Press Release: Britons in 2050 will use GM trees to fight climate change and grow their meat in laboratories, says new report

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Sam Bowman, at sam@adamsmith.org | 07584 778207.

  • New paper predicts technological solutions to today's social and environmental problems, such as climate change
  • Economic growth will mean that Britons in 2050 earn twice as much as they do today
  • Self-driving cars will reduce city densities and allow people to work or sleep during their commute

Britain will use fast-growing trees to capture and store atmospheric carbon dioxide by 2050 and most of Britain’s energy needs will come from gas, solar and nuclear power, not wind, according to a new monograph released today (Monday) by the Adam Smith Institute.

The paper, The UK and the World in 2050, by Adam Smith Institute President Dr Madsen Pirie, looks at trends in scientific research and makes predictions about how new technology will change how ordinary Britons live their lives and solve the energy, environmental and health problems currently facing Britons.

People in the UK will be earn twice as much in real terms by 2050 as they do today. An average 2% annual growth rate will achieve this. The people of 2050 will live at the standard of today's millionaires.

Agriculture will have experienced a green revolution, with genetically modified crops that are self-fertilizing, pest-resistant, saline tolerant, drought resistant, altitude capable, heat tolerant and cold tolerant, and ones that can grow on land previous thought insufficiently fertile. Many of these will be developed in UK laboratories and universities, as will trees that can mature in 6 years instead of 50. Tree cover will be many times what it is today.

New genetically hybridized vegetables will be available to eat, the paper says, as will inexpensive lab-grown meats, bringing an end to factory farming as we know it and delivering substantial environmental gains, as well as freeing up large amounts of land for recreational use. Micro-organisms will be developed to produce nourishing food very cheaply and in abundance.

Looking at healthcare, the paper suggests that the NHS will have been radically reformed by 2050. The state will own no hospitals outright, nor employ ant doctors or nurses. People will choose state-funded healthcare from a variety of private institutions, many non-profit and some for profit.

Driverless electric vehicles will be the norm, with petrol and diesel engines banned from cities. They will be free to re-charge. Inside they will not have two rows of forward-facing seats, but some will be customized as extensions of the home or office, some even with folding beds. People will be prepared to commute longer, given such comforts, and this might make city housing less attractive and therefore less expensive.

The paper argues that behavioural change is secondary in solving social problems after technological adaptation. Environmental challenges are better overcome by investing in new technologies than in trying to make people consume less, the paper says.

Commenting on the paper, the Executive Director of the Adam Smith Institute Sam Bowman said:

“Futurology can often tell us as much about the present as it does about the future. In this paper we have shown just how many of our current problems are on their way to being solved, not by changing people, but by changing the world around us. Dr Pirie’s vision for the future is an optimistic one that sees human ingenuity as the key to improving people’s lives around the world.

"The future often looks bleak because we focus on the negatives – but the reality is that things are getting better, much better, all the time.”

Notes to Editors:

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Sam Bowman, at sam@adamsmith.org | 07584 778207.

To download The UK and the World in 2050click here.

The Adam Smith Institute is a free market, libertarian think tank based in London. It advocates classically liberal public policies to create a richer, freer world.

Bernie Sanders is wrong about US tuition fees | Ben Southwood writes for the IBTimes

Head of Research at the ASI, Ben Southwood, wrote an article of the IB Times on why Bernie Sanders' policy regarding tuition fees will actually make students worse off:

If we want tuition fees to fall, then the best approach may not be Bernie's plan for yet further subsidies, but scrapping the system of subsidies entirely. Even a sceptical libertarian will have to chalk this one down as a win for libertarian predictions and simple unintended consequences.

Read the full article here.

Is Sanders the most dangerous man in the United States? | Kate Andrews argues NO in CityAM

Head of Communications and research associate at the Adam Smith Institute, Kate Andrews, took part in a debate piece for City AM on why Bernie Sanders is not a threat to America.

Many of Bernie Sanders’s policy proposals are terrifying and threaten to decrease the quality of vital services and increase taxes for the average American. But he is a mile away from being the country’s most dangerous person. The US has a strong system of checks and balances.

Read the full debate here.

Liberalising the UK's migration policy could benefit migrants | Sam Bowman writes for City AM

Executive Director of the ASI, Sam Bowman, wrote for City AM on the positive impact liberalising immigration policy would have on reducing poverty levels.

Britain’s immigration debate rarely discusses how migrants themselves are affected by coming to work here. We argue passionately over whether immigration has cost the average worker twenty pounds, or benefited her by forty pounds.

But these sums are trivial compared to the benefits of migration to the migrants themselves, and to their home countries. A worker from a poor country like Bangladesh who moves to Britain and does exactly the same job can make more than twenty times more in earnings.

Read the full piece here.

