Economic growth and climate change

17 11 2014

Climate, People & Organizations

With the coming G20 talks about to kick off in Brisbane, the focus of the agenda centres on economic growth as the panacea for all our troubles. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey have been adamant in their focus upon the need to increase economic growth globally. It’s rare, if not impossible to find anyone in the mainstream public debate who questions the wisdom of ever-increasing economic growth. And yet there is a major underlying problem in our collective worship and addiction to growth – climate change.

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7 responses

17 11 2014
Chris Harries

The G20 essentially agreed, at the end of the Summit, to put a square peg through a round hole. Renewed global economic growth against a backdrop of severe carbon emissions cuts can’t be done. End of story.

Tony Abbott knows this too well. Like other leaders he could have declared ‘let’s have our cake and eat it too’. Let’s have the best of both worlds. Abbott’s ideological bent, but also his sense of economic realism, tells him that aggressively pursuing the climate agenda means that the growth part of the G20 agenda is effectively killed off.

In that respect I agree with him – perverse motivation aside, his is the more honest take on G20 outcomes. Though I back the climate horse, not the other one.

17 11 2014

Are you sure Abbott is THAT smart Chris………

17 11 2014
Chris Harries

Well, I don’t think you need to be very smart. The widely held belief (fostered by Lord Stern and others) that we can easily deal with climate change whilst hardly affecting the economy is really, really dumb.

17 11 2014

Well, I agree with you Mike. I don’t think Abbott is that smart. I really don’t think that he believes in climate change at all – because it doesn’t suit him to believe. He ‘s one of those people who adjusts reality to suit their beliefs, rather than the other way around. He will only remove his blinkers once the negative effects become really obvious. Then he will realise, like other leaders possibly have already, that the adverse economic consequences of not doing something about climate change could be greater than the costs involved in ameliorating it in the first place.

18 11 2014
18 11 2014

“Abbott” and “smart” are two words that do not belong in the same sentence. He is ideologically blind….

19 11 2014
Chris Harries

He is that, Rob, and so was John Howard.

Many used to deride Howard prior to him taking up the Liberal leadership, saying he was too dumb to manage it. He ended up as one of the longest serving prime ministers in our history.

When it comes to intelligence there’s dumb and there’s dumb. These guys have distorted intelligence – smart enough to play the game, dumb enough not to perceive the bigger picture. Even as representatives of the Big End Of Town one day they will cotton on that it is not actually in the interests of the Big End Of Town to disable the goose that lays their golden eggs.

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