b'10 REASONS TO LOOK FORWARDTO THE FUTURE WHY OUR PESSIMISM ISSO MISPLACED! BY: MARCEL BRUINSWHY IT MATTERS A ahhh, the good old times Everything wasES: HOW CAN WE OVERCOME SUCH better back then! Or was it? Surveys show thatOPPOSITION?In his latest book,in many countries, a majority of the people,JN:We have to explain the benefits of globalization Progress: Tenoften up to 70 per cent of the population, suffersagain and again, and that is exactly what I am trying Reasons to Lookfrom the belief that things are worse than they usedto do. To explain that every successful society on Forward to theto be. This is surprising, considering that we are,the planet has been open to trade and people, and Future, author Johanoverall, richer, healthier and longer-living than everno country has been successful without it. And even Norberg describesbefore. Swedish author Johan Norberg describes inif you only care about making your own country in 10 chapters thehis book, Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forwardgreat, you have to understand that your industry and progress in the fieldsto the Future the progress that we have made in theyour farmers cant be successful without using the of food, sanitation,fields of food, sanitation, life expectancy, poverty,best ideas and inputs from around the world. Why life expectancy,violence, the environment, literacy, freedom, equal- would anyone be interested in what you produce at poverty, violence, theity and the conditions of childhood. Enough reasona higher price than your competitors?environment, literacy,for European Seed to get his opinions on why weAnd for those who think that protectionism and freedom, equalityshould look forward to the future. isolation would be a way of helping the disadvan-and the conditions oftaged, we have to remind them that no one has a childhood. Often thestronger interest in decent goods and services at a world seems full ofEUROPEAN SEED (ES): WHY DID YOU FEELcheap price, especially since the poor consume rela-doom and gloom butIT WAS NECESSARY TO WRITE THIS BOOK? tively more of things that are traded internationally, in his book, NorbergJOHAN NORBERG (JN):Because we are right nowlike food, clothes and electronics, whereas the rich argues that reality isexperiencing the greatest social and technologicalspend more on say, real estate, lawyers and doctors. far from that and whyprogress the world has ever seen, and yet everyoneThis means that in a country like Britain abolishing our pessimism is soseems to despair and long for some mythologicalall international trade would just reduce the pur-misplaced.good old days in the past. I wrote it because itschasing power of the richest tenth by 10 per cent, dangerous to take progress for granted, becausebut of the poorest tenth by as much as 54 per cent.then we might not think about what it requires, and bloc avenues to further progress. DespairES: GLOBALIZATION IS NOT BAD FOR might even become a self-fulfilling prophecy,THE ENVIRONMENT, BUT RATHER THE because people who are afraid build walls andOPPOSITE. HOW COME THAT STILL SO regulations, rather than open up for further open- MANY PEOPLE FEEL DRAWN TO THE OTHER ness and innovation. Only those who believe in theNARRATIVE?future invest in it. JN:Yes, poverty is the worst polluter as Indira Gandhi put it. Its only as countries grow richer ES: BESIDES ANTI-INNOVATION, THEREthat they can afford to improve the lives of their IS ALSO STRONG ANTI-GLOBALIZATIONfamilies and also think about their impact on MOVEMENT. WHY ARE THEY WRONG? nature, and we have never seen such a rapid dif-JN:Because globalization is the surest way tofusion of green technology as we have done today, improve the world. The more people who arethanks to freer trade. The problem is that people involved in creating knowledge, technology andassociate globalization with transportation, food business models, the greater the stock of knowl- miles, and so on, and its a very visual image of pol-edge and wealth there is, and those who benefitlution. Why cant we just buy everything locally? from that are the ones who are open to it. WhenBecause it would be worse. Most studies for most walls come tumbling down and people get a greatergoods show that just around a tenth of the green-chance to trade, travel and communicate, the morehouse gases come from the transportation of it, eyeballs look at our problems, and the more brainsalmost all of it comes from the production phase. are hard at work trying to solve them.So, if we can make it a little bit more environmen-This is why extreme poverty has been reducedtally friendly to produce something on the other by around 140,000 people every day in this era ofside of the world, it might make environmental globalization. sense to buy it from there.28IEUROPEAN SEEDIEUROPEAN-SEED.COM'