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

Rhino horn: The proposal that could save the species

The government has recently appointed an expert group to sort out the details of a proposal to CITES to permit legal trade in rhino horn. Meanwhile, I’ve been reluctantly convinced that a state-owned monopoly might be what should be in that proposal. How does a free-marketeer fall so far, so fast?

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Twelve years on: I was wrong about the Iraq War

Last week was the 12th anniversary of the 19 March 2003 invasion of Iraq, by a “coalition of the willing” led by the United States. At the time, despite considerable reservations, I supported the war, and defended the politicians who bumbled their way into it. I was wrong to do so.

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When environmentalism becomes a crime against humanity

These are strong words, but they’re no exaggeration. By whipping up groundless fears about genetically engineered foods and misinforming governments in developing countries, Greenpeace and other anti-GMO lobby groups are condemning millions of people to easily preventable malnutrition and death.

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In a water crisis… Let them drink beer?

In the grip of a prolonged and severe drought, several states in Brazil, including the major cities of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, are running out of fresh water. The state-controlled company responsible for water could learn something from that country’s largest beer producer.

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Everyone is autistic nowadays

It looks like I might be autistic. Before ‘Rain Man’, I didn’t even know autism existed. Now, it seems almost every child, and most adults, have it. We know vaccines didn’t do it. So what, if anything, did?

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The WWF weighs in on fracking economics

Last week, the WWF released a technical report on the economic feasibility of shale gas production in South Africa. One should distrust environmental activists as much as one would distrust corporate spin, and this is doubly true when they prognosticate on matters other than the environment. However, this report proved to be surprising.

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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

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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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