New ASI paper "Migration and Development" is featured in City AM

City AM newspaper has covered the ASI's latest paper, "Migration and Development". The paper argues that migration is a key tool that should be utilised more in order to to reduce poverty.

Foreign aid should slashed and replaced with a more liberal immigration system, a Westminster think tank has said today.

In a new report the Adam Smith Institute (ASI) said allowing people to move to the UK from poor countries to work could boost their income 20 to 30 times. The report also argues that “doling out billions in foreign aid risks propping up corrupt kleptocratic governments while having little impact on development.”

Read the full article here.

Press Release: Liberalise immigration to boost international development, says new report

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Head of Communications Kate Andrews: kate@adamsmith.org | 07476 915072.

  • Britain’s international development policy should use guest worker programmes to allow more of the global poor to come and work in Britain
  • Moving from a poor country to a rich one can boost an individual’s income 20-30 times – even Peruvian immigrants earn 3 or 4 times more in a developed country than they do with similar education and skills in Peru
  • Institutions determine prosperity more than people do—it’s too hard to bring good institutions to developing countries, but bringing their people to good institutions can deliver many of the benefits more reliably

The best international development policy would be to let in more workers from the third world in to work in Britain, according to a new paper from the Adam Smith Institute. Politicians should stop trying to save entire countries with foreign aid programmes and instead help their inhabitants by letting them move to developed countries, it says.

The report Migration and Development argues that doling out billions in foreign aid risks propping up corrupt kleptocratic governments and having little impact on development; letting people move to where they can be most productive is a reform that really works.

The paper, authored by Swedish policy analyst Fredrik Segerfeldt, suggests an immigration target, modelled on the 0.7% of GDP foreign aid target, in order to boost the welfare of the global poor.

Not only would this help the migrants themselves, but it would even help their source countries to develop, Segerfeldt says. Migrants send around three times as much home in remittances as governments send in foreign aid, and this private development aid is far better targeted, going directly to those in need and not through flawed institutions. The money is often used by developing country citizens to educate themselves and raise their human capital, helping to create a virtuous development cycle.

To assuage worries that migrants will empty the state’s coffers as a fiscal burden on the state, Segerfeldt advocates both that migrant work permits be temporary, and that the full suite of benefits would only be available to natives.

Commenting on the report, Executive Director of the Adam Smith Institute Sam Bowman said:

The best way to cut global poverty is to allow more of the world's poorest people to come and work in Britain. With appropriate controls, a guest worker programme similar to the US's Green Card system could give a huge boost to people from developing countries. There's a multiplier effect here too: migrant workers send back an enormous amount of money to their home countries – about three times as much money as is sent in official development aid – and this reduces poverty at home, and may even provide investment capital for economic growth.

Though people may be concerned about immigration, they also have a desire to reduce global poverty if possible. In this paper we argue that the costs of letting more poor workers in are much lower than commonly believed, and the benefits much greater.

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Notes to editors:

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Kate Andrews, Head of Communications, at kate@adamsmith.org | 07476 915072.

To download a free copy of Migration and Development, click here.

The Adam Smith Institute is a free market, libertarian think tank based in London. It advocates classically liberal public policies to create a richer, freer world.

Are hipsters the new aristocracy? | ASI paper "The New Aristocrats" features on the Spectator

The ASI paper "The New Aristocrats", has been featured in the Spectator Coffee House:

In the absence of more obvious class indicators, political views now project status more than ever before. This is the subject of an interesting new paper by Ryan Murphy for the Adam Smith Institute, which suggests that hipsters are a sort of new aristocracy. It looks at hipster fashion for ‘authenticity’ and opposition to mass production, and suggests it is part of a new elitism.

Read the full article here.

ASI paper "The New Aristocrats" features in the Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph

The Adam Smith Institute's latest paper "The New Aristocrats" has featured in the Sunday Times and the Telegraph for its argument that virtue signalling is the new way to define yourself as part of the 'elite' in society. From the Times:

There’s a new “virtue-signalling”, identified in a report published last week by the free-market think tank the Adam Smith Institute, which means that nobody is buying flashy cars, clothes or jewellery to flaunt their status any more.

The new aristocrats, as the report’s author, the US professor Ryan Murphy, calls them, are the bohemian bourgeoisie and hipsters who live in rapidly gentrifying areas (the very ones where you are likely to find Waitrose and Poundland on the same street).

Read the full article here.

and from the Telegraph:

What do you do to impress these days? How do you flaunt your status in 2016? Because the rules are not what they were, according to a report from economists last week; you could say they’ve been flipped on their head.

Flashing the cash in these old familiar ways no longer impresses because – according to the Adam Smith Institute – too many people are in on the act, and so, the mood of what is successful has shifted.

Read the full Telegraph article here.