Monthly Archives: May 2024

Popular mobilization is crucial

Climate Politics in the Age of Populist Denialism

Many of us thought that reason would prevail in responding to the climate crisis. If we established that climate change is real, that human activity is the main driver, and that policies and technologies are at hand to deal with the problem, then governments would respond. An aroused public would ultimately demand an emergency response. But we know now that this assumption is naive. Despite all the evidence, a powerful far right, now including some mainstream conservative parties, has assumed a belligerent denialism. Centre-left political mobilization and action thus offer the best prospect for resolving the climate/ecological challenge. Continue reading

Degrowth: Desirable but Improbable

Degrowth is a growing intellectual movement among those alarmed by the climate crisis. Its proponents envision a desirable world which has not only come to terms with the ecological crisis, but also is more egalitarian and convivial than our current societies, both in the global North and South. Advocates also provide a cogent critique of economic growth. They contend, perhaps less cogently, that capitalism is the problem because it is inherently growth oriented. One finds, in addition, the analysis of many relevant policies, at both the national and global level, for overcoming the climate/ecological crisis and building an egalitarian society. However, the political strategy for moving from our current situation to the desirable world is underdeveloped. It seems highly improbable that we will witness a transformation of capitalism in the next decade or two, let alone a nonviolent transformation.

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World Bank suppprts the nmotion of inclusive green growth

Why “Green Growth” Is Not the Answer to the Climate Crisis

Green growth is the dominant perspective, adhered to by governments, international organizations such as the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, corporations, and most people in their role as consumers. The bold claim of this perspective is that countries can combine perpetual growth and prosperity with safeguarding ecological conditions for later generations. The is a dubious claim for three reasons.

The positive outcome depends on following the right policies and maintaining support for technological development. The right policies include market-corrective and price-based policies, together with occasional green stimulus programs, such as the Inflation Control Act under President Joe Biden in the USA. Regulation, such as fuel-efficiency standards for automobiles, are also part of this approach. Technological optimism pervades this viewpoint. Green growth thus focuses on making growth resource-efficient and cleaner, not reducing it.

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