About Jacob Arfwedson

Jacob Arfwedson first worked on environmental issues with the ICREI (Paris) in the early 1990s (www.icrei.org). He has published extensively on various free market issues, working with some 20 think tanks in Europe and the US for the past 20 years. He received his MA from the Catholic University of Paris before studying at the Catholic University of America (Timbro Capitol Fellowship). His articles have been published by the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, le Figaro and AGEFI Switzerland.

Where is the green worker?

Perhaps the most pernicious and pervasive gimmick of recent years is that of "green growth." "We need not renounce our worldly goods," we are told, "green is also good for business and millions of jobs will be created by putting technology at the service of a better environment." Tremendous news: but where are the jobs and how much do they cost ?

By |2012-11-13T17:18:27+00:00June 14th, 2010|CFACT Europe|Comments Off on Where is the green worker?

Allègre con brio: last stance at the OK Corral

Former government minister Claude Allègre is once more to be hailed for fighting the “consensus”, as his recent book is high on the best-seller lists. Yes, discussion is possible; no, scientific progress is not a matter of international voting to find the truth. (This would be comparable to letting the dictatorship countries vote on human rights at the UN; sorry, my mistake, they already do that.) […]

By |2010-05-04T16:58:54+00:00May 4th, 2010|CFACT Europe|Comments Off on Allègre con brio: last stance at the OK Corral

For Lucy (should I find her)

The recent decision by the French government to scrap the CO2 tax was welcome news: it was from the outset mostly a complicated design to satisfy two major interests, quite removed from any environmental concern. […]

By |2010-03-29T17:14:34+00:00March 29th, 2010|CFACT Europe|Comments Off on For Lucy (should I find her)

Allègre vivace!

Claude Allègre is a courageous man, besides being a former government minister and a scientist. And unlike most public figures in France, he is not afraid to speak his mind on the climate issue. His new book, L’imposture climatique is a more than welcome diatribe against the ecologically correct and constructivist establishment. […]

By |2010-03-01T17:18:26+00:00March 1st, 2010|Books, CFACT Europe|Comments Off on Allègre vivace!

The Pandit, the pundits and the bandits

The IPCC got another knock recently, perhaps from an unexpected corner. In its 2007 report, the predictions for the Himalayan glaciers indicated that they would entirely disappear by 2035. In late 2009, at the request of his government, the Indian geologist V.K. Rania (retired) looked into this, and concluded in a White Paper that glaciers (in the Himalayas and elsewhere) advanced and retreated irregularly over the past 150 years, with no direct connection to world heating or cooling. […]

By |2010-02-22T17:38:44+00:00February 22nd, 2010|CFACT Europe|Comments Off on The Pandit, the pundits and the bandits

Have you met Mr. Jones?

We all suffered at the COP-15 meeting Copenhagen last December, especially from the cold: president Obama had to leave early because of a blizzard in Washington DC. No matter; as we all know cold or heat share a common culprit, namely man-made activities. If (some) climate scientists were a little less intent on seeking politicised funding and more focused on facts, they would be pleased to discover the recent piecemeal apology from the now-famous professor Phil Jones (CRU, University of East Anglia). […]

By |2010-02-19T17:37:57+00:00February 19th, 2010|CFACT Europe|Comments Off on Have you met Mr. Jones?

This is not an Avatar

It remains to be seen whether Copenhagen was indeed a watershed; but at least the French mainstream media seem less apologetic in past months. It is comforting for instance to read the columns by Claude Allègre in the weekly Le Point. (He was sacked from competitor L’Express in 2008, presumably for speaking out against the alarmists. Last October he called the self-appointed eco-hero Nicolas Hulot an imbecile. […]

By |2012-09-19T12:19:01+00:00January 26th, 2010|CFACT Europe|Comments Off on This is not an Avatar

You ain’t seen nothin yet

If you thought that the Copenhagen jamboree moderated the ambient hysteria, the following items may reassure you that worse is yet to come. JACOB ARFWEDSON (Paris) According to researchers at King’s College (London) future natural disasters are bound to increase strongly stress levels and anxiety among our fellow citizens. The authors did demand that these concerns be addressed by delegates at the COP-15. This is no scoop and hardly Nobel Prize stuff: being afraid of the future has long been a staples of our kindred. The question should then be: could government possibly and reliably relieve us of this task? No: [...]

By |2012-09-19T12:19:01+00:00January 7th, 2010|CFACT Europe|Comments Off on You ain’t seen nothin yet

Water seeks its own level: here comes that sinking feeling

What’s the difference between the climate jamboree and the Titanic? At least the latter had an orchestra. Numerous groups are eager to grab the headlines in Copenhagen; the smaller you are, the more original the initiatives. But dressing up as a polar bear is a tiresome business. Better try for direct appeal to bleeding hearts in the north for a rescue operation in the south. Dialectics always work: rich or poor, it’s nice to have money. Tuvalu, Kiribati, the Maldives and the Cook Islands will all disappear soon, say shortly after Christmas according to delegates. (Hence probably today’s pledge by the [...]

By |2012-09-19T12:19:02+00:00December 11th, 2009|CFACT Europe, Conferences|Comments Off on Water seeks its own level: here comes that sinking feeling

Activists without concern: how to use the climate for your own purposes

As Noël Coward put it in a song, “Why do the wrong people travel?” It should not come as a surprise, yet the cheerful way in which some groups exploit international events to hijack the agenda is quite astounding (just imagine for a second free-market groups doing the same thing, and the reaction that would ensue). In today’s Metro (Danish only), a German activist involved in the network Climate Justice Action is disarmingly frank about his presence at the conference : “[The conference] does not mean anything. The UN cannot solve the world’s climate problems as it thinks that the solutions [...]

By |2012-09-19T12:19:02+00:00December 10th, 2009|CFACT Europe, Conferences|1 Comment

Pascal’s Wager, Gore’s Wages

“- Supposing a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it? – Supposing it didn’t, said Pooh after careful thought.” (The House at Pooh Corner) The Economist in its special report argued that the world needs a new climate treaty as an “insurance policy against a catastrophe that may never happen”. A curious statement, especially in view of the sender. First, there is little insurance policy against natural disasters; insurers know this and adjust their offer accordingly. Second, any insurance against highly unlikely events does not come cheap (this applies also to any new climate “treaty” but for other reasons). [...]

By |2009-12-07T17:09:06+00:00December 7th, 2009|CFACT Europe|Comments Off on Pascal’s Wager, Gore’s Wages

Monsanto, mon amour

In truth, there is no such thing as absolute safety; but this fundamental human need may explain the excessive search for certainty in particular as the world seems awash with a constant flow of disconcerting events. It seems obvious then to assume that risk is the opposite of safety. But it isn’t: as inaction also entails risks, we need instead to properly assess the benefits of risk-taking, such as accepting new technologies, medicines or – yes even – accepting that a global government will not avert all risks. […]

By |2012-09-19T17:12:57+00:00December 4th, 2009|CFACT Europe|Comments Off on Monsanto, mon amour

Reversing the burden of spoof

by Jacob Arfwedson One of the less endearing features of government supporters is their general disdain for democracy when eventually popular vote goes against their designs. The legitimacy of consent suddenly becomes irrelevant and a downright nuisance. In Europe, we experienced this in the constitutional negotiations: first with the Maastricht Treaty, and more recently with the Lisbon Treaty: referenda were held twice in Denmark (1992) and not so long ago in Ireland. Voters finally got it “right”. The same logic applies to Kyoto and in particular to the upcoming Copenhagen summit and the expected new treaty, i.e. a “deal”. It is [...]

By |2012-09-19T12:19:04+00:00November 23rd, 2009|CFACT Europe|Comments Off on Reversing the burden of spoof

The power of forecasting

by Jacob Arfwedson In the 1930s, Franklin Roosevelt asked his administration to undertake a vast exploratory study of future technologies. A group of researchers eventually produced a voluminous report with fascinating insights. There was only one little glitch: the document did not foresee television, plastics, jet planes, organ transplants, laser technology, or even ballpoint pens. As Ludwig von Mises stated, petrol is good for many things, but not for slaking your thirst. Similarly, government may be useful in some instances but not in others. The precautionary principle is good, provided it is used appropriately. We should first apply it to politics: [...]

By |2012-09-19T17:12:58+00:00November 10th, 2009|CFACT Europe, Conferences|Comments Off on The power of forecasting

Global warming is no sea change

JACOB ARFWEDSON (Paris) It has the odd flavour of a déjà vu: I’m reminded of reading the papers as a child in the 1970s when global cooling was all the rage and the mediatic frenzy was about how we would all, literally and lethally, chill out. It is refreshing then to read IPCC author prof. Mojib Latif (University of Kiel, Germany). He presented his latest findings last September at the World Climate Conference in Geneva, showing that the mean global temperature has declined since 2001 and that the planet is entering a period of cooling. Media reports on this rather surprising [...]

By |2009-10-30T16:45:34+00:00October 30th, 2009|CFACT Europe|Comments Off on Global warming is no sea change
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