Those New Economics Foundation Boys

Yes, it\’s Andrew Simms holding forth.

Behind the lamentations is a teenage fantasy of blithe, consequence-free, self-pleasuring that denies the needs of millions in poorer parts of the world who lack electricity, potable water or transport. Our grotesque over-consumption spits in the face of real global poverty, and drives potentially irreversible environmental degradation that hits the poorest first and worst.

In an age of global warming, talk of "green shackles" is like talking about "anti-child labour shackles", or the shackles of laws that prevent us burning down each other\’s houses. We need parameters to be set around sufficient levels of consumption to prevent the footprint of our lifestyles outgrowing the shoe of the planet, and trampling others in the process.

Sadly he seems to rather miss the point that it is by our consuming the products of those poor that they will be able to create the wealth which will raise them up out of poverty. If we all stop consuming then they\’re going to have an even harder time of it than they do now.

4 thoughts on “Those New Economics Foundation Boys”

  1. Never in the history of the world have so many people in so short a time been consumed out of poverty than in China in the last 20 years.

  2. “We need parameters to be set around sufficient levels of consumption ”

    And he uses one of my pet peeves – parameters. Surely he mean perimeters!

  3. Be careful. He might get the idea that by helping to reduce infant mortality rates in such places and through the introduction of therapeutic techniques that extend, somewhat, the average lifespan, the West has simply vastly increased the absolute numbers of people living in miserable condition. It might be that we owe ’em the rest of the kit, ain’t it?

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