Saturday, 11 October 2008
It's an extraordinary privilege to be alive today at the cusp of such great change. This week saw the dramatic end of our world's unbridled rush towards ever increasing consumption and debt levels. We've got there, as I have been writing, because money is debt and economic growth has depended on increasingly dodgy leveraged layers of debt. In this moment of realisation that the Emperor has No Clothes, I hope enough intelligent people such as those behind Green New Deal can push through permanent change that will utterly replace the suicidal story of our time of economic growth based on gobbling up our planet. I also hope that the people who've been screwed, such as pensioners, express their anger and take to the streets.
And this week sees two other absolutely pivotal reports. First the government's new independent climate change watchdog, the Climate Change Committee, reported to government that Britain must abandon using almost all fossil fuels to produce power in 20 years' time. The news was welcomed by several sectors of government, including Ed Milliband, the new energy and climate secretary, and could signal its change of heart away from nasty new coal and support real investment in renewable energy and 'green collar jobs' as a way to kick start the economy on a real life-sustaining footing.
Second, Hilary Benn, the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary, replied to a Chatham House study reporting that a food crisis was on its way, by saying, 'With rising prices and increasing demand across the globe, we can't take our food supply for granted.' Again, this signals a radical shift in policy away from supporting a free-market globalised approach to food sourcing to a more localised one. In case anyone needs to be reminded about the most pressing issue facing our planet, far greater than the threat to our global banking system, see this inspiring video and pass it on: Wake up, freak out, then get a grip.