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The life and legacy of Ronald Coase

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Vuk Vukovic | Wednesday 04 September 2013

The great economist Ronald Coase has died at the age of 103. Vuk Vukovic explains what made Coase such an influential and profound thinker.

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If it ain't broke, break it: how to increase prices and profits in the GB retail energy market

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Stephen Littlechild | Wednesday 22 May 2013

Stephen Littlechild, Professor emeritus at the University of Birmingham, fellow of Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge and a top regulator from 1983 to 1998, explains how politicians and regulators have, by misunderstanding how markets work, regulated to boost energy firms' profits at the expense of higher bills for consumers.

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The Limits of Wind Power

Type: ReportsWritten by William Korchinski | Monday 04 February 2013

A new study by the Reason Foundation evaluates wind power and finds that wind power is limited in practice due to the increased need for power storage, the decrease in grid reliability, and the increased operating costs.

Renewable energy: Vision or mirage?

Type: ReportsWritten by Hugh Sharman, Bryan Leyland & Martin Livermore | Monday 12 December 2011

The government is spending enormous sums of money on renewable energy. This report assesses the economic and energy security cases for renewable energy subsidies, and finds that there is no prospect that renewable energy will be able to provide a substantial amount of Britain's energy needs.

Seeing the Wood for the Trees

Type: ReportsWritten by Miles Saltiel | Thursday 10 February 2011

The Forestry Commission has failed in its duties, and the government is right to sell off some of its holdings. This report argues that the government could sell off 92% of the Commission's holdings without affecting the broadleaf forests that the public values for their amenity and scenery. Doing this could raise up to £4.3bn, and end the woeful mismanagement of the country's woodland that the Forestry Commission has delivered.

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Introduction: Chasing Rainbows, by Tim Worstall

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Tim Worstall | Tuesday 30 November 2010

In this extract from his new book, Chasing Rainbows, Tim Worstall fires a broadside against the environmentalist lobby and argues that the conventional 'solutions' to climate change don't even meet the environmentalists' own standards and defy their own advice. The book takes on the global warming alarmists on their own terms by accepting the IPPC’s science and using logic and economics to argue that the ends that environmentalists want is best achieved through more globalization and freer markets, not government interventions like cap-and-trade.

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Lord Stern is wrong: giving up meat is no way to save the planet

Type: Think PiecesWritten by Dr Madsen Pirie | Tuesday 27 October 2009

Technological advances, not "live more simply" environmentalism, will deliver a greener planet.

The Waste of Nations

Type: ReportsWritten by Gordon Hector | Friday 07 March 2008

The Waste of Nations argues that pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) waste charges are the best way to encourage recycling and to boost profitable waste businesses. However, the report stresses that PAYT must not be used as a 'dustbin tax' and that its introduction must be accompanied by a corresponding fall in council tax. The report also calls for the full liberalization of the refuse collection sector. Such a move would keep prices down and increase customer satisfaction. It would also lead to innovation and encourage refuse collectors to recycle more waste. The final section of the report argues that recycling should be put on a commercial footing. Recycling facilities and providers should be allowed to merge and consolidate, and the free movement and trade of recyclables should be established. This would ensure a market for commercially viable businesses in the long run.

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Land Economy

Type: ReportsWritten by Mischa Balen | Tuesday 20 November 2007

Land Economy proposes the most radical change in land use in decades, putting the case for redeveloping agricultural land into a combination of woodland, housing and infrastructure.

By converting just 3 percent of the farms in England and Wales over a ten year period, covering 90 percent of the land with trees and the other 10 percent with houses, we would create 950,000 new homes and almost 130,000 hectares of new woodland.

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No Way to Run a Railway

Type: ReportsWritten by Iain Murray | Friday 01 July 2005

altRail's woes are due to bureaucracy, not privatization. It's time for the government to release the railway from its over burdening grip. A grip entrenched in regulation that has far too many officials, or any proper functionality. Iain Murray, the author, says that for the railways to work, "the train operation companies must be given more control, and have a major say in how station and track improvements are managed. This will lead to more customer-driven investment decisions," he insists, "providing in turn much more of what train users actually want."

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