Sunday, January 13, 2008

a low-carbon economy can still be a healthy economy

This report from The Economic Policy Institute makes the case that, in the current climate of spiraling fuel costs and government hostility to real efforts to prevent dangerous climate change, it is perfectly possible for the economists and wingnuts to see their wet dream of eternal, steady economic growth and us more forward looking types can simultaneously experience the tree-hugging nirvana of a low carbon economy. It prescribes a mixed approach combining carbon taxes with development and promotion of green technologies whilst focusing heavily upon supporting industries vulnerable to high energy costs and compensating workers and communities afflicted by the resultant decline in 'grey' industries. A particularly notable aspect of this report is that it claims to be the first sophisticated model to consider this quaternary approach (quaternary means "four-fold"BTW, just a brief pretentious moment).

Its worth reading the conclusion at least. I haven't read the whole report but it seems to based on sound principals. My criticism is that, although the proposals in the report are a clear improvement on the current administrations ecocidal mania, their goals for emissions reductions of 50% by 2050 are grossly inadequate if their aim is to avoid a significant chance of more than a 2 degree rise in global mean temperatures- as George makes clear here. My hope is that this moderate proposal can be expanded and extended to produce effective action on emissions with the same positive economic outcome. George explains why serious government intervention is the only way progress can be made in this area here and here.

Honestly, you'd have thought that the Stern Review would have made such blinkered analysis unpublishable but sadly not.

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