Monday, October 30, 2006

Not Waving, But Drowning

1 comment:

Philip Booth said...

Some useful stuff in this link but a fundamental misunderstanding about the Green party - indeed a couple of lines are complete nonsense - eg "Most Greens believe that things could be put right with a change of government policy, which is exactly what Labour now proposes."

Suggest reading more at:
http://www.greenparty.org.uk

Some 'red' socialists have indeed taken Green issues to heart - but they are very absent from being central to economic policy - and without that being the case we cannot have social justice. We need for example a fundamental shift in our economic policies from Globalisation to Localisation. Green taxes are all very well but as you rightly point out are only a small - very small - part of the story. We also need the Green Party policy for tradable carbon quotas and an ever-decreasing "cap" on this country's emissions. Of course a Climate Change bill with strict annual targets would also provide a good "cap", but without the tradable carbon quotas the government would struggle to find ways to meet the targets.

See also an exciting new project - Green Left:
http://www.greenleft.org.uk


Just saw this news release which says similar:

FREE MARKETS ‘DON’T CARE ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE’

BUSINESSES CAUSE CLIMATE CHANGE, GREEN MEP TELLS OXFORD UNION

MARKET forces alone are unable to prevent devastating climate change, Green Party Euro-MP Caroline Lucas will tell the Oxford Union tomorrow (Thursday, November 2nd).

Dr Lucas will argue that business has played a key role in causing climate change – and largely remains indifferent to it in the quest for ever-increasing profits and growth.

“If corporations were people they’d be psychopaths, pursuing their own self-interest at the expense of everyone else and society as a whole,” she will say.

“The very purpose of business is to maximise profits and growth – indeed corporations are under a duty to put these interests, the perceived interests of their shareholders, before any other considerations, even halting a preventable and predictable global catastrophe.

“If we are to prevent the worst impacts of climate change we need to regulate business activities on a global scale – and force them to cut emissions and contribute to sustainable development wherever they operate.

The Green Party MEP for South-East England, a member of the European Parliament’s International Trade and Environment Committees, will join Tory frontbencher Alan Duncan MP, Shell Chief Executive James Smith and South African opposition leader Tony Leon MP in to debate whether business is the solution or the problem to tackling climate change.

She will argue, alongside Alan Duncan, that business is indeed part of the problem on the issue of climate change. James Smith, Tony Leon and Sir Stuart Hampson will argue the opposite: that they are the solution.

The Stern report has outlined the horrors we face if climate change is left unchecked, and begun to describe the scale of changes we would have to make to prevent them, Dr Lucas will tell the union.

“But Stern doesn’t go far enough – he talks about stabilising atmospheric CO2 at 550 parts per million when the reality is this is much too high a concentration to halt runaway climate change.

“If we are to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, and do so in way which is globally fair and promotes sustainable development, we need to cut global CO2 emissions by as much as 90 per cent by 2030. That’s going to require different cultures, different economies, and different expectations: in short nothing less than a different way of life.

“Such a way of life must be based on putting the needs of individuals and the environment over those of corporations and businesses – who have got us into this mess in the first place. The business-led model of society just isn’t up the challenge of climate change.”

“Properly regulated business could, I hope be part of the solution to climate change. But business on its own, unregulated by government and unfettered by public concern, is very much at the heart of the problem.”

Environmental initiatives by businesses – such as the re-branding of BP with a sunflower logo not unlike that of the Green Party – tended to be marginal activities aimed principally at changing public opinion in order to ‘buy time’ to maximise the profitability of their core activities, she will add.