A Recession Can be Fun!

I think I am on the ballot for leader of the Green Party. The ERO has not confirmed it, but Tweeters seem to think so.

I have a vision. Although the immediate problem is the threat to the ecosphere, and the dire consequences if this is not halted, throughout my 43 years with the Green Party I have had a clear picture of how quality of life could be enhanced if only we could limit our demands on the ecosphere.

It was obvious to the founder members of the Party that a steady state economy – world-wide – would be essential, but with the Basic Income to ensure that no one need feel insecure, a much less materialistic ethos will emerge. Opponents will ridicule a steady state economy as a recession. There is no escaping that. As I see it we have no option to meet that derision head on. Some of us think that a recession will happen anyway due to ecological damage. It could be worse than any previous recession, but it could become a blessing in disguise.

That recognition of the need to curb economic activity has been lost sight of. The Paris Agreement on Climate Change avoided the issue, but even the Green Party refers to it only in passing. If I am a candidate, I shall do what I can to rectify that.

To take a simple, stark example: fracking.

The ecological case for fracking is unassailable. Quite apart from the local environmental degradation, even small amounts of hydrocarbons escaping into the atmosphere will aggravate the greenhouse effect far more than CO2  is doing already.

But as long as economic growth is seen as essential to prosperity, the economic case for  fracking is also overwhelming. The End of the World may be at hand on present trends

I am reluctant to say more until am sure that I am a candidate in the Green Party election, but if so, over the next few weeks I shall try to explain my vision of how a recession can be fun. Actually, it is there in my book, and in earlier blog posts, but a blog inevitably becomes less coherent than a book. ,




7 responses to “A Recession Can be Fun!

  1. – [ ] Thank you Clive for your email. I agree that we should be aiming at a steady state economy. I feel that taxes should be higher on carbon based fuels so that people who consume more are taxed more. However, fracking may not be as bad as portrayed. You say that the immediate problem is the threat to the ecosphere, and the dire consequences if this is not halted. Methane is continuously escaping into the atmosphere all over the world. Fracking just allows us to burn it before it escapes. I agree that coal should be even more heavily taxed to discourage its use because, being solid, it does not seep out, and should remain where nature put it.
    – [ ] Best wishes. Robin.

    • I have seen a graph of methane in the atmosphere showing a steady rise, followed by a plateau for a few years, and then the rise resuming about 3 years ago. Like volcanic CO2, at what point does exponentially rising human input become significant? to what extent is the ‘continually escaping’ methane accelerating due to the thawing permafrost? Economic growth will come to a stop anyway, if we do not plan for it on our terms.

  2. i hope you are a candidate we need to move from the gutter politics natalie and caroline are playing right now

    • To be fair to Caroline, I think she is embarrassed by the fighting talk going out in her name, but you are right. I have a totally different approach.

  3. Hello

    Well at least you’ve laid out some of your policies and beliefs unlike many other candidates for the leadership!

    I have voted Green in every General and Local election since I was 18. (I’m now 49). However, I became somewhat disillusioned with the Greens at the last General election since there were very wooly policies on things like the economy and education. Many people felt that the policies you do soell out lacked credibility and insight. Basically, if the Greens are to ever be elected they need to grow up. May I ask f you are aware of this and if so, what you intend to do about it?

    • My stock apology for the late reply to your two comments on 25th July – they got buried in so many other things.
      My general reply is that when the party started, it was well on the way to laying the groundwork for a serious set of policies for social justice within ecological constraints.. To cut the subsequent long story short, for understandable reasons, the Party morphed into the nearest thing to a ‘proper’ socialist party, Blair having made Labour electable by chucking socialism out of it. Our 2015 election manifesto was the culmination of this process. It was a long way from what the Green Party was originally about, and what I want it to be about now. Corbyn briefly stole our new, misguided role anyway.
      Education. At one stage (pre-Blair) the Green Party seemed to have a preponderance of teachers at Conference, so I just let the experts get on with it. That is probably not true now, with the Green Surge. If (Oops, when) I become leader I shall study our ‘Policies for a sustainable society’ in detail, in readiness for Andrew Neil type onslaughts.

  4. What are you do favour the economy and education? There are no sensible Green policies currently on these issues. I vote Geeen anyway but there many environmentalists who don’t for this reason. The Greens need to grow up and have more realistic and sensible policies across the board.

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