Benjamin Thomas, Cobden Centre – Week 4 – Off to Paris

Benjamin Thomas

It’s been an interesting, albeit quiet week here in London. The Cobden Centre is teaming up with the IFT to work on a 25-page publication on environmental policy and my time has been entirely dedicated to research. I’ve quite enjoyed the work; environmental policy is something I’m passionate about.

There remain those who deny that climate change exists, or that it is anthropogenic, and they tend to originate from the political right. This could be partially because ‘the left’ have a solution while ‘the right’ do not. Without a solution to rally behind, many find it easier to dismiss the issue rather than confront it. The paper aims to address this issue: How can we encourage sustainability without smothering the economy?

One such case study I researched was the North Atlantic Salmon Fund (NASF). In 1991 Orri Vigfusson, a recreational fisherman, established the NASF in an effort to save the Atlantic salmon from extinction. Rather than wait on government action, he entered into private commercial conservation agreements with fisheries in key areas. They agreed to cease fishing Atlantic salmon in exchange for support and training to fish more sustainable species. He’s credited with saving over 10 million salmon, and creating hundreds of jobs. It’s really inspiring to learn about these people who accomplished great things, independent of any government body.

While we are quite busy working on the publication, the office has collectively found the time to have fierce table tennis tournaments during our lunch breaks. I don’t mean to brag, but I’m somewhat of a veteran of the sport. I tried to go easy on my co-workers, but I’m so passionate about table tennis that it can be difficult at times.

One benefit of staying in London is that it’s incredibly easy to travel throughout Europe. You can get practically anywhere in western Europe for less than £100. This weekend I’ve chosen to spend my weekend gorging myself on cheese, wine, and pastries in Paris. Admittedly, my French has not improved since primary school, but I manage by saying “Ça” (that), and pointing at things like a Neanderthal.

Bon Voyage