Ivo Vegter is an independent columnist, international speaker and author based in South Africa. Ivo writes and speaks on a wide range of economic, political, technology and environmental subjects from the perspective of individual liberty and free markets.

Author

Extreme Environment is a book about how environmental exaggeration harms emerging economies. It was published by Zebra Press, an imprint of Random House Struik. Read more

Speaker

Ivo is often asked to speak, debate and chair various events, forums and conferences. Read more
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Columnist

Ivo Vegter writes on a wide range of economic, political, technology and environmental subjects from the perspective of individual liberty and free markets. Read columns

Recent Opinion Columns for the Daily Maverick

The blockchain: How Atlas will shrug

Beneath all the hype of Bitcoin, a true revolution is happening. It isn’t about quick profits and market speculation, but about the technology that makes it all possible: the blockchain. It has the potential to transform society and free people from the constraints imposed on them by government and big business.

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The mafia bosses and the gambling cartel

Whenever government officials talk about gambling, they spout pure hypocrisy. They act like mobsters running a protection racket. Meanwhile, the government itself viciously exploits the poor and the desperate in order to subsidise sport and arts. If you really wanted to protect punters, you should want more competition, not less.

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The planet is getting greener

Remember when the Sahara’s sand dunes were marching unstoppably southwards across the Sahel, and desertification was a bogeyman we caused by our industry and productivity? New research has shown that greenery in the Sahel has been advancing in the last two decades, as it has done worldwide.

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The tinfoil hat loonies were right all along

It is trite to compare government surveillance programmes to George Orwell’s 1984. It is trite, and the term “Big Brother” may have lost its impact, but the comparison is truer every time it is made. Through pervasive surveillance and even mood manipulation, the power of the state has never been greater, and the privacy of the individual has never been more under threat.

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On energy, environment, and regulatory independence

I recently had the pleasure of participating in a live radio debate about whether shale gas threatens our water resources. Afterwards, I was accused of making a personal attack on one of my debate opponents. This disappointed me, because I had intended the attack to be entirely professional.

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South Africa’s schools of witchcraft and wizardry

You wouldn’t be surprised that there are schools of magic in South Africa. After all, someone has to teach would-be astrologers, sangomas and fortune tellers the tricks of the trade. It is more alarming to learn that real universities participate in the charade. Welcome to the Hogwarts Schools at the University of Johannesburg and Durban University of Technology.

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#ScaryBananas

Taking excessive risks may be dangerous, but so is excessive risk avoidance. Using several startling or amusing examples, Ivo makes a strong case for why facts and reason must trump emotion and exaggeration at TEDxCapeTown
Watch the 17 minute talk on youtube!
Watch on Youtube

Donate

Much of the time I invest in my work goes unpaid.
By buying my book, or donating, you’ll help ensure I don’t have to take money from companies, government or lobby groups just to pay the rent.

Podcasts

Amped, the radio version of Ivo’s column for Daily Maverick, is an 8-10 minute talk broadcast on Knysna FM and available for download on Soundcloud.
“Ivo exposes the [environmentalist] lies one by one, and calls for balance, a voice of reason in the wilderness.” Hugh (Bob) Glenister

Contact Ivo

8 + 14 =

Extreme Environment: How environmental exaggeration harms emerging economies

Extreme Environment promises to provoke fresh – and spirited – debate about the modern environmental movement and the many ways in which environmentalism, media, economics, public policy and the politics of liberty intersect.

Starting with well-researched work questioning the claims of opponents to shale-gas drilling, or ‘fracking’, Ivo Vegter argues that public opinion and policy ought to be informed by accurate data and reasoned argument. Using a wide range of examples, from nuclear accidents and oil spills to food additives and agricultural chemicals, he demonstrates why we should be just as sceptical of the emotive rhetoric of environmentalists, which often turns out to be alarmist, or even false, as we are of corporate spin

Get your copy of Extreme Environment today!
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“A much needed international voice on enviro-insanity. … Heed Vegter” Amity Shlaes

Bloomberg

“… a breath of fresh air … clear without being condescending … he is afraid of nothing.” Dominic Lawson

Former Editor, Sunday Telegraph

Hear what others are saying about Extreme Environment
Reviews
Download chapter three for free!
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“Ivo Vegter dissects [the logic of environmentalists] with characteristic wit, verve and reason.” Salil Tripathi

Journalist , Wall Street Journal, Live Mint & India Today

Speaking Engagements & Events

Ivo Vegter is an experienced international keynote speaker. He has chaired numerous conferences, debates and panel discussion in the technology, financial, and energy sectors. With his trademark approach to busting myths and misconceptions, he will make your audience think, chuckle and spark debate.
“Ivo Vegter played a crucial role in the 2013 edition of the Knysna Literary Festival. Ivo chaired our Political Panel with special guests Shaka Sisulu and Adriaan Basson and stimulated interesting political debate. His own political insights added significant value to the event. Ivo also hosted an event about his recently published book, Extreme Environment. We have received amazing feedback from guests who attended both of these events.” Sasha Campbell

Organizer, Knysna Literary Festival

“Ivo was a thought provoking and entertaining addition to the Greenest Event line-up. His work is superbly researched, as he goes about puncturing myths with clarity and good humour.” Simon Gear

Organizer, The Greenest Event

“Ivo is a compelling and thought-provoking speaker; drawing from a deep well of knowledge. He will challenge all those beliefs inculcated by the machinery of the mass media and the misinformed.” Rupert Smith

Director, Summa Financial Services

Ivo @ TEDxCapeTown

Taking excessive risks may be dangerous, but so is excessive risk avoidance. Using several startling or amusing examples, Ivo makes a strong case for why facts and reason must trump emotion and exaggeration.
Watch on Youtube

Book Ivo to speak at your next event

“Ivo was a thought provoking and entertaining addition to the Greenest Event line-up. His work is superbly researched, as he goes about puncturing myths with clarity and good humour.” — Simon Gear, organiser, The Greenest Event
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