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Posted by: Michael Mandel on February 21
I don’t do as much environmental economics as I should, but I was really horrified by the February 17 mudslide in the Philippines which killed as many as 1800 people. It’s easy enough to treat it like a natural disaster, but there’s a sense in which this mudslide, as well as a 1991 mudslide which killed 6000 people, are the consequence of past economic development policies that encouraged overlogging. That’s according to Barbara Goldoftas, who recently published a book called Green Tiger: The Costs of Ecological Decline in the Philippines ( from Oxford University Press). [Conflict of interest alert: Barbara is a friend of mine, and I read early versions of the book].
Are such disasters an inevitable part of the industrialization process? Or is it possible to choose a development path which is not so short-sighted? I wonder.
Michael Mandel, BW's award-winning chief economist, provides his unique perspective on the hot economic issues of the day. From globalization to the future of work to the ups and downs of the financial markets, Mandel-named 2006 economic journalist of the year by the World Leadership Forum-offers cutting edge analysis and commentary.