Anorak News | You’re Surprised by Ignorance From the Green Party Then, Yes?

You’re Surprised by Ignorance From the Green Party Then, Yes?

by | 22nd, July 2011

Aren’t we such lucky little people, we’ve a new think tank founded by Caroline Lucas, the Leader of the Green Party. No, no, don’t all go crazy with applause just yet. For there’s a slight problem with what they’re saying.

No, not the basic thought that a cleaner, greener, world for our children would be a nice idea. Not even that we need to respect ecological limits to growth: these are entirely sensible and mainstream ideas.

No, the problem is that they seem not to understand the basics of their own economics. In this report from the new think tank we find this:

the economy will be stable, not
growing, but also less liable to
cyclical fluctuations. This means
that growing aspirations cannot be
met out from the proceeds of
– the basic structure of the welfare
system will be effectively fixed, and
politicians will no longer be able to
claim that poverty will be solved by
growing the size of the overall cake;

This isn’t some side issue, some aside: this is at the heart of what they’re saying, that there will be no more economic growth. Which is entirely nonsense: no, not just nonsense from my point of view, it’s nonsense from the published work of the Great Guru of Green Economics, Herman Daly himself.

The concept is derived from that of the “steady state economy”. We need to respect those ecological limits, limit how much of the natural world we dig up and process. OK, fine, let’s do that then. But this doesn’t mean the end of economic growth for we humans are pretty inventive little creatures. And we do keep inventing new things: a feature of which is that our new things often allow us to do old things while using fewer of the resources of that natural world. Thus, even if we do have limits on natural resource use we can still have economic growth: as long as we keep inventing new ways to use less of those natural resources.

So, to say that Green Economics means no economic growth, necessarily, is nonsense. It doesn’t even fit with the basic ideas that underlie that very Green Economics.

But then you’re entirely surprised that the Green Party’s new think tank doesn’t have a clue what it’s talking about then, aren’t you?


Posted: 22nd, July 2011 | In: Money Comment | TrackBack | Permalink