Monday, May 31, 2010

Plundered Planet - LSE

The natural resources of our planet are being squandered. Not only are the very few profiting, in stead of many, but also the revenues are consumed in stead of invested such that also future generation are being robbed of the wealth the earth has to offer. And in case you thing this is a problem of the poor countries, also rich countries make this mistake, as we can learn from a recent lecture at the LSE podcast (feed).

Guest speaker was Paul Collier, author of The Plundered Planet and he has been on LSE before, last September he spoke about Resource Management and this talk is partly a repetition, partly a continuation of the previous lecture; Collier has fine-tuned his analysis as well as his presentation. What I find both impressive and attractive is that he finds a way between conservational ecologism and market fundamentalism. Which means that neither does he say that we should not exploit nature, nor does he argue that we should let market forces steer the exploitation of natural resources. As in his previous lecture he argues for resource management.

To this extent he has written his book and he hopes to give sound advice to both the developed as well as the developing countries. Simply put, in his view, natural resources must be exploited in such a way that the whole population of profits from the income (which demands proper taxation and administered extraction) and that also future generations profit (which demands ample investment in infrastructure and new industries). When done properly, a country can exploit a resource to exhaustion (some resource are limited by nature), but in the end this will have cause an economic evolution which lifted the whole community to a higher and sustainable level.

More LSE:
China and India,
The China Hegemony,
The myth of work,
Pasts and futures of Christianity,
Global capitalism - the Gray view.