AuthorExtreme 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
SpeakerIvo is often asked to speak, debate and chair various events, forums and conferences. Read more
Recent Opinion Columns for the Daily Maverick
The agreement reached deep in overtime at the recent Lima climate conference was pitched as having saved the summit from disaster. But if every country agrees, you can be sure whatever they agree on is watery gruel. As the questions mount over the validity of climate models, the utility of global warming mitigation policies, and the cost of renewable energy, Lima may spell the beginning of the end of the climate change movement.
Every year, almost ten thousand professional vacationeers gather in some exotic holiday location, like Cancún, Buenos Aires, Bali, Durban or, most recently, Lima, Peru. They do so at the expense of the taxpayers and the people who donate their hard-earned income to supposedly worthy environmental lobby groups like Greenpeace, the Worldwatch Institute, 350.org, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the National Resources Defense Council, and the Sierra Club.
Part of the war against censorship during the Apartheid era was fought over pop music and pin-up girls. These fights might have looked petty, or even misplaced, but they were important in the struggle for freedom and human rights in South Africa. Now, the ANC wants to apply the old laws about what we may and may not publish to the internet.read more
The tobacco industry is not unique. Both it and the pharmaceutical industry would like to monopolise the e-cigarette action. And government is only too happy to sacrifice public health to big business lobbyists. The truth is that they are safe to use and effective to quit smoking. If governments were consistent, they’d hand e-cigarettes out like condoms.read more
It’s a dark day indeed when a monopoly industry lobby and a media-sponsored organisation collude, and both agree with draconian government policy. That happened when Crime Line, an initiative of the Primedia Group, publicly supported the Tobacco Institute of Southern Africa during its conference about the fight against “illicit” cigarettes.read more
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.read more
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.read more
#ScaryBananasTaking 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!
DonateMuch 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.
PodcastsAmped, 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.
Extreme Environment: How environmental exaggeration harms emerging economies
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