moments yesterday it looked as though one of the great scientific puzzles of recent times had finally been solved. How can it be in an era of global warming, with average surface temperatures at record highs for much of the last two decades and with the Arctic polar ice cap shrinking, that … Continue reading

Climate Change: Effective Adaptation Versus Costly Curbs – The Dilemma For UK Policy Makers

The four horsemen of the apocalypse make an appearance in today’s report from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). “Increasing magnitudes of warming increase the likelihood of severe, pervasive, and irreversible impacts” warns the report which makes for scary reading, highlighting the risks of food shortages, floods and the extinction of many … Continue reading

Skin In The Game: Why Taking People Out Of Tax May Not Be Such A Good Idea

A philosophical thread ran through yesterday’s UK Budget linking the historic changes to pension rules with the increase in the amount that workers can earn before they start paying income tax. It is better for people to have control over their own money rather than it is to let insurance companies do it through pension … Continue reading

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