Ivo Vegter

Fracking controversy

On The Daily Maverick, I recently wrote a column about “fracking” in the Karoo. It was, shall we say, explosive. It got hundreds of comments, many of which I tried to do justice with a reply. It took me four days to write the column, and another three — working 16-hour days — to keep…

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Beijing Olympics: Red and green converge

It’s almost time for the 2008 Olympics, and the Chinese authorities are making sure their coming out party is as green as possible. And what does environmentalism entail? Draconian restrictions, of course. The Communist Party of China can relate to the green penchant for fascist measures to save the rest of us from ourselves.

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The anti-capitalist clown

Over on ThoughtLeader, Bert Olivier, an academic of the philosophical persuasion, rails against those who defend “the unforgiveable practices of capitalism”. I hardly know where to start, but as one of the people who frequently offers a defence for the practices of capitalism, I’ll make a few general points in rebuttal, though.

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Scrooge McDuck is fictional, you know

Free market advocates often hear the charge that they don’t care about the poor. That their belief in the power of markets driven by self-interest and the profit motive implies they’re selfish and egotistical. “Bah!” says the research data, “Humbug!”

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Peak Oil paranoia on path to presidency

Last week, the Financial Mail led with a lengthy cover story on the oil price and its implications for the South African economy. It contains some enlightening facts, but the article spends much of its time talking up the alarmist scenarios of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas.

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Great countries welcome immigrants

We, of all people, should welcome immigrants. We should thank them for thinking our country worth making a new life in. We are the rainbow nation. Or aren’t we?

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The great polar-bear crisis

The US has declared the polar bear to be a threatened species. So from today, global waffling alarmists will be able to cite the doomed polar bear for their doctrinaire opposition to energy production, industrial projects and economic development.

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Beware the alchemists

Last night, I found a neatly printed-out and stapled copy of Beware the Alchemists, by Ludwig von Mises. It is surprisingly accessible. It takes an initially complex topic, encrusted with 100 years of Keynesian pollution and toxic government waste, and turns it into something simple and intuitive. I wish I had learned what I understand of interest rates and monetary policy, and what inflation really is, from this text.

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Food inflation: lessons from India

The current rise in food prices is very, very dangerous. Not because food will be more expensive, but because chances are the government will intervene to prevent this. The unions in South Africa have already called for a food price freeze. This merely serves to show that they didn’t bother paying attention in Economics 101….

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Who turned down global warming?

The Australian, a newspaper in, well, Oz, reports that global warming appears to have stopped in 1998, that 2007 saw a 0.7°C drop in temperature, and that sunspot activity suggests we may be entering a period of global cooling again.

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