Brief, early blog this week: Green Party Conference.
First the Guardian, and now the Financial Times confirm what should have been obvious all along: Increasing energy in the atmosphere was bound to lead to abnormal, often violent weather sooner or later. That extra energy has displaced an ocean-sized air mass into Siberia. The trouble is, almost certainly we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
In 1973 I joined a party newly-formed in response to a warning that perpetual economic growth was a dangerous fallacy. But not enough people were interested, even when climate change was recognized as a threat, so it morphed into a better Socialist party than what Ed Miliband was offering.
That strategy came unstuck in 2017, but the Green Party isn’t just a socialist Party. It has some solid achievements at local level.
I started with hopes for a party working out policies to ensure social justice within a sustainable economy. To be fair to the more level-headed strategists who dismissed this as unrealistic, I did underestimate the enormous difficulties. I knew about the Tragedy of the Commons (se the Page on this blog), but I didn’t realize that humans are hard wired against loss. Nor idd I know that the capitalists, now led by a coherent, neoliberal ideology, were a trapped by a system which rapidly converts opportunities (e.g. fracking) into imperatives. They do better than the rest of us, but they are trapped in their behaviour, for now.
Achieving an economiy which heeds ecologicsal limits certainly does not mean a retreat from technology, but it does mean that most current industrial activity will have to be scaled down. No wonder the neoliberals, like the t obacco industry before them, felt it necessary to delay th einevitale with a campaign of lies. But if it isn’t done voluntarily, it will happen as a ghastly accident, or series of accidents.
George Monbiot worries because so few people seem to take damage to the ecosphere seriously. I recently went to a Greenpeace meeting. Lots of people worried about plastic waste. Who was this oddball saying it was a symptom of too much economic activity? Me of course.
l then went to not one, but two large day events focussed on the Basic, Citizens’ Income. I was the only one at either event to suggest that the Basic income could allow Kate Raworth’s ‘soft landing’ of the economy.
Again, no interest.
Will this abnormally cold weather make any difference?, Hardly, doesn’t it prove Trump right – climate change is a hoax? Not everybody reads either the Guardian or the FT.
But I still think the Green Party could do worse than get back to its roots.