The Rt. Hon. David Cameron MP
10 Downing Street
London SW1A 2AA
18th January 2013
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PRIME MINISTER ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE AND ENERGY POLICIES
Dear Prime Minister,
Like you I read PPE at Oxford and I was lucky enough to be taught Economics by Professor Wilfred Beckerman. He has an interest in the economics of environmentalism, having worked in that field with the World Bank in the 1960s, advised the Labour Party on it and he was a member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution from 1970 to 1973. He wrote an excellent book in 1974 called “In Defence of Economic Growth” which was a rebuttal of the famous Club of Rome 1972 book “The Limits to Growth”.
In 2002, Prof. Beckerman published a book called “A Poverty of Reason: Economic Growth and Sustainable Development”. If you or your advisers on environmental policies haven’t read it before, I thoroughly recommend it as a succinct and massively sensible analysis of many environmentalists’ arguments by a brilliant economist and excellent teacher. He is still going strong at 87; he’s still teaching at UCL, mainly on ethical issues in Economics which he touches on in this book when addressing the mistakes made by many environmentalists about intergenerational ethics, rights and basic economics when considering issues like resource depletion, climate change and the precautionary principle